The fallout over Barack Obama’s decision to kill 20,000 (mostly) union jobs on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project continues as the Laborers International Union of North America left the BlueGreen Alliance Friday afternoon.
Founded in 2006, the BlueGreen Alliance is a political pairing of left-wing unions and environmental groups whose mission (so to speak) is to ensure that America’s conversion to a green economy results in union jobs as jobs in industries like coal are destroyed.
Included among its stated goals are passage of cap and trade legislation, as well as the Employee Free Choice Act (aka card-check unionization).
According to the Laborers’ union press release announcing the union’s departure from the BlueGreen Alliance on Friday afternoon, at least Laborers’ president Terry O’Sullivan seems to be understanding the Devil’s pact union bosses have made by sacrificing their members’ jobs in exchange for an economically-unrealistic “green” economy:
“AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka recently said there was a divide in the labor movement over this project,” LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan said. “That is an understatement. That divide is as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon. We’re repulsed by some of our supposed brothers and sisters lining up with job killers like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council to destroy the lives of working men and women.” [Emphasis added.]
Specifically, O’Sullivan was referencing the CWA, SEIU, UAW, Transport Workers Union, United Steelworkers Union and Amalgamated Transit Union who had sold their souls (and union jobs) to the environmentalists and praised Obama’s decision to side with the green activists by killing the pipeline, as well as destroying the hopes of unemployed union members.
O’Sullivan said Keystone is only the beginning of what will likely be a protracted struggle over major projects to build and strengthen America’s energy infrastructure. “LIUNA plans to unite with the support of the strong and proud unions of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department to fight for good jobs that build America and strengthen our energy resources,” he said. “We will not stand idly by, nor will the Building Trades.”
“Their real target wasn’t the pipeline, but the oil sands. They missed that target – the oil sands will be developed whether Keystone XL is built or not – but hit tens of thousands of working men and women,” O’Sullivan said. “It is impossible for LIUNA to stand side-by-side with these groups. Construction workers are struggling with 16 percent unemployment and 1.3 million of them are jobless. The Keystone XL was not just a pipeline to them, it was a lifeline.” [Emphasis added.]
While another BlueGreen Alliance member, the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters, whose members would have also seen work on the Keystone pipeline project has curiously stayed silent so far, the IBEW issued its own release on its website, which stated:
While we are deeply disappointed with the U. S. State Department’s decision not to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline, we are more concerned that a vital project that would create 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, generate $585 million in state and local taxes plus another $5 billion in property taxes and strengthen North America’s energy independence, has been ensnared in the political deadlock in Washington.
On Wednesday, in addition to the Laborers’ scorching comdemnation of Obama’s decision, Mark Ayers, president of the AFL-CIO’s Building & Construction Trade Division (an umbrella group of 16 AFL-CIO construction trade unions) stated:
With a national unemployment rate in construction at 16% nationally, it is beyond disappointing that President Obama placed a higher priority on politics rather than our nation’s number one challenge: jobs.
Environmental activists who are not saddled with the economic and psychological scars that accompany long-term unemployment will applaud the fact that they successfully induced the White House to block this project. Meanwhile, thousands of proud Americans throughout the heartland will once again be faced with the terrifying prospect of losing their homes and their livelihoods as they struggle to find work.
As was noted in the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama’s plan replace jobs destroyed with his “green agenda” was faulty at best. In fact, the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign has already destroyed up to 1.24 million jobs in 36 states—with more surely to come.
For the sake of jobs (union and union-free), let us hope that more union bosses—and, if not them, their members—wake up from their delusion that Barack Obama is actually interested in creating jobs, as opposed to his agenda to “transform America.”
“Socialism has no place in the hearts of those who would secure the fight for freedom and preserve democracy.” Samuel Gompers, American Federation of Labor, 1918
Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com