Hoffa: Fund Rail, Infrastructure Repair to Create Good Jobs

Jun 24, 2010, 12:30 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Teamsters Support Emphasis on Repairing Roads, Public Transportation

WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today called on Congress to stress road and bridge repair and public transit expansion in the next federal highway bill.

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Hoffa noted an Economic Policy Institute (EPI) study shows that building public transportation, including rail, generates 31 percent more jobs than new construction of roads and bridges.  The study also concluded that repair work on roads and bridges creates 16 percent more jobs than new construction of roads and bridges.

EPI released the study, "The job impact of transportation reauthorization," today. It analyzed a funding proposal by Transportation for America that emphasized maintenance and retrofits of existing infrastructure and adequate public transportation. Transportation for America is a transportation-reform coalition that advocates sufficient funds for new highway capacity along with money for repairs and public transit, which are more labor-intensive parts of the transportation system.

"This study shows why America needs a new direction in our transportation policy," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "Cleaner and smarter transportation investments will create millions of good-paying quality jobs and put our nation on a path to a lasting economic recovery."

According to EPI, the Transportation for America proposal would yield 400,000 more jobs over six years than the current mix of transportation spending. The EPI study found that a proposed $500 billion transportation bill could support more than 7.2 million jobs.

Most of those jobs, EPI concluded, would help people hardest hit by the economic recession. Eight in 10 of the jobs would be filled by people without a four-year college degree. A higher percentage of union jobs would also be created – 15 percent vs. 12 percent in the overall economy.  

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters