Martinez Talks Jobs, Trade and Pensions with Congressional Blue Collar Caucus

IAM International President Bob Martinez joined other labor leaders Tuesday on Capitol Hill to discuss the need for good job opportunities and pension security for today’s workforce during a listening session with the Congressional Blue Collar Caucus.

The caucus wanted to hear from labor leaders on their ideas on ways to shape policy that will positively affect working families. Areas of discussion included U.S. trade policy, wage stagnation, offshoring and lack of career opportunities in manufacturing and building trades.

“We are willing to work with anyone, regardless of political party, if they work to bring jobs back to the United States and strengthen the jobs that are still here,” said Martinez. “The American worker is in desperate need of policy that keeps them on a level playing field with foreign competitors. Right now they are being undercut by bad trade deals that are crippling manufacturing in this country.”

“We must work to protect the pensions that workers have bargained for,” said Martinez. “Supporting the Keep Our Pensions Promises Act is a step in the right direction. Retirement security is what Americans work for and what they deserve.”

“This listening session is the first of many efforts by the Blue Collar Caucus to engage with labor leaders and hear firsthand about the current challenges their membership face,” said caucus co-chair Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX). “From protecting hard earned pensions to ensuring that infrastructure and highway legislation accounts for the needs of blue collar Americans, members of the Blue Collar Caucus are committed to fighting for the best interests of the American worker.”

“To convincingly speak on behalf of workers, we must first listen to them, engage with them, and ultimately stand with them,” said Blue Collar Caucus co-chair Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA). “We must earn their trust back through words and actions. We’re eager to get to work.”

Formed in December 2016, the Blue Collar Caucus is focused on generating solutions that will put American workers on a level playing field with global competition, maintain the viability of domestic manufacturing and help cultivate innovative industries that can provide stable employment amid rapid technological advancement.

The meeting was the first of many listening sessions the caucus intends to hold.