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Season 2, Episode 140

Senate Republicans block debate on bipartisan infrastructure bill



Guest Name:

Bill Samuel

Guest Website:


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Supportive Documents:

Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan infrastructure bill from advancing to debate yesterday in the Senate. The sweeping legislation has been a key theme of the Biden administration.

AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director Bill Samuel agrees a sweeping infrastructure bill is needed. Samuel joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the infrastructure bill, the problem with privatizing infrastructure and more.

Getting closer on infrastructure

Samuel is confident President Biden will sign a sweeping infrastructure bill in the near future. Throughout the U.S., roads and bridges are falling apart, and an infrastructure bill would greatly help the middle class who use the infrastructure on a daily basis.

The American Jobs Plan is estimated to put tens of thousands to work on long term projects. Samuel said this will lift people out of poverty by teaching them the skills needed for fruitful careers in the building trades.

Privatizing infrastructure

There is always money to be made in the private industry, which has private investors interested in infrastructure projects. Samuel said this would be horrible for any infrastructure plan, since it privatizes a public investment.

Samuel explained how privatizing American infrastructure would greatly increase overall cost. Public infrastructure can be regulated and standards can be set to ensure only highly trained and highly skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen work on these projects. A privatized system would allow a project owner to determine who works on each project, opening the door for poor labor that will have repercussions down the road, such as fractured bridges and sunken highways.

Warrior Met Coal Strike

The strike continues at an Alabama coal mine, with strike activities spilling onto Wall Street, where Black Rock Fund Advisors hold offices. Black Rock is the hedge fund that owns Warrior Met. The fund is now profitable, but the company continues to hold out on its workers.

Samuel said the workers at Warrior Met have given up plenty over the years in order to keep their jobs. The company told the workers they would be paid back once the company was profitable again, but they are now backpedaling that promise.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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