Infrastructure bill divides Congress, but promises to rebuild America

What constitutes infrastructure? This question divides Democrats and Republicans and drives debate about what should go into proposed infrastructure legislation.

Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the federal infrastructure bill and the need to expand its provisions.

He also discussed the popularity of the PRO Act — proposed legislation that makes it easier for workers to organize — and the incredible opportunities for workers in the trades as the economy continues to improve.

Infrastructure: A question of investment

U.S. Senators are wrapping up a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and should soon vote on the legislation.

Hager contends the $1 trillion is just a drop in the bucket. Much more is needed when it comes to schools, housing and research facilities, Hager stated.

There is an ongoing disconnect between the two major political parties over what is infrastructure, Hager explained. Republicans want to focus on roads and bridges, but Democrats would like to expand spending to include offices, manufacturing facilities and research centers. Many Democrats are also pushing to include broadband internet expansion and childcare support.

Hager said the need for such expansion was made evident early in the COVID-19 pandemic, when the country was forced to rely on China for PPE instead of producing it in the U.S.

Why unions are great for the middle class

Hager was optimistic due to the fact that pro-union language for Prevailing Wage and other issues was included in the infrastructure bill. He is also excited to see positive polling come out about the PRO Act. He pointed out that in a recent poll, 87 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of Republicans are in favor of the legislation, according to research from Hart Research Associates.

Hager points out that one only needs to look close to home to see how union membership is building futures for families by pulling people out of poverty and into the middle class. The PRO Act is good for unions and great for the middle class.

An improving economy brings opportunities within the trades

Turning to new closer to his home, Hager spoke optimistically about an upcoming $365 million pharmaceutical packaging facility in New Albany. There are incredible work opportunities for this project and other projects in central Ohio, he stated.

Huge solar field projects are also coming to Ohio, Hager said. In the next year, he expects a need for an additional 500 to 1,000 electricians.

The massive building boom has led many C/COBCTC affiliated unions to train larger apprenticeship classes.

Hager stated there is an amazing amount of work available as the economy improves, especially in central Ohio. As Baby Boomers retire, there are great opportunities for young people coming out of high school or college to go into the trades.


America’s Work Force Radio Podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you stream your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iHeart Radio


AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS THE ONLY DAILY LABOR-RADIO PROGRAM IN THE US AND HAS BEEN ON THE AIR SINCE 1993, SUPPLYING LISTENERS WITH USEFUL, RELEVANT INPUT INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES THROUGH FACT-FINDING FEATURES, IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS, INFORMATIVE NEWS SEGMENTS AND PRACTICAL CONSUMER REPORTS. AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ACCESSIBLE VENUE IN WHICH AMERICA’S WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN HEAR DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANT, RELEVANT TOPICS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, HEALTHCARE, LEGISLATIVE ACTION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, FINANCES, LOCAL AND NATIONAL POLITICS, CONSUMER REPORTS AND LABOR ISSUES.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.