Minnesota Infrastructure Union: During this pandemic and economic crisis, jobs bill will make a real difference

Oct 15 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2020

Saint Paul, MN – Today, LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota leaders offered the following statements after the Minnesota Senate voted to pass a $1.9 billion infrastructure jobs bill.

Joel Smith, President and Business Manager of LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota said, “Thank you Minnesota Legislature and Governor Walz. Thousands of LIUNA members have been calling on the Legislature for months to put politics aside and vote to build a better Minnesota. We are so grateful to Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Capital Investment Committee Chair Dave Senjem and their Senate DFL colleagues for getting this bill across the finish line. During this pandemic and economic crisis, this construction jobs bill will make a real difference in the lives of working people in the coming months and years.”

“Investing in our state’s infrastructure ensures the safety of our friends and neighbors, and it is the fastest way our state lawmakers are putting Minnesota on the path to economic recovery,” said Sheldon Steele, Business Manager of LIUNA Local 405 (Rochester). “Local laborers look forward to going to work to help repair and upgrade our aging transportation and water infrastructure in Southeast Minnesota.”

“We deserve leaders who will work across party lines to solve problems, and Republican and Democratic state senators who voted in favor of the bonding bill deserve credit and our gratitude for putting the people of Minnesota first,” said Joe Fowler, Business Manager of LIUNA Local 563 (Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro, Mankato & Saint Cloud Areas). “Our building trades brothers and sisters across Minnesota needed this win as the 2020 construction season comes to an end. Thousands of working Minnesotans can look forward to the promise of union jobs that will pay living wages and guarantee healthcare and retirement benefits.”

“Capital investments in Northeast Minnesota are an investment in our local skilled construction Laborers and our area’s future,” said Dan Olson, Business Manager of LIUNA Local 1091 (Duluth-Superior, Northeast Minnesota). “Over $125 million of this bonding bill will be used to fix our water systems, enhance public safety and make upgrades to the Duluth Seawall and Lakewalk projects.”

“We greatly appreciate the Republican and Democratic state senators who chose to put their differences aside and reach an agreement to make an historic investment in local jobs and projects,” said Shawn Braford, Business Manager of LIUNA Local 1097 (Iron Range and Northern Minnesota). “Our members on the Iron Range have been looking for our state lawmakers to fulfill their promise and responsibility to create jobs and help stimulate our economy. Today, we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that family-supporting jobs are on the way.”