Washington, D.C.– March 11, 2019 – Today, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) issued the following statement from President Sean McGarvey touting the steady growth of U.S. union construction active membership:
“Growth in union construction membership continues to be an underreported story. Last year, our unions gained over 70,000 active new members, continuing a growth trend with a net gain of active membership reaching approximately 375,000 since the last recession. In fact, some affiliates have surpassed their all-time active membership highs. Just as important, union construction work hours for all members from apprentice to journey-level continue to grow.
“Our members are building and maintaining all manner of our nation’s infrastructure including America’s energy sector which has seen positive growth for our members in oil and gas in particular, announcing this past week that the United States is set to surpass Saudi Arabia in oil and gas exports this year. Additionally, our unparalleled apprenticeship training and education model to increase safety, skill and productivity has exceeded the highest level of new registered apprentices in 10 years, and we have further committed to train over 250,000 new apprentices in the next five years. Our 150 thriving apprenticeship readiness programs continue to flourish throughout the country, graduating thousands of students, a clear majority of whom are women and minorities. Moreover, our Helmets to Hardhats program keeps placing thousands of military veterans into membership and jobs every year.
“Growth in union membership in the construction trades means hundreds of thousands of families securely in the middle class. What is good news for the building trades is good news for the entire labor movement and for the prospects and prosperity of America’s middle class. We now turn our attention to lawmakers at the federal, state and local level who, in order for our continued growth and economic development to not be deterred, must commit to enacting broad-based, aggressive investment strategies prioritizing American infrastructure. We hope these recent labor reports will push Congress, the Administration and state legislatures to pass the much-needed and past-due robust infrastructure packages.”