It's time for America's infrastructure to once again be the envy of the world, said AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) President Edward Wytkind. The neglect of our country's roads, bridges and transportation systems is "so pervasive, it threatens our economic future."
Today, working people and union members, including Ironworkers, Laborers (LIUNA), Bricklayers (BAC), Boilermakers (IBB), Electrcial Workers (IBEW), Operating Engineers (IUOE), Longshoremen (ILA), AFSCME, Seafarers (SIU), Railroad Signalmen (BRS), Transport Workers (TWU) and TCU/IAM rallied in front of the AFL-CIO's headquarters to lift up the need for jobs that build and move America through investing in our infrastructure.
Speakers at the rally included AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Wytkind, Brent Booker of North America's Building Trades Unions and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Secretary Foxx said the way we've been dealing with our infrastructure has been piecemeal and patchwork. He used the analogy of driving a car with the fuel light on, but only putting two or three dollars in the tank just to get to the next fueling station. We need meaningful investment, said Foxx.
I know infrastructure creates jobs, not because I read it in a book, but because I've seen it.
Spending the money to rebuild our roads and bridges shouldn't scare us because it's not a sacrifice, it's an investment, said Trumka:
Putting money in roads and bridges is like planting seed corn. Investing in good jobs yields a good return. When you put seed in the ground, you get something to harvest. When you put cement in the ground, you get roads. When you put steel in the ground, you get train tracks. You get it.
Trumka said investing in rebuilding America and creating high-quality jobs is going to be an electoral issue. Representatives are going to be accountable for their inaction.
Many of the speakers pointed to the pending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund happening at the end of the summer and the potential loss of 700,000 jobs if Congress fails to act.
Check out some tweets below from the rally and visit www.infrastructureweek2014.com for more information on Infrastructure Week.
"We don't need a one year plan or a two year plan. We need a fifty year plan." #RebuildRenew— Rachel LaBruyere (@raylab) May 15, 2014
3 out of 4 public transit services are cutting jobs and cutting services. Even when public demand is on the rise. #RebuildRenew— Rachel LaBruyere (@raylab) May 15, 2014
We've been talking about infrastructure for a long, long time - long enough. It's time for action. #RebuildRenew— Richard L. Trumka (@RichardTrumka) May 15, 2014
Below is a photo of Foxx and Trumka before the rally outside the AFL-CIO.
Check out a slideshow of photos from the event by Joe Kekeris/AFL-CIO:
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.