Jobs bill would put $250 billion into rebuilding America
July/August 1997

The National Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs was formed by labor leaders in Los Angeles to push for emergency jobs legislation at the Federal level to provide much-needed jobs at union wages by putting people to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure (schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, etc.)

They succeeded in getting the Martinez Public Works and Jobs Bill, H.R. 950, "The Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997" introduced by Congressman Matthew Martinez (D-CA). It is cosponsored by over 41 Congresspeople.

The bill provides $250 billion for jobs and restoring infrastructure, $25 billion a year in emergency grants to local governments for construction, repair and renovation of public works projects, $225 billion over 5 years for jobs in community improvement projects--schools, housing, hospitals, parks, bridges, highways, environmental improvements, etc. The Federal government spends approximately $100 billion a year on corporate welfare.

The bill provides for Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, equal opportunity employment, job safety provisions and provides for union apprenticeship training for young workers. It requires that public authorities getting contracts for each specific construction project seek a project agreement with building trade council's in the area of the project.

Jobs are prioritized to unemployed building trades workers, workers who have lost their jobs due to plant or base closures, welfare recipients who are parents, youth who live in communities with high levels of youth unemployment.

Forty-five billion is designated for repair and renovation of elementary, secondary, and higher learning institutions.

"This bill is unprecedented in what it will do to build the ranks of organized labor and in rebuilding our nation's hard hit communities," according to the coalition. "This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be introduced to Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, which established the Works Progress Administration, unemployment insurance, and social security."

Call your Congressional representatives and ask them to sign on to this bill.

For more information, contact: Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, 10241 Paramount Blvd., Downey, CA 90241.

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