With the COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out throughout the U.S., people are getting back to work and life is returning to some sense of normalcy. Boston’s labor community is excited to see the rally after a year of shutdowns.
IBEW Local 103 Business Manager and Financial Secretary Lou Antonellis gave AWF Union Podcast listeners an update on what is happening in the Boston area, the benefits of President Biden’s infrastructure plan and combining efforts with IBEW Local 96 when he appeared on today’s episode.
What is happening in Boston?
Antonellis brought attention to the slight rise in COVID-19 cases in the Boston area. However, he noted the increasing amount of Bostonians receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The rate of people getting the vaccine has made the community excited about getting back to pre-pandemic times.
He also brought up the fact that former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has been confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Labor. While Antonellis is sad to see him go, he is honored that President Biden chose a member of the Boston labor community.
His acting replacement is acting Mayor Kim Janey. Antonellis is excited for the opportunity to work with her and her commitment to work with area unions.
Benefits of the American Jobs Plan
Antonellis is extremely excited that infrastructure is finally being seriously talked about and a plan is being rolled out. While the plan is classified as one to improve infrastructure, it will also create millions of jobs.
The estimated 18 million jobs will contribute to the improvement of U.S. infrastructure. Antonellis is thankful for the conversation, but believes it will face a tough battle in the Senate. Most Republicans have already committed to voting against the legislation, so Majority Leader Schumer will have to use reconciliation or some other method to get the plan approved.
In terms of Boston’s infrastructure, Antonellis said improvements are needed. In addition to roadwork and bridgework, non-traditional infrastructure such as electrical grid improvements and more are needed.
Working with IBEW Local 96
Local 103 and IBEW Local 96 have been working together for about one year in an effort to expand work opportunities for members of both Local Unions and to help each other gain market share.
They began working together on the Wooster Red Sox stadium, called Polar Park. Antonellis said any project is possible when their memberships combine and they look forward to working together in the future.