In the 2020 election, labor, specifically union labor, has come to the forefront in some plans pitched by candidates. As infrastructure bills are laid out, organized labor has had a seat at the table in Minnesota.
Ironworkers Local 512 Business Manager Barry Davies joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss pro-union candidates running for office and one of the most pro-union pieces of legislation in the country, which was signed inside of the Ironworkers Local 512 union hall.
Elevating pro-union candidates
Davies said it is very important that union members and their families support pro-union candidates up and down the ballot in any election.
He cited a recent action by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. With the stroke of a pen, Walz signed $1.8 billion in infrastructure investments. The projects will be spread throughout the state of Minnesota.
Davies said the projects will include transportation infrastructure, affordable housing, water treatment infrastructure and high education facilities.
With many people out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this investment will create thousands of jobs and training opportunities for the people of Minnesota.
More infrastructure investments
In addition to building up new infrastructure projects, the bill also seeks to save some facilities that have been left behind.
Davies said the state’s largest public service union is fighting to save two correctional facilities, the Willow River Correctional Facility and the Togo Correctional Facility.
The newly signed legislation provides funding to keep these facilities operational. In addition to saving the jobs of the union members who work at the facilities, the funding will also prevent other facilities from becoming overpopulated.
Davies said that some Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members will also see a much-deserved pay bump from the legislation.
Some SEIU members working in the Minnesota healthcare industry will see an increase in pay after spending nearly a year on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.