High-Speed Rail

Brightline West will use union labor for Las Vegas rail: pact

According to the Victorville Daily Press, March 12, 2023, an historic agreement between State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, the Southern Nevada Building Trades Union and Brightline West could be a big step toward starting construction. The unions signed a memorandum of understanding with Brightline for the construction of America’s first true high-speed rail system that will connect Las Vegas and Southern California, with stops in the Victor Valley. The agreement will ensure that Brightline West will use unionized labor in California and Nevada, creating nearly 10,000 construction jobs and career opportunities at various pay rates. As the California affiliate of North America’s Building Trades Unions, the trade council has 157 affiliated unions from 14 different construction craft unions, 22 local building trades councils, and about 125 affiliated Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees. These unions are responsible for training apprentices and providing journeyman upgrade training throughout the state. In total, the trade council has nearly 500,000 members including roughly 70,000 apprentices. “The California Building Trades is excited to partner with Brightline West and the Southern Nevada Building Trades on this historic project bringing high-speed rail and thousands of new construction jobs to Southern California and Southern Nevada. Our members are ready to get to work building this vital transportation project linking California to Las Vegas,” said SBCTC President Andrew Meredith. “It’s important to remember that we have a long history of building California’s most vital and groundbreaking projects,” Meredith said. “We applaud Brightline West’s commitment to using the highest quality, skilled and trained workforce to build this project on time and under budget. Making that commitment means the women and men building the project are receiving the compensation, benefits, and protections they deserve.” The SNBTU, an alliance of craft unions for highly skilled and productive construction labor, joins the agreement on behalf of 14 local labor unions across the region. Representing thousands including ironworkers, insulators, electrical workers and more, the partnership brings the project one step closer to connecting Las Vegas and Southern California with a green, efficient, high-speed rail system. Economists show that Brightline West will create more than 35,000 jobs including 10,000 construction jobs and nearly 1,000 permanent jobs for operations and maintenance. The agreement follows a recent commitment between Brightline West and the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition to operate and maintain Brightline West. That coalition is composed of 13 rail unions representing more than 160,000 freight, regional, commuter and passenger railroad workers in the U.S. The project is expected to generate more than $10 billion in economic impact on California and Nevada. “We continue to build a powerful coalition around Brightline West and our vision for high-speed rail in America,” said Brightline Holdings CEO Mike Reininger. “Brightline West will provide unmatched economic benefits and career opportunities for thousands in Nevada and California. This partnership brings us one step closer to putting a shovel in the ground.”

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