Labour leaders in Windsor-Essex want to make sure local workers will help build the new Gordie Howe International Bridge.

Representatives from Unifor, CUP-W as well as health care employees met with Patty Hajdu, the  Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour while she was visiting Windsor on Wednesday.

The President of the Windsor & District Labour Council, Brian Hogan, says it isn't often they get a chance to bend the ear of a federal politician, so they took full advantage of the opportunity.

Hogan tells CTV Windsor they discussed the environment, the Trans Pacific Partnership and negotiations over a new North American Free Trade Agreement.

Hogan adds they also reminded the minister about the massive infrastructure project to build the Gordie Howe bridge.

“When a bidder wins, who gets those jobs? Those should be Canadian jobs, taxpayers are paying for the Gordie Howe Bridge,” says Hogan.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi was in Windsor on Tuesday, in part to reaffirm the government’s commitment to build the multi-billion dollar crossing.

The Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority expects construction of the bridge will ramp up this summer after a successful proponent is chosen in June.

The cost of the project will depend on the proponent’s bids, but estimates suggest the cost will be more than $5-billion.

Hajdu was in Windsor on Wednesday to roll out the federal government’s Skills Boost initiative. It includes a top-up grant of up to $1,600 for working Canadians who want to go back to school. It also allows unemployed Canadians who are on employment insurance the ability to access skills training without fear of losing their EI benefits.