The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers applauds President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address and the clear message of support for organized labor the speech carried.
Our union is proud to count Saria Gwin-Maye, an ironworker from Local Union 44 in Cincinnati, as a 34-year member. Saria was the first building trades unionist to attend a State of the Union in the presidential family section. We are honored by the president’s recognition of Saria and our union in his speech.
Last year, Biden became the first president since FDR to call for a stronger, larger labor movement.
This year, he gave examples of how his administration is making that a reality. His recognition of the Iron Workers Union came as he spoke about the Brent Spence Bridge, a project that will be funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). BIL projects are already employing thousands of tradespeople around the U.S. Our union is working with the administration and state governments to ensure it creates many more union jobs.
The president highlighted other legislative accomplishments. The CHIPS and Science Act, a bipartisan law he signed last year, will fund the growth of semiconductor foundries in our country. These are some of the largest industrial projects on earth and thousands of ironworkers stand to benefit. Biden pointed out more jobs have been created in the first two years of his administration than any other president in four years. This forward-looking industrial policy is a top reason why.
While focusing on his bipartisan accomplishments, Biden acknowledged sometimes Democrats have had to go it alone. The American Rescue Plan, which every Republican in Congress voted against, included long-needed pension relief. Ironworkers from Local 751 in Anchorage, Alaska, won that pension assistance last month, joining Cleveland Iron Workers Local 17, which was awarded pension relief last year. This life-changing help restored the retirement benefits of thousands of ironworkers.
We believe the president’s message was clear. Union ironworkers like Saria will build the years of infrastructure, energy and industrial projects created through the accomplishments of the Biden administration.
In the wake of this State of the Union, we will strap on our tools and get to work.
IW Statement on President Biden's State of the Union