For Immediate Release: February 17, 2021
Contact: Mark Brueggenjohann 202-728-6014
Biden Supports Union Apprenticeships
IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson made this statement following his meeting with President Joseph Biden and other labor leaders.
“Today’s meeting with President Biden was enormously productive in addressing how the labor movement can work with the administration in putting Americans back to work and creating good-paying union jobs.
Biden reaffirmed his commitment to a pro-union, worker-first agenda by reversing the previous administration’s executive order creating Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs. IRAPs undermined training and safety standards across multiple industries and encouraged employers to lower apprentices' wages and benefits.
They were a direct threat to world-class training programs like the IBEW’s and we applaud President Biden’s decision to rescind them.
He also announced his support for Rep. Bobby Scott’s National Apprenticeship Act of 2021, which will expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.
Finally, Biden announced that he would ask the Department of Labor to reinstate the National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships. Building our economy back better requires unions, employers, educational and policy leaders to come together to expand apprenticeship opportunities for working Americans, and the committee is a vital forum for that. High-quality union apprenticeship programs are crucial to not only training the next generation of skilled workers but helping rebuild America’s middle class
Additionally, today’s nomination of Communications Workers of America Special Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo to serve as National Labor Relations Board general counsel is another step toward expanding workers’ rights and protecting collective bargaining.
The IBEW looks forward to continuing to work with the administration as we open the doors of opportunity for all working people and build an economy that works for everyone.”
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.