Just a day after President Obama appeared on the Colbert Report, claiming that the jobs created by Keystone XL “aren’t a lot,” President of Teamsters James Hoffa wrote an op ed, which explains just how many jobs there would be. As Hoffa said,
“Jobs might not be in such short supply like they once were in Michigan and elsewhere. But good-paying jobs still are. That’s why the Teamsters support the Keystone XL pipeline project that would allow North America to produce more of the world’s oil supply. And that’s why Michigan’s elected officials should too.
Completing the final segment of the pipeline from Nebraska to the Canadian border would employ upwards of 2,500 Teamsters and would infuse millions of dollars into local economies. That’s not just where the pipeline is being built either — it’s right here in Michigan, where suppliers could see substantial growth.” (emphasis added)
Mr. President, there’s a reason labor and union groups across the country have rallied, sent letters, and held press conferences to urge the approval of Keystone XL: it’s because they want the thousands of good paying jobs the pipeline would bring. Construction jobs are the livelihoods of many union members and, contrary to what the president says, they do mean a lot. As Hoffa explains, not only will Keystone XL employ around 2,500 Teamsters, these jobs will also be “good-paying jobs.”
As for the argument about temporary jobs, Sean McGarvey President of the Building and Construction Trades Department at AFL-CIO made the important point that all construction jobs for his members are temporary jobs, and each one of those jobs is essential for putting food on the table:
“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.”
As the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) explained in a letter, “unemployed construction workers desperately need the work” and Keystone XL is a “lifeline” for thousands of members.
Again, we just have to wonder if President Obama has even bothered to read his own State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement. If he had, he would know that Keystone XL will be responsible for 42,100 jobs across the country and will put $2 billion in workers’ pockets.
As Hoffa rightly put it, “America needs more good-paying jobs that support middle-class families. This project supplies them.”