LIUNA Leaders From Across US Lobby Congress

This week, nearly 100 leaders of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America –spread out across Capitol Hill, and visited 200 Congressional offices as part of the North American Building Trades Union Legislative Conference. Participants, who represent workers predominantly in the construction industry, discussed key issues, including:

– Defending the family-supporting Davis-Bacon Act, which protects workers and taxpayers by preventing tax money from being used to drive down living and construction standards on federal projects.

– Supporting the jobs-creating clean energy boom driven by the use of natural gas as a bridge fuel to renewable energy forms. Leaders told members of Congress that natural gas extraction and pipeline work is a lifeline to the middle-class for thousands of workers, while also reducing climate-changing carbon emissions.

– Repealing the so-called “Cadillac tax,” which unfairly undermines the healthcare plans of millions of Americans. Late last year, Congress passed a delay in the 40-percent tax, which employers and health fund officials predict would ultimately effect 82 percent of healthcare plans, driving up costs and reducing coverage.

– Blocking premium increases for the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. The increases, rather than strengthening pension plans, will weaken healthy plans and further damage struggling plans. In 2014, Congress hiked the premium by more than 100 percent and it is expected that the PBGC will ask for another increase.

– Increasing investment in the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure, including in water resources and transportation. Leaders urged members of Congress to build on the multi-year Highway Bill passed in 2015 to fix the nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems. They pressed members to increase investment in water resources, including waterways used for transportation and energy, and investment to improve the supply of safe drinking water.

Fixing our roads and bridges, ensuring an adequate energy infrastructure, defending healthcare and pensions, and enacting comprehensive immigration reform are not partisan problems. The people expect members of Congress to do their jobs and address these issues.

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