Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, made his monthly appearance on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the federal infrastructure bill and the need to expand its provisions with AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc.
U.S. Senators are wrapping up a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and should soon vote on the legislation.
Hager said $1 trillion is just a drop in the bucket, as much more is needed when it comes to schools, housing and research facilities.
He discussed the ongoing disconnect between the two major political parties over the definition of infrastructure. Republicans want to focus on roads and bridges, but Democrats want to expand the definition to include offices, manufacturing facilities and research centers. Many Democrats believe broadband internet expansion and childcare support should be considered infrastructure as well.
Besides infrastructure, Hager talked about his optimism for pro-union language such as Prevailing Wage to be included in the infrastructure bill. He is also excited to see positive polling come out about the PRO Act. He pointed out that in a recent poll, 87 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of Republicans are in favor of the legislation, according to research from Hart Research Associates.
He pointed out that one only needs to look close to home to see how union membership is building futures for families by pulling people out of poverty and into the middle class. The PRO Act is good for unions and great for the middle class.
Lastly, Hager spoke about construction projects in Central Ohio.
He is optimistic about an upcoming $365 million pharmaceutical packaging facility in New Albany. There are incredible work opportunities for this project and other projects in central Ohio, he stated.
Huge solar field projects are also coming to Ohio, as he expects a need for an additional 500 to 1,000 electricians.
Listen to the entire interview.