North America’s Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast on Oct. 2 to talk about the state of building trades unions, the status on an infrastructure plan, the Trades Women Build Nations Conference and more.
State of the building trades
As President of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), McGarvey spoke about how the building trades are currently doing.
McGarvey said the building trades are close to being back to their before-COVID-19 state. He said that while they are about 95 percent back now, the future is not looking too bright due to the current economic downturn and futures not looking very bright.
Safety on the job
Despite COVID-19 causing plenty of changes on the jobsite, McGarvey said tradespeople have been adjusting very well.
He expressed frustration with the federal government, the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The lack of a temporary infectious disease standard for construction leaves tradespeople at a higher risk of working in unsafe conditions.
Where the trades stand on the election
After rank and file building trades members providing President Trump a fair amount of support during the previous presidential election, McGarvey said the various building trades unions are working on educating their members on how this administration has abandoned unions and has actually been working against them through legislation that does not make the big headlines.
He said the rank and file is starting to notice that this administration is not working for them. He said the members are seeing the economic downturn, the postponement and cancellation of projects and more.
Working on infrastructure
McGarvey is wishful of an infrastructure bill in the near future, most likely after the election. He is disappointed in the president for not working harder to get a bill passed, despite running on blue-collar support looking for a meaningful infrastructure package.
He said the normal fiscal conservatism of the Republican party has been thrown out the window since obtaining power. While they typically spar over the cost of infrastructure packages and how we will pay for them, they were not concerned with how we will pay for massive tax cuts for the richest Americans.
McGarvey added that an infrastructure package would provide meaningful employment for many Americans. The training they would receive to work on infrastructure projects would lead to a lifetime of meaningful career skills in an industry that leads to the middle class.
NABTU Trades Women Build Nations conference
As the NABTU Trades Women Build Nations conference prepares to kick off virtually on Saturday, October 17, McGarvey provided details on what the conference is all about.
He explained how the various building trades unions are making a concerted effort to recruit more women and minorities into the building trades through apprenticeship readiness programs. These pre-apprenticeship programs last a few weeks and give people an inside look at the trades without having to make a large commitment.
Finally, McGarvey said hundreds have already registered for this year’s virtual rendition of the event.
For those looking to tune into the conference, you can register here.