One of the signature themes of the Biden campaign was giving the labor community and unions a seat at the table. Labor leaders throughout the nation are rejoicing in this promise kept, as President Biden is aggressively tackling and addressing labor issues.
One member of the labor community who is ecstatic about the advancements made is Tom Buffenbarger, who appeared on America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the PRO Act, a merger potentially resulting in a railroad spanning North America and other infrastructure issues.
Unions push to pass the PRO Act
Buffenbarger said the time to pass the PRO Act is now, whether there is bipartisan support or not. Workers all over the country are taking up organizing drives to improve conditions and wages after enduring a year of working amid a global pandemic.
He said he supports these workers and all of their efforts. The press coverage these drives have brought has been great to see, especially in the south, where unions typically lack any power or influence.
Railroad companies merge with a bold proposal, raising concerns
Buffenbarger then brought light to a proposed merger between two railroad companies. There is discussion of Canadian Pacific Railway acquiring Kansas City Southern Railway, with plans to offer a railroad stretching from Canada, through the U.S. and into Mexico.
He said the plans give him pause, as these mergers typically mean job cuts. Also, maintenance work is often done at the cheapest possible rate, regardless of the quality. This may result in railroad maintenance jobs being relocated to Mexico, where labor is cheap.
The hope is that the U.S. government will step in and analyze the potential acquisition, ensuring it will not harm American workers.
Passing a potential infrastructure plan
News broke of a potential $3 trillion infrastructure plan earlier this week, one of President Biden’s key campaign issues. The figure is similar to what President Trump wanted, but never acted on. At the time, Republicans cheered the figure, giving hope the plan would receive bipartisan support.
Buffenbarger likened this infrastructure plan to President Roosevelt’s New Deal. With so many out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an infrastructure bill would put tens of thousands to work in family supporting positions.