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LIUNA’s O’Sullivan on Infrastructure Week Kickoff

“It’s Time to Stop Talking and Start Doing, It’s Time for This Nation to Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is – It’s Time to Build”

Washington, D.C. (May 14, 2018) – In kick-off remarks for Infrastructure Week, LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan called for the use of every resource available to begin to repair the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure.

The 6th annual National Infrastructure Week includes media outreach, education and advocacy to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting the U.S. economy, society, security and future.

“We support any and all sources of funding that will create good-paying, family-supporting, middle class jobs building and repairing America’s infrastructure,” O’Sullivan said at the week’s first event, a panel titled “The United State of Infrastructure: Business, Labor and Building America’s Economy.”

O’Sullivan said that bonding, user fees, public-private partnerships and direct federal investment will be required in order to have world-class transportation systems and water and energy resources.

“We support … whatever it takes, as long as it includes protections for workers and communities,” he said, noting that the American Society of Civil Engineers has for several years graded the country’s infrastructure a D+. “I don’t know about you, but when I brought home a D+, I knew there would be hell to pay because my parents knew I could do better. Well, America can do better.”

While infrastructure is about urgently needed physical structures, O’Sullivan said it is also about much more.

“It’s about building better lives for ourselves and our families, and it’s about leaving behind structures and systems that will be there for future generations, just as those who came before us left behind the highways, bridges, tunnels, waterways, power grids and other infrastructure we rely on today.”

The panel included recorded remarks from Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the Chamber.

“Whatever our differences in other areas, all of us here today, from labor and management, from the public and private sectors, are united in our concern about America’s crumbling infrastructure and in our demand for much greater investment,” said O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan noted that too many projects never become reality because of regulatory hurdles and abuse, and praised the Administration for working to streamline the permitting process.

O’Sullivan applauded the Infrastructure Week focus, but added, “We shouldn’t have to have an Infrastructure Week every year to remind lawmakers about the importance of this issue. Working men and women across the country and their employers know how important this issue is because they must cope with it every single day.”

LIUNA’s membership, predominantly in the construction industry, has helped build virtually every piece of the nation’s existing infrastructure and O’Sullivan said laborers and other trades workers “are ready, willing and eager” to again “do our part for this great nation.”

He concluded his remarks by saying, “It’s time to stop talking and start doing. It’s time for this nation to put its money where its mouth is. It’s time to build.”

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The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.