National Labor Coalition For Public Works Jobs
Los Angeles , National Labor Coalition For Public Works Jobs
Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act
H.R. 950, the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997
H.R. 950 was introduced in the 105th Congress on March 5, 1997 by Congressman Matthew Martinez of California. It had 33 co-sponsors. The primary purpose of this emergency federal jobs legislation was to provide much needed jobs at union wages to crisis ridden cities by putting the unemployed to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure (schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, parks, environmental improvements, etc. $250 billion is authorized for emergency public works jobs over a five year period.
Congressman Martinez had previously introduced this bill in the last Congress (as HR 1591) at the the request of over 50 prominent Labor leaders who formed the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, which is why it is often referred to as the "Martinez Public Works Jobs Bill."
- This is the most significant jobs legislation introduced in Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal established the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This bill is the WPA-type program for today. It has strong provisions which will put hundreds of thousands of unemployed building trades workers to work as well as provide jobs for victims of plant closures, welfare recipients who are parents, youth, and the long term unemployed. The public works projects which will be established under this bill will be built in communities with the highest levels of unemployment and with the greatest needs.
- The goal of the New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs is to build the movement to pass the Martinez Jobs bill as part of the National Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs. You can help by asking your union, community organization, or local government body to to join those who have already passed resolutions to endorse the bill. Such a resolution has been introduced in the New York City Council. Calling on additional Congressional Representatives to co-sponsor the bill is very important. We will be organizing petition campaigns, visits to elected officials, and demonstrations and other actions for a public works jobs program.
The main provisions of H.R. 950 were:
- $250 billion for jobs and restoring infrastructure. Emergency grants to local governments of $25 billion over 3 years for construction, repair and renovation of public works projects. $225 billion over 5 years for jobs in community improvement projects - schools, housing, hospitals, parks, bridges, highways and transportation facilities, environmental improvements, etc.)
- This bill protects workers' rights. It includes Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, equal opportunity employment, and provides for job safety and a healthful work environment. Union apprenticeship training will be provided to new (especially young) workers.
- A very significant provision is that public authorities shall, as a first option, seek Project Agreements with Building Trade Councils having jurisdiction. Project agreements are one of the most effective organizing tools for the Building Trades Unions. This has the advantage of bringing the combined strength of all the affiliated unions to bear on a single project, being far more effective than each union acting alone. Project agreements have become the way for Building Trades Councils throughout the country. No other bill with this provision has ever come before Congress!
- Jobs are prioritized to unemployed building trades workers, workers who have lost their jobs due to plant or base closures, welfare recipients who are parents, youth who live in communities with the highest levels of youth unemployment.
- Public Works Projects and Community Improvement Projects are prioritized for communities and areas which suffer the highest levels of unemployment.
- $45 billion is designated for repair and renovation of schools, including elementary, secondary and higher learning institutions.
Bill co - sponsors
- Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
- Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY)
- Rep. Ron Dellums (D-CA)
- Rep. Esteban Torres (D-CA)
- Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA)
- Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
- Rep. Robert Rush (D-IL)
- Rep. Tom Foglietta (D-PA)
- Rep. Thomas Manton (D-NY)
- Rep. Major Owens (D-NY)
- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
- Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
- Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
- Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)
- Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
- Rep. Floyd H. Flake (D-NY)
- Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
- Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
- Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ)
- Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
- Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-NY)
- Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
- Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY)
- Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
- Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA)
- Rep. George Brown D-CA)
- Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CN)
- Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ)
- Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL)
- Rep. Julia Dixon (D-CA)
- Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY)*
- Rep. Bernie Sanders (Ind-VT)
- Rep. James McGovern (D-MA)