AFL-CIO Announces Major Investment in Infrastructure

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The AFL-CIO on June 28 announced a major "commitment to action" to bring public and private partners together to encourage both workers' capital and skilled labor to promote large-scale investments in America's infrastructure.

This pioneering commitment, which was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Chicago, seeks to create good jobs, and to address our public infrastructure deficit and the threats to the environment and our economy posed by the way we use energy. AFT president Randi Weingarten was among the labor leaders on hand for the announcement, which was made to 700 leaders from businesses, nonprofits and government at the opening session of the meeting. (Watch video of President Clinton announcing the initiative.)

As part of its commitment, the AFL-CIO will work with business and government to promote infrastructure investment with a goal of at least $10 billion in new funding over the next five years. Union movement-affiliated funds also will invest at least $20 million in the next year in energy-efficient retrofits of commercial, industrial and public buildings. As a first step, the AFL-CIO is immediately soliciting bids to conduct an energy-efficient retrofit of its Washington, D.C., headquarters.

Unions also will train 40,000 new apprentices in specialty welding and other new, green technologies required in 21st-century construction, and will provide skill upgrades and certifications for 100,000 midcareer construction workers over the next year.

Said AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka: "We at the AFL-CIO believe that together, with our partners in business and government, we can profitably invest at least $10 billion in workers' capital over the next five years in public infrastructure projects to make America more competitive and energy-efficient." [AFL-CIO Now]

June 30, 2011