Transportation Procurements Must Maximize U.S. Job Creation
WASHINGTON, DC—The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) is officially partnering with the Jobs to Move America Coalition, a group that brings together labor and non-labor advocacy groups to pursue rail car and bus procurement policies that boost American manufacturing jobs.
The coalition, led by Los Angeles-based LAANE, brings together the AFL-CIO, TTD and several member unions, and other nonprofits to also push for local procurement policies that connect veterans and people living in disadvantaged communities to middle-class jobs.
“Transportation labor has long been an advocate for strong Buy America policies. Unfortunately, those policies do not go far enough in leveraging our federal transportation dollars to give America the biggest bang for its buck,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind. For example, in July 2012 San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit purchased 775 new rail cars from a foreign company. “Yes, the bid technically complied with Buy America laws requiring at least 65 percent domestic content,” said Wytkind. “But a competing bid from a U.S. company to provide the cars with 95 percent domestic content was left on the table, and 3,000 new jobs left along with it.”
Under LAANE’s U.S. employment plan created with the help of leading economists, veterans groups, communities and labor, transit agencies can offer voluntary incentives that reward companies bidding in public procurements if they bring jobs back to U.S. shores.
“At a time when transportation authorities and the federal government are on the verge of spending billions to replace aging rail cars and buses, and Americans need access to good jobs, we must pursue smart procurement strategies,” said Wytkind. “This initiative is a no-brainer—it accomplishes what Americans support: using U.S. public investments to put Americans to work.”
The Jobs to Move America Coalition policy statement was one of 10 approved today by TTD’s Executive Committee at its fall meeting. All 10 can be found on TTD.org.
CONTACT: Jennifer Michels, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.628.9262, 703.395.2195