Laborers president cites critical need for jobs, praises Obama plan

Terry O’Sullivan, general president of LIUNA, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, said President Obama’s job creation plan announced Monday in Milwaukee “is exactly what our nation needs.”

LIUNA represents a half million workers, many of whom work in the construction industry which has been hit hard by the recession. The industry’s unemployment rate stood at 17 percent in August. Minnesota is among the states with the highest percentage of unemployment among construction workers.

“For too long, the basics of America have been allowed to deteriorate, threatening our ability to move goods and people and to compete in the global economy,” O’Sullivan said. “While nations such as China invest upwards of 10 percent of their GDP in new superhighways, bullet trains and other critical infrastructure, the U.S. has fallen behind, investing about 2 percent.

“Meanwhile, 1.5 million men and women in the construction industry who want to go to work today building the basics of our country are jobless.”

Obama’s plan will not only provide jobs, but will help spur a recovery because construction is a key driver in the economy, O’Sullivan said.

“LIUNA looks forward to working with the President and Congress as details of the president’s plan are formed,” he said.

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