In another win for American workers, the Biden administration has awarded $7 billion to build seven regional clean hydrogen hubs. These critical infrastructure projects will create tens of thousands of good paying jobs, including many for Operating Engineers and other skilled union trades.
Funded through President Joe Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this is one of the largest investments in American manufacturing in history. This investment will strengthen local economies, create high-quality jobs, and help build healthier communities.
The seven selected projects are:
Appalachian Hydrogen Hub (West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania). This H2Hub is anticipated to create more than 21,000 direct jobs, including more than 18,000 in construction and more than 3,000 permanent jobs.
California Hydrogen Hub (California). This H2Hub has committed to requiring Project Labor Agreements for all projects connected to the hub, which will expand opportunities for disadvantaged communities and create an expected 220,000 direct jobs—130,000 in construction jobs and 90,000 permanent jobs.
Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub (Texas). This Gulf Coast Hub is expected to create approximately 45,000 direct jobs—35,000 in construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs.
Heartland Hydrogen Hub (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota). The Heartland Hydrogen Hub anticipates creating upwards of 3,880 direct jobs–3,067 in construction jobs and 703 permanent jobs.
Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey) The Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub plans to negotiate Project Labor Agreements for all projects and provide close to $14 million for regional Workforce Development Boards that will serve as partners for community college training and pre-apprenticeships. This H2Hub anticipates creating 20,800 direct jobs—14,400 in construction jobs and 6,400 permanent jobs.
Midwest Hydrogen Hub (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan) The Midwest Hydrogen Hub anticipates creating 13,600 direct jobs—12,100 in construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.
Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (Washington, Oregon, Montana) The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub has committed to negotiating Project Labor Agreements for all projects over $1 million and investing in joint labor-management/state-registered apprenticeship programs. This H2Hub is expected to create more than 10,000 direct jobs—8,050 in construction jobs and 350 permanent jobs.
President Joe Biden continues to deliver for American workers and the Operating Engineers.
Engineers Action and Response Network (EARN)
To: All U.S. Business Managers
From: James T. Callahan, General President
Re: Treasury Department Report on Benefits of Unions to the U.S. Economy
The Biden administration, through the Treasury Department, issued the first-of-its- kind report and confirmed what the Operating Engineers and organized labor have always known: strong unions benefit all workers, not only union members, and contribute to a more robust and resilient economy. The new report from the Treasury Department outlines the important role unions play in addressing the challenges faced by the American middle class by:
- Raising the wages of union members by about 20 percent across the economy compared to non-union workers. For the construction industry, the “union difference” is even bigger! In 2022, workers represented by construction unions earned $1,319 a week compared to weekly earnings of $976 for non- union workers. That’s a dramatic difference of over 35%!
- Improving fringe benefits like health care and retirement, as well as workplace procedures, such as grievance policies and predictable scheduling. Delivering health care benefits for union members and their families reduces the “army of the uninsured” and keeps working people from relying on taxpayer-supported health care.
- Creating a fairer economy that reduces inequality. As unionization has gone down since the 1950s, inequality has gone up. Unions also promote equality through anti-discrimination policy and setting wages without regard to race, sex, or other potential biases.
- Generating “spillover effects” that extend well beyond union workers. Competition means workers at nonunionized firms see increased wages too. Unions advocate for workplace safety and other public policies (like Davis- Bacon prevailing wages) that can pull up standards in whole industries.
The AFL-CIO and labor friendly think tanks have been promoting the benefits of unions for generations, but having the credibility of the Department of Treasury advocate for unions supports our cause. It is another demonstration of President Biden making good on his commitment to be the most pro-union president in American history.
Polling by the AFL-CIO also shows that unions have over a 70% approval rating with the general public, and 88% of workers under 30 support unions. It truly is a great time for the Operating Engineers to seize the moment.
IUOE Applauds the Biden Administration’s Leadership to Update Prevailing Wage Rules
WASHINGTON, DC — The following statement was issued by James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers, in support of the Department of Labor’s final rule to update Davis-Bacon Act regulations:
“The Operating Engineers applaud the Biden administration for taking decisive action to reduce rampant wage theft from workers on federal construction projects. Thousands of workers are cheated every year on projects funded by taxpayers. In 2017 alone, nearly 8,000 workers were victims of wage theft. Stealing workers’ wages also harms the federal taxpayer and the community where the project is located.
It must stop.
The system of Davis-Bacon prevailing wages is one of the key pillars that created the great American middle class. Unfortunately, years of neglect and systematic attacks chipped away at that pillar, making it weaker and weaker.
The Biden administration’s update and modernization of the regulations will turn the corner. Updating Davis-Bacon Act regulations will strengthen the middle class. It will improve enforcement, reduce cheating, and ensure taxpayers obtain the quality craftmanship that they deserve. In short, it protects taxpayers.
The timing is critical. It has been 40 years since DOL last updated the regulations. With the once-in-a-generation Biden infrastructure law generating record employment in construction, surpassing 7.9 million construction jobs for the first time in American history, modernizing the rules to reduce fraud will improve integrity of the billions of dollars of construction activity funded by the federal government.
Operating Engineers look forward to rebuilding America with an updated prevailing wage regulation. Thank you, President Biden and Vice President Harris, for this overdue modernization of a key law for construction workers and this pillar of the American middle class.”
The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) represents over 400,000 working people across the United States and Canada. Members of the IUOE are primarily operating engineers, who work as heavy equipment and crane operators, pipeliners, mechanics, and surveyors in the construction industry, and stationary engineers, who work in operations and maintenance in building and industrial complexes.
It is a great time to be an Operating Engineer. Construction employment is at an all-time high at 7.9 million and overall job numbers are at historic levels. There are job opportunities for Operating Engineers in every state in the nation. President Biden has secured more jobs and better wages for Americans, and he has delivered for Operating Engineers.
Securing passage of the landmark $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Transformational in its size and scope, the law delivers for Operating Engineers, their families, and millions of working people across the nation.
Passing the American Rescue Plan which pulled the country out of the COVID pandemic, reduced poverty, restored the hospitality industry, saved the multiemployer pension system, supported our public employers, modernized schools, and enhanced energy-efficiency in places all around the country.
Leading on an all-of-the-above energy policy in the Inflation Reduction Act, investing in carbon capture to keep fossil fuels a vital part of the economy, sustaining nuclear energy, and promoting renewable forms of energy through tax credits that for the first time requires the use of apprentices and payment of prevailing wages.
Bringing American manufacturing back and making us competitive again by enacting a new industrial policy through the CHIPS and Science Act that secures essential components in the supply chain and restores American leadership in semiconductor manufacturing.
For these reasons and more, Delegates to the 40th General Convention of the International Union of Operating Engineers unanimously endorsed President Joe Biden for re-election. Click here for more information about how Biden is delivering for Operating Engineers.
It's your choice. Your vote. But if you are voting union, the choice is Biden.
How you vote is a personal decision. The International Union of Operating Engineers has taken the time to research the candidates’ record on the issues that matter most to the pocketbooks of members of the IUOE. Please consider the recommendation of the IUOE when in the privacy of the voting booth.
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