BAC Journal > State of the Union Address Promises More Work, Better Conditions for BAC Members

State of the Union Address Promises More Work, Better Conditions for BAC Members

In the two years since President Joe Biden took office, his administration has spearheaded some of the most positive developments for working people since the New Deal. From the pension relief of the American Rescue Plan, to the strengthening of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, to the massive infrastructure investments of the 2021 infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden Administration has been committed to creating jobs and raising standards for working Americans. Last night’s State of the Union address showed that he has no plans to stop.

During the speech, President Biden put unions and American workers front and center. “For too long, workers have been getting stiffed,” he said. “Not anymore. We’re beginning to restore the dignity of work.” 

“I am so sick and tried of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing,” President Biden continued, urging Congress to “pass the PRO Act, because all workers have a right to form a union.” 

“And let’s guarantee all workers a living wage. Let’s also make sure working parents can afford to raise a family with sick days, paid family and medical leave, and affordable childcare, that will enable millions more people to go to work,” President Biden stressed. “When we do all of these things, we increase productivity. We increase economic growth.” 

President Biden also highlighted the importance for the government to ‘Buy American.’ “Buy American has been the law of the land since 1933. But for too long, past administrations have found ways to get around it. Not anymore,” he said. “Tonight, I’m also announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America.”

A President That Puts Workers First

Since taking office, President Biden worked with Congress to pass key legislation that invests in worker communities:

  • The American Rescue Plan protects pensions for millions of retirees, including BAC members. 
  • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 will address the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges and invest in airports, railways, and other necessary improvements; all while requiring the vast majority of contractors pay the prevailing rate for the region, supporting the workers and the local communities. 
  • The Inflation Reduction Act includes strong labor protections, including $300 billion in tax credits to help ensure workers on clean energy projects receive fair wages and benefits and that apprenticeship programs play a crucial role on renewable sector jobsites. These tax credits make it a major incentive for contractors to pay their workers the prevailing, union rate. 

On top of these achievements, unemployment is now at the lowest percentage in over half a century. 

“President Biden continues to prove he is the most pro-labor President in recent history,” said BAC International President Tim Driscoll. “He does not shy away from labor issues, and seeks to ease workers’ struggles. No matter his audience, he consistently proclaims that unions are the best way to ensure fair wages, and safe jobsites. We look forward to continuing to work with him to pass, among other things, the PRO Act and Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act.”

joe biden sotu 2023