Elections Matter

Press Congress to Pass the Build Back Better Agenda

Historic and transformational change for America’s infrastructure and jobs is the order of the day on Capitol Hill as negotiators seek to construct legislation containing President Biden’s bold plan for America.

At issue are plans to build the charging infrastructure necessary for widescale adoption of electric vehicles, buses, trains and trucks and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in roads, transit, the electrical grid, passenger and freight rail, broadband and water infrastructure.

 

White House Pro-Worker Task Force Gains Momentum

A high-level committee headed by Vice President Kamala Harris continues its investigation into leveraging the federal government’s power to promote unions and collective bargaining. An October meeting included Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Leaning Into Nuclear as Part of America’s Carbon-Free Strategy

IBEW President Lonnie R. Stephenson wrote in an op-ed that the Biden administration’s climate goals will be met only by expanding nuclear energy production.

 

With co-author Steven Nesbit of the American Nuclear Society, Stephenson said provisions in the infrastructure bill being debated in Congress that would prevent permanent closures of existing nuclear power plants are a welcome first step.

 

Addressing Wage Theft in the Construction Industry

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh participated in a round table on October 13 at Atlanta Local 613 that focused on low wages and other workplace issues harmful to workers. At the event, Rep. Nikema Williams said workers lose $15 billion annually to wage theft, and highlighted the U.S. Department of Labor's work to prevent it.

 

“I'm glad to work with you and the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division in enforcing the Standard Act so Georgia workers get the pay they are due,” Williams said to Secretary Walsh.

Greenlighting Large-Scale Offshore Wind Project

The country’s first large-scale offshore wind project is moving forward, the Biden administration announced with its approval on May 11. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo were joined at the announcement event by labor leaders who have been working to ensure that the project is built and maintained by union labor.

Labor Sec. Walsh Meets with Union Members Promote Infrastructure Plan

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh traveled to Wisconsin on May 25 to meet with unions and business leaders and boost the American Jobs Plan. The subject of bipartisan negotiations on Capitol Hill, the AJP is a proposed investment in the country’s infrastructure and transportation system that will put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work, many in the IBEW’s core sectors. Walsh was joined by Rep. Ron Kind.

 

At the Labor Department, Steadfast Support for Unions

Policy at the Department of Labor is looking a lot different than under the Trump administration, or even under Obama.

 

The DOL’s anti-corruption unit, the Office of Labor-Management Standards, is going back to defending unions. Under the agency’s mandate of transparency and accountability, disclosure forms collected by the OLMS require detailed information about unions’ membership and finances.

 

The new OLMS director, Jeffrey Freund, plans a public campaign to tout unions’ compliance with the agency’s transparency rules.

 

Achieve Clean Energy Goals, Maintain the Nation’s Nuclear Fleet

Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm reiterated the administration’s commitment to nuclear power at a recent House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee hearing. In response to a question from Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Granholm said the country’s 93 nuclear reactors account for 52 percent of carbon-free electricity generation.

A New Era at the Department of Labor

Former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was sworn in as U.S. labor secretary on March 23, the first union member in 45 years to lead the Department of Labor.

Eighteen Republican senators joined all Democrats to support Walsh’s nomination, voting 68-29 to confirm him.

"I spent my entire career fighting for working people, and I'm eager to continue that fight in Washington,” Walsh said.

Helping America Dig out from Under the Pandemic: ‘Shots in Arms, Money in Pockets’

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on March 12, sending more stimulus checks, helping vaccine distribution and re-opening schools. (The plan also included a fix for multiemployer pension plans, which you can read more about below.) These measures have helped individuals, states and communities recover from the year- long pandemic.

 

Fulfilling a Critical Campaign Promise on Infrastructure

President Biden promised to put America back to work. On March 31, he shared his plan to deliver, with a historic $2 trillion package to rebuild a diminished infrastructure, battle climate change and take on global competitors.

 

The eight-year proposal will put the United States on the path to a revitalized domestic infrastructure while creating tens of thousands of jobs in several of the IBEW’s core sectors. Biden’s plan will:

 

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