Created Hundreds of Thousands of Good Jobs with Historic Infrastructure Investment
Investment to State & Local Government through the American Rescue Plan
Protected Retirement Security & Rescued Pension Plans
Strengthened Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Regulations
With President Biden’s advocacy, Congress came together to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will create hundreds of thousands of good union jobs, provide clean drinking water, upgrade our roads, airports, transit, and rail, and invest in new electric vehicle infrastructure. The legislation invests $1.2 trillion, which more than doubles existing funding and represents the single largest investment in transportation since the interstate highway system was built. This historic
investment in America’s infrastructure includes strong prevailing wage standards for construction work that will ensure family-supporting union jobs. The federal government has already announced over $110 billion in investment that is headed to states, Tribes, territories and local governments with over 4,300 specific projects identified for funding.
President Biden issued an Executive Order requiring project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal infrastructure projects. The PLA requirement will help LIUNA members and all workers both union and non-union by setting good wages, promoting strong health and safety standards, and ensuring that large-scale federal projects are completed on time and with the highest degree of quality and efficiency.
President Biden appointed card-carrying Laborer, Marty Walsh, to lead the US Department of Labor, as well as appointing Laborer Jessica Looman to head the DOL Wage and Hour Division. Under Marty’s leadership and with the President’s support, the DOL is aggressively enforcing prevailing wage laws and ensuring that construction workers are not short-changed of their hard-earned pay. The agency plans to increase the number of labor enforcement investigators to launch a large-scale anti-misclassification effort and implement a federal debarment policy for all employers who illegally oppose unions. Under this Administration, employers who violate labor laws, participate in wage theft, or misclassify employees as independent contractors, will be punished.
DOL has also proposed a historic update to protect and strengthen Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rules that will:
• Ramp up enforcement on law-breaking contractors
• Stop wage theft and misclassification
• Implement anti-retaliation protections
• Modernize the process for setting wages to strengthen the wage floor
• Return to the more fair and accurate three-step method in setting wages (a wage rate will be
considered prevailing if it was paid to at least 30 percent of workers)
These updates are ground-breaking and monumental.
For years, hundreds of multi-employer pension funds faced declining status with many on the verge of failing. As part of the American Rescue Plan, Congress provided billions of dollars to shore up those troubled pension funds and protect healthy pension funds. President Biden’s action on a final rule through the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance will further protect the retirement security of millions of Americans including LIUNA retirees, beneficiaries, and members. The White House plan will provide a life-saving transfusion of federal investment for union members’ multiemployer pensions; saving some funds from insolvency caused by forces outside of their control, and ensuring that pension promises will be met. Millions of retirees—including thousands of LIUNA retirees—and beneficiaries can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that they will still receive their full pensions and be able to retire in dignity after a lifetime of hard work.
At the direction of President Biden, the Department of Labor completely rescinded the Trump regulations that allowed for the creation of private industry-controlled apprenticeships called IRAPs. With tens of thousands of letters and emails, Laborers waged a successful effort during the last Administration to block these shoddy programs from being used in construction. IRAPs were, however, approved for other industries. As long as these IRAPs existed there would have been a risk in the future of changes that would allow them to undermine our LIUNA Registered Apprenticeships in the construction sector.
President Biden and Congressional Democrats made historic progress fighting inflation and creating good jobs with passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and the CHIPS Act. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will help reduce inflation by paying down our national debt, lowering energy costs, and lowering healthcare costs. The legislation also invests in energy and for the first-time requires Davis-Bacon prevailing wages and apprenticeship standards for private
developers to qualify for boosted federal energy incentives on wind, solar, advanced nuclear, carbon capture, and energy storage construction projects.
The CHIPS Act addresses long-standing underinvestment in our nation’s manufacturing and research and development capabilities, and strengthens our technology infrastructure. Federal incentives in CHIPS also require prevailing wages when building semiconductor manufacturing plants—ensuring
that the hundreds of thousands of construction jobs created will provide middle-class family-sustaining wages.
Thousands of LIUNA members working under service contracts for the federal government, including many supporting the U.S. military, will benefit from a new $15 per hour wage floor ordered by the Biden Administration. The wage will also be indexed to inflation, so that every year after 2022, wages will be automatically adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of living.
President Biden and Democrats in Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, which led to a drop in the child poverty rate and a reduction in the unemployment rate down to 3.9%—four years faster than projected. The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provided the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever at a time when it was desperately needed. Through investment in the American Rescue Plan, the President launched a historic vaccination program that resulted in more than 200 million Americans fully vaccinated and sent millions of free COVID tests to households that requested them. The President also closed the racial equity gap in COVID vaccinations among adults.
With President’s Biden’s signature and broad bipartisan support, Congress passed the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, which corrects the unfair requirement for the Postal Service to prefund future retirement health benefits. This new law, which also codifies 6 days a week mail delivery, will help bring the Postal Service a step closer to fiscal stability and ensure greater security for the tens of thousands of Mail Handlers, who are members of LIUNA’s affiliated union, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU).