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Confirmation of Secretary Raimondo

Champion of the Working Class to Lead Commerce Department

Washington, D.C. (March 2, 2021) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today:

On behalf of the 500,000 strong, proud, and united men and women of LIUNA, I congratulate Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo on her confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Secretary Raimondo’s outstanding record of job creation, her work with Rhode Island’s building trades unions, and her commitment to strong labor standards make her the ideal choice for this important Cabinet post.

 

Thanks to Secretary Raimondo’s innovative RhodeWorks program, and her strong support of the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, the state’s building trades unemployment rate fell from 40% in 2015 to 10% in 2019. Her unwavering insistence that state-supported alternative energy projects provide middle-class wages and benefits ensured that the green jobs created were also good jobs.

 

Secretary Raimondo also attracted dozens of major employers to Rhode Island as Governor, creating a record number of jobs and achieving the lowest unemployment rate in 30 years. She did all this while protecting low-wage workers, raising the minimum wage four times, and expanding job training to give thousands more Rhode Islanders opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families. Her leadership proves that job growth need not come at the expense of workers, and that strong labor standards need not stand in the way of job creation.

 

Secretary Raimondo’s response to the pandemic has been a model for state and local leaders across the country. She designated building tradespeople front line workers, allowing vital infrastructure projects to move forward, while ensuring the safety of construction workers and the community. When she decided to get ahead of the crisis by building three overflow field hospitals to prepare for any pandemic surges, she entrusted members of LIUNA and other building trades unions with the work, knowing that we would complete the projects in record time.

 

Secretary Raimondo is a true champion of the working class who knows that our nation’s most valuable assets are its working men and women and I am confident she will be a pro-worker, pro-environment, and pro-growth Secretary of Commerce who will help our great nation recover from this pandemic in a way that benefits all Americans. We look forward to working with her in the months and years to come.

 

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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 the United States and Canada.