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Steelworkers Support 'Invest In American Jobs Act'

Mon, 12/19/2011 - 8:06am

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stan Johnson, International Secretary-Treasurer of the United Steelworkers (USW), today announced the union's support of newly introduced Senate legislation to revitalize American manufacturing through federal transportation and infrastructure investments.

Johnson joined U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) at the 31st Street Bridge in Pittsburgh to announce the introduction in the Senate of the "Invest in American Jobs Act of 2011." It is a companion bill to legislation introduced earlier in the month in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.), the ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

"All of us here share the same goal - to grow manufacturing in America," Johnson said in support of the bill introduced on Saturday, Dec. 17, and co-sponsored by Casey and two Democratic colleagues, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) "Right now creating good jobs matters more than ever before, as the American people continue to face high unemployment levels with millions Americans out of work or underemployed."

The Invest in American Jobs Act of 2011 strengthens Buy America preferences for investments in transportation and infrastructure to put Americans back to work. The bill would ensure that all of the steel, iron and manufactured goods used to construct these taxpayer-financed projects are produced in the United States.

"We are still in a jobs crisis and we need to use our taxpayer dollars wisely to create as many jobs in America as possible, including good manufacturing jobs," Johnson said. "That's a goal the American public strongly supports because people know manufacturing is the best engine for economic growth. This bill just does that."

Every $1 billion invested in our nation's infrastructure creates or sustains 18,000 jobs, according to a study sponsored by the Alliance for American manufacturing. Johnson said that number expands by 33 percent if strong Buy America preferences are added.

Buy America preferences boost the nation's economy overall since taxpayer dollars would be spent in America for American products, rather than putting people to work in foreign countries.

"It's just plain common sense," Johnson said. "If you require public works projects to use iron, steel and manufactured goods made in America you'll save and create more jobs for workers right here in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

"We at the USW are very pleased to see this bold effort. Let's get to work and make it in America and get our country growing again."

The United Steelworkers (USW) is the largest manufacturing union in North America, representing 850,000 workers who make steel, tires, glass, paper and numerous other products.

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