Building trades rally April 18 will focus on jobs, infrastructure

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Building Trades RallyMissouri Gov. Jay Nixon will discuss jobs and infrastructure when he speaks at a rally April 18 at the Hilton at the Ballpark to support the future of energy infrastructure, the Keystone XL Pipeline and other job-creating infrastructure and building projects.

The rally, sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute and hosted by the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council and the Missouri Petroleum Council is open to every union tradesman and woman and all of labor in St. Louis and Southern Illinois.

“This rally is all about jobs,” Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council said. “We’re seeing some positives that we haven’t seen in a while. There are jobs, literally, in the pipeline.”

In addition to Nixon, speakers will include Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, Senator Ryan McKenna (D-Crystal City), Brent Booker, secretary-treasurer of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO and Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute.

Event check-in begins at 4 p.m. Speakers will take the stage from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Entertainment and refreshments will be provided free of charge for union members from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

JOBS IN THE PIPELINE

The Keystone XL pipeline will transport oil and natural gas from Canada, Montana and the Dakotas to refineries in the gulf coast. Construction unions negotiated a Project Labor Agreement for the pipeline, which is expected to employ several thousand workers.

Closer to home, Enbridge Inc.’s Flanagan South Pipeline Project a portion of which will run through northeast and west central Missouri, will also be on the agenda for discussion.

The Flanagan South Pipeline will run approximately 600 miles from Flanagan, Ill., to Cushing, Okla., creating 1,100 jobs during the peak of construction in late 2013.

“Gov. Jay Nixon has made it clear that pipeline work that goes on in Missouri should be built by union tradesmen,” Aboussie said. “The petroleum industry is definitely on our side,” Aboussie said. “They’ve negotiated project labor agreements for these pipelines, whether it be Enbridge or Keystone. They are big proponents on the value of union construction.”

TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS

Organizers also plan to discuss the Missouri Senate’s approval of a proposed temporary 1 cent sales tax increase for a roads, bridges and other transportation projects The proposal, which is expected to raise nearly $8 billion over a decade, would require voter approval to enact.

BEYOND INFRASTRUCTURE

Beyond infrastructure, the long-awaited Ballpark Village is also getting underway. The $100 million first phase calls for two buildings and a canopied space, with a total of 100,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment outlets to open by spring 2014.

For more information on the rally, contact Aboussie at 314-647-0628.

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