U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited Eastern Iowa Thursday, May 25, to check on infrastructure projects. He was joined at a press event by Rick Peterson, LIUNA Local 43 Laborer. Rick is featured in the photo above, and his remarks at the event are reproduced below.

Hi everybody.

My name is Rick Peterson. I am a proud member of LIUNA Local 43, located right here in Cedar Rapids. I started in 2008 and since have been employed with Rinderknecht Associates as a Construction Laborer. I’d like to tell you about my job and the projects I get to work on that allow me to support myself and my family.

As a Union Laborer I have a career in construction, which is made up of different construction projects, like the airport you see here. Other projects include your local schools, libraries, business, renewable energy facilities, roads, bridges, etc. This Union career has made it, so I’ll be able to retire with dignity and have stable medical benefits for me and my family. When I work on these Federal assisted jobs, I can earn a good wage which then allows me to buy things from the community I live in, which overall helps the local economy thrive.

During slow times- I worry about when the next project will come or how far I’ll have to go to earn a living. I’d like to thank Secretary Buttigieg, our folks in congress and the Biden administration for the work they’ve been doing to create opportunities for construction workers like myself and the next generation. When union trades and apprentices are on the job the project gets built better. Workers live better lives and citizens get better communities.

Thank You!