Statement from Iron Workers General President Eric Dean on the Build Back Better Act:
As General President of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, I applaud the U.S. House, Senate and White House negotiators for their agreement on a framework for the Build Back Better Act. This framework represents an historic investment in the well-being of the American working class, and I hope clears the way for the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
The Iron Workers represent 128,000 construction and fabrication workers across North America. President Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda, embodied in both these pieces of legislation, is critical to the future of ironworkers and working families everywhere.
The framework puts domestic manufacturing and construction at the center of our fight against climate change with important investments in the clean energy supply chain and technology. It would provide a ladder of opportunity for good union jobs through its support for registered apprenticeship programs. And it would improve the quality of workers' well-earned retirements by providing hearing coverage through Medicare - vital for industries like construction where noise exposure often leads to hearing loss.
The framework's "pay-fors" correct long-standing injustices. For far too long, major corporations have offshored American jobs while exploiting the tax code to pay nothing in taxes. The framework's corporate minimum tax would ensure that corporations pay their fair share and can't dodge taxes by moving jobs to other countries.
As the text of the Build Back Better Act comes together, the Iron Workers call on its writers to preserve the strong labor standards and important worker protections that they have championed throughout the negotiation process. This framework is a major step forward, and Congress should pass both the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act as soon as each is possible.