Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers (USW), issued
the following statement after President Obama’s jobs address to the joint
session of Congress on Thursday.
“President Obama has made it clear to us that job creation is his top
priority—now it needs to become one for this Congress. Unemployment is stuck
near double-digits and the economy stagnant. We need action now. Inaction is
“Calling Congress into a joint session signals that this isn't business as
usual. Quick and decisive action is necessary to begin to restore our
economy by rebuilding our manufacturing capacity through important
investments in our country and our people as proposed by the President. The
billions of infrastructure investments announced by the President will drive
new jobs in manufacturing. He is right in saying that the next generation of
manufacturing must be Made in America.
“The American Jobs Act is a promising tool to restore confidence that our
government will act to ignite economic growth, reduce our unemployment rate,
and provide sustainable good jobs. It will put money in the pockets of
working Americans, grow manufacturing, return teachers to classrooms hit by
budget cuts, and cut taxes for small business.
“The roll out is a bold jobs plan to establish a national infrastructure
bank, reshape the tax code, refocus of the trade agenda, provide new federal
loan guarantees for energy projects and to promote infrastructure project
for schools, rail, airports, bridges and roads.
“For this plan to work, the most prosperous individuals and corporations
must pay their fair share and the benefits delivered by social programs such
as Medicare and Social Security must be continued to be efficiently
“We call on Republicans to join the Democrats’ lead on the jobs plan and
abandon their confrontational obstructionist tactics. We need to put America
back on track. USW members will do their part and make their voices heard in
support of the Administration’s plan.”