Michael McDermott, Business Manager
Setting a Top-Down, Pro-Worker, Pro-Union Tone in Minnesota
The opportunity to bask in the glow of appreciation for working people does not come often, particularly in the presence of high-ranking elected officials, including the President of the United States.
But that’s where Duluth, Minn., Local 242 President Kyle Bukovich found himself on March 2 at the University of Wisconsin-Superior with President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith (both from Minnesota), and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.
“It was great to be in the same room to be with so many legislators and elected officials who fully support unions and the working class,” said Bukovich, who was joined by Duluth Local 31 Business Representative Kristin Renskers. “It doesn’t happen a lot in this day and age.
The day after the State of the Union Speech, President Biden’s trip to the Duluth area highlighted the assistance the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will bring to the port city on the shores of Lake Superior, where the massive 61-year-old Blatnik bridge hangs in deteriorating condition. One of the two main bridges that connects Duluth and Superior, Wis., the Blatnik is 1.5 miles long and rises 120 feet from the edge of Lake Superior over the cities’ twin ports.
Bukovich, who is also president of Northern Wisconsin Building Trades, said he expects Local 242 to win work replacing underground utility lines, upgrading street lighting and traffic light system, and building out the electric vehicle infrastructure. This spring, the first cohort of Local 242 apprentices will graduate with the newly required Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) credential.