"On behalf of the skilled craft professionals that comprise America's Building Trades Unions, I offer our heartfelt congratulations to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on their historic re-election.
I also offer our prayers for the President and the Vice President as they begin the process of governing and moving our nation forward with an "invest in America" strategy that seeks to build our country from the middle out and rehabilitate and rebuild recently devastated areas that need our help.
Over the past four years, America’s Building Trades Unions have lamented the toxic nature of our politics that sought to win the latest news cycle but rarely put the needs of constituents ahead of political party goals. With yet another convincing general election victory, President Obama correctly pointed out that the American people decisively 'voted for action, not politics as usual……it's about your jobs, not ours.'
America’s Building Trades Unions could not agree more. Exit polling clearly demonstrated that the economy swamped every other issue in this election and voters expect action and responsible leadership. The men and women of America's Building Trades Unions, who have had to endure unemployment rates that far exceed the national average, are no different.
In that context, this election should be viewed as a repudiation of craven, special interest-driven partisan gridlock, as well as "race to the bottom" tactics and extreme views that only seek to divide an electorate and grind the peoples’ business to a halt in order to advance narrow agendas and political goals. We saw in races throughout the country that voters want and expect more. Voters want time spent on solving problems, not rehashing old fights on issues long settled such as infrastructure investments, prevailing wages, project labor agreements, workforce development, and health and retirement security.
America’s Building Trades Unions hope that public servants in both parties see fit to finally address the pressing needs in this country in a balanced and responsible way that allows for a level playing field, is devoid of raw political motivation, and instead is fueled by what best unites us and makes us stronger as a nation; now and in the years ahead.
Struggling families have waited long enough for elected officials to demonstrate leadership and there is much to be done. We are hopeful that this election is a clear expression of the direction the nation wants to go and as President Obama said last night, America can only move forward when we return to the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope. This will require leadership in both parties and a renewed dedication to bipartisanship. America's Building Trades Unions have always subscribed to that approach to representative democracy, and today we urge our nation's leaders, particularly the Republican leadership in the US House and US Senate, to reject self interested political calculations that for far too long have created gridlock and prevented our nation from moving forward in a balanced way that ensures shared prosperity and access to opportunity.
As the President said last night, we are an American family. And just like America’s Building Trades Unions, our American family is growing in strength and diversity— men, women, Latinos, African Americans, young, old, military veterans and other civic minded individuals that remain engaged and committed to our democratic process and believe in the communities in which we work and live. America’s Building Trades unions remain at the ready to do our part as we continue to move forward with this great nation’s recovery.