Hundreds of workers in the building trades assembled in Delaware head to the state capitol in Dover to make a case for employment opportunities and increased benefits.
For months union construction workers in Delaware have been telling anyone that would listen that they need work.
Tuesday in front of Legislative Hall in Dover they made sure they were heard.
About 500 unemployed members of the Delaware Building Trades Council — from electricians to pipefitters– gathered on Legislative Mall to give lawmakers and the governor’s administration a simple message: “We’re out of work and we need jobs.”
“I don’t care if it’s a Jack in the Box, a Wendy’s, a school, an outhouse — we want to build it, that’s all,” said Delaware Building Trades Council President Harry Gravell. “We’re out of work, we need to go to work, we’ll build it, period.”
According to Gravell, as many as 2,000 union construction workers are unemployed across the state.
He says Tuesday’s gathering was not a protest, but if he did have one issue he’d like Delaware lawmakers to address it would be boosting the state’s unemployment benefits.
The current maximum weekly benefit amount in Delaware is $330. That’s considerably less than the rates in Maryland ($410), Pennsylvania ($563) and New Jersey ($600).