U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg addressed via video IAM members during the 40th Grand Lodge Convention and recognized them for their incredible service and sacrifices as they ensured that America got through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“Your union brothers and sisters have played a role in every chapter of this country’s history for over a century. You helped us win two World Wars and put Americans on the moon,” said Buttigieg. “You’ve kept us going during the darkest days of the pandemic, ensuring that lifesaving equipment like ventilators got where it needed to go.”

Buttigieg’s focus as Secretary has not only been to guide the world’s leading transportation system for the American people and economy, but also to address the most pressing issues faced by working men and women in the transportation industry.

Buttigieg addressed key major legislative accomplishments under the Biden Administration, such as the American Rescue Plan, which has helped to create and protect union jobs.

“[Biden’s] very first priority was passing and signing the American Rescue Plan. That law helped keep vital industries like rail, transit, and air travel from going under,” said Buttigieg. “It protected countless hard-working union members from being laid off –  all while helping to get the pandemic under control and cutting child poverty in half.”

Buttigieg also talked about the administration’s work around the infrastructure bill, which included strong “Buy American” provisions.

“This President and his administration will always stand by the union workers who have stood by our country,” said Buttigieg. “That means protecting and strengthening your right to organize, preventing companies from using retaliatory anti-union tactics, and fighting for prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements.”

During his video, Buttigieg reiterated the fact that IAM members are the ones who move the world and serve as a pillar of this nation’s economy.

“On the ground, in the sky, even in space, IAM members have contributed to extraordinary work that has taken our country to new heights,” said Buttigieg. “I have no doubt that in the years ahead you’re going to continue doing this as we work together to usher in a new era of prosperity for working people across America.”