FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Jan. 28, 2010
“We are encouraged by President Obama’s focus on jobs and agree that getting people back to work should be our nation’s top priority. With unemployment in double digits, there is no time to waste. But not just any job will do. We need quality jobs that give our families a real shot at a better life, that support our communities and that serve as the solid foundation for a healthy economy.
We need a long-term strategy to create jobs that create real wealth. We’ve seen the devastation of an economy that relies too heavily on artificial wealth created on Wall Street, an economy that has suffered because of the decades’ long decimation of our manufacturing base. It’s urgent that we keep Main Street in mind as we move forward. Our members are losing patience with talk; they desperately want action now.
Reinvesting in clean, efficient and modern domestic manufacturing must be a key part of our nation’s recovery, just as it has been a priority for China, Germany, India, France and other countries. Manufacturing jobs pay 10 to 50 percent more than service sector jobs and every manufacturing job supports five more jobs. Creating 2.5 million new manufacturing jobs in the United States would mean at least $100 billion for our economy over the next decade.
The president did not back down from big ideas and neither should our nation or our elected leaders. Now’s not the time for short-term, piecemeal solutions. We need a sustained strategy for green jobs that are also good jobs right here at home; infrastructure projects that will take us into the next century and encourage long-term investments in our manufacturing base; and health insurance reform that truly lowers costs to help us create jobs, provides quality coverage for all Americans and does not tax anyone’s benefits.
We urge the president and Congress to not let bad trade deals undermine the creation of good jobs. We’ve heard the vow before that trade deals would be good for us. Unfortunately, we’ve felt the pain of those broken promises first-hand. When these agreements are not enforced, it not only costs us millions of good jobs, it’s counterproductive to our commitment to a cleaner environment and human rights worldwide. And it’s deadly for trade unionists in places like Colombia and South Korea.
We need job-creating action that is bold, swift and sustained. The United Steelworkers are ready to roll up our sleeves and help President Obama get our economy back on track by getting Americans back to work. Let’s get started.”