Larry Willis, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on June 22 about the importance of the United States investing in its infrastructure.
Willis said the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recently marked up the INVEST Act, a surface transportation reauthorization bill that invests in a 21st-century transportation network. The $494 billion reauthorization bill will promote safety standards and training and investment in transportation and other infrastructure. He said there were also provisions to enhance the safety of freight trains and their crews. Willis explained this will prevent transit companies from thinning crews, especially on large trains requiring more than one crew member to watch over. He added that crews will receive improved and updated training to ensure they can work safely and to their best ability. Lastly, Willis said by investing in infrastructure, the transportation network can meet the demands of a 21st-century economy while creating thousands of jobs.
Mike Dolan of the Coalition for a Prosperous America and Trade Policy Specialist with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters discussed why keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States is crucial. By keeping manufacturing in the U.S. thousands of jobs would be created, stimulating the economy. He said industrial policy needs updated and companies need to stop receiving tax incentives for offshoring jobs. Dolan continued, suggesting the U.S. buy domestically produced goods to bring jobs home. He also spoke about the vulnerability of supply chains between the U.S. and China, suggesting inshoring jobs and purchasing domestically to weaken the U.S. dependency on China.
AWF Radio Podcast host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about the UAW and and AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka’s demands for the release of a Mexico labor lawyer who will stand trial for riot charges.