The U.S. is poised to pass a massive infrastructure plan designed to put Americans back to work in good paying jobs and to make much needed improvements to our nation’s infrastructure.
Independent labor voice and former International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers President Tom Buffenbarger highlighted the importance of the American Jobs Plan and what it will bring to various parts of the U.S. He also previewed Workers’ Memorial Day and what it means to him.
Putting Americans to work through infrastructure
Buffenbarger said everyone has something to gain from the American Jobs Plan, so he is excited to see it moving after many years of infrastructure conversation. He explained how multiple industries will be able to once again thrive thanks to these investments, such as manufacturing and transportation.
The plan includes provisions to create good paying jobs with training, a livable wage and benefits. This is greatly needed after high levels of unemployment, as we pass a year of COVID-19 induced shutdowns in some states and industries.
Buffenbarger discussed the Republican counterproposal, which focuses on strictly improving roads and bridges and has a much lower price tag. However, the Biden plan includes funds for issues such as broadband access, improving access to healthcare in rural areas and more.
Host Ed “Flash” Ferenc and Buffenbarger went back and forth about why Congressional Republicans may block work to block the American Jobs Plan. One conclusion was that it may make President Biden more popular and help Democrats retain the Senate and House of Representatives.
Honoring workers on Workers Memorial Day
Buffenbarger is sad that workers cannot gather to honor their fallen Brothers and Sisters this year. However, this is a measure taken to further protect each other.
Although all fallen workers deserve to be recognized and honored, it is important to recognize healthcare workers and first responders, as they have faced the challenge of the pandemic head on.
Finally, Buffenbarger encouraged elected officials to reflect on why Workers’ Memorial Day exists and return to working to improve the lives of working people and make them safer in their workplaces.