NEW VIDEO: Facing the White House, Labor and Union Groups Urge Obama to Approve Keystone XL

“Life is defined by significant events, significant people and significant organizations. And brothers and sisters, today is just that – a group of significant people that have banded together, that came here today to fight for jobs.” – Terry O’Sullivan, President of Labors International Union of North America (LIUNA)

A new Oil Sands Fact Check video released today spotlights hundreds of union building and construction trade leaders and members who recently rallied in Washington, D.C. – just down the street from the White House – delivering a simple message: Put aside partisan politics and place renewed focus and energy on America’s continuing job crisis.

Check out the video below:

The refrain from this rally in support of Keystone XL is jobs, jobs, jobs:

  • “And those pipelines coming down from Canada down through America, those are nothing but jobs so it means a lot to me.”
  • “It means jobs for our union – our guys – we have about 100 members out of work that could really use the jobs.”
  • “It’s about jobs – that’s what it’s about – put Americans back to work again in an industry that has a 14.7 percent unemployment rate. It’s good for our economy, it’s good for our country; it’s good for our energy independence and it’s good for working men and women in the building trades.”

Sean McGarvey, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department at AFL-CIO, spoke at the event saying, “We are tired of waiting and we believe the time has come to make the final decision on one of the most important projects to unlock the energy future for this country – the Keystone XL pipeline.”

Arguments About Those Temporary Jobs

In the video, Sean McGarvey also knocks down one of the primary criticisms made by opponents of Keystone XL, that the jobs it would create would be temporary.  As he says, “The interstate highway system was a temporary job; Mount Rushmore was a temporary job. If they knew anything about the construction industry they’d understand that we work ourselves out of jobs and we go from job to job to job.” 

Union and Labor Members Make Their Voices Heard Across the Country

The union rally in Washington was just one of many across the country.  Thousands of labor and union members rallied in Missouri, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Oklahoma and Ohio.

Oklahoma: The Tulsa World  reported, “A rally Tuesday at the Pipeliners Local 798 training center in Tulsa drew several hundred welders, fitters and others…Speakers called the pipeline an economic engine because of the thousands of workers needed to build it and a national security necessity because it allows the U.S. to import Canadian rather than OPEC oil.”

Iowa: As Radio Iowa reports in its April 4 story, “Union groups rally for Keystone XL Pipeline,” “Rick Tervin – the executive vice president of the United Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and HVAC Service Techs — spoke to the crowd. ‘What we don’t want is our good friends in Canada shipping this oil to China or another Mideastern country. That’s not good for us,’ Tervin said. ‘…To make matters worse, what I see happening if that happens is it will most likely be sold back here to us at an even higher cost. If that’s not an insult, I don’t know what is.’”

Nebraska: A previous OSFC video highlighted union workers calling on President Obama to approve Keystone XL: “It would have a great impact. I would have more money to support my family. I’d have a better Christmas. I’d have a better life” – “It would mean a lot of work for us” – “We need the jobs out here in Nebraska” – “With everybody out of work now it makes sense” – “We need the jobs” – it will allow us to get some bills paid. Put some food on the table; a roof over our heads.” See the OSFC video of the event here.

Laborers’ International Union of North America:  At a Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing, David Mallino testified, “For many members of the Laborers, this project is not just a pipeline; it is in fact, a life line. The construction sector has been particularly hit hard by the economic recession. The unemployment rate in the construction industry reached over 27% in 2010, and joblessness in construction remains far higher than any industry or sector, with over 1 million construction workers currently unemployed in the United States. Too many hard-working Americans are out of work, and the Keystone XL Pipeline will change that dire situation for thousands of them.

Full Script of Video

A Boon to the U.S. Economy: Production of Canadian oil sands is creating jobs and driving economic growth

Sean McGarvey: “The Keystone XL pipeline does not require an act of Congress; it does not require an appropriation.  It’s privately funded, it’s ready to go.  All it needs is one last permit and we go to work.”

Union Member: “And those pipelines coming down from Canada down through America, those are nothing but jobs so it means a lot to me.”

Jim Yuhase: “It means jobs for our union – our guys – we have about 100 members out of work that could really use the jobs.”

Terry O’Sullivan: “Life is defined by significant events, significant people and significant organizations. And brothers and sisters today is just that – a group of significant people that have banded together, that came here today to fight for jobs.”

Terry O’Sullivan: “It’s about jobs; that’s what it’s about – put Americans back to work again in an industry that has a 14.7 percent unemployment rate. It’s good for our economy, it’s good for our country; it’s good for our energy independence and it’s good for working men and women in the building trades.”

Union Member: “Keystone means everything to me – it means jobs; it means jobs that a whole lot of Americans need.”

Sean McGarvey: “The interstate highway system was a temporary job; Mount Rushmore was a temporary job. If they knew anything about the construction industry they’d understand that we work ourselves out of jobs and we go from job to job to job.”

Terry O’Sullivan:  “Never underestimate your commitment to our cause, to our purpose and to our mission.”

Comments

  1. George says:

    Why not refine the oil in the midwest as it is being done now? Why should we let it go to an area with a large port so it can be exported and not used in the U.S.?

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