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Unions on Dakota Access Pipeline

Statements by Communication Workers Union, United Electrical Workers Union, and AFL-CIO on South Dakota pipeline.

Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Statement by the CWA Committee on Human Rights in Support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Friday, September 9, 2016

Washington, D.C. - The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Committee on Human Rights stands with members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in South and North Dakota as they fight to protect their community, their land and their water supply.

CWA stands with all working people as they struggle for dignity, respect and justice in the workplace and in their communities.

The Standing Rock Sioux and potentially 17 million others are threatened by the Dakota Access Pipeline route, a 1,170 mile oil pipeline that would run from North Dakota to Illinois. In addition to endangering those communities, the pipeline could possibly desecrate the ancestral burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux; this utter disrespect and violation cannot be allowed.

Members of the tribe point out that the pipeline, which would come within half a mile of the reservation's water supply and burial grounds, would contaminate their community. The Army Corps of Engineers gave the Texas company building the pipeline "fast track" approval this summer without consulting with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

CWA, through our Committee on Human Rights, stands with working people and against corporate greed, whether we're fighting for clean water in Flint, Mich., against bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would hurt U.S. jobs and communities, or the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to safeguard their community.

The labor movement is rooted in the simple and powerful idea of solidarity with all struggles for dignity, justice and respect. CWA will continue to fight against the interests of the 1% and corporate greed and firmly stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the environmental and cultural degradation of their community. Press Contact: Candice Johnson (202) 434-1168…

United Electrical Workers (UE) September 12

The UE National Officers today issued the following statement in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux people of North Dakota in their struggle to protect their land and water from the oil industry.

UE joins others in the labor movement in condemning the ongoing violent attacks on the Standing Rock Sioux nation and others who oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. These attacks by a private security company bring back horrific memories of the notorious Pinkertons, who used clubs, dogs and bullets to break up peaceful worker protests.

As delegates to UE's 74th National Convention said in the resolution "Protect Our Planet for Future Generations" in August 2015: "The energy profiteers want a world where both labor and environmental standards are in a race to the bottom. If they get their way, we get poverty and a poisoned planet. To defeat them and ensure the right of all people to live, work, and play in safe, healthy, and clean environments, we need to form stronger alliances"

We support the National Day of Action on September 13, and call on the Obama administration to permanently stop construction of this pipeline.

Peter Knowlton, General President

Andrew Dinkelaker, General Secretary-Treasurer

Gene Elk, Director of Organization

Dakota Access Pipeline Provides High-Quality Jobs   September 15, 2016

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline:

The AFL-CIO supports pipeline construction as part of a comprehensive energy policy that creates jobs, makes the United States more competitive and addresses the threat of climate change. Pipelines are less costly, more reliable and less energy intensive than other forms of transporting fuels, and pipeline construction and maintenance provides quality jobs to tens of thousands of skilled workers.

We believe that community involvement in decisions about constructing and locating pipelines is important and necessary, particularly in sensitive situations like those involving places of significance to Native Americans. However, once these processes have been completed, it is fundamentally unfair to hold union members' livelihoods and their families' financial security hostage to endless delay. The Dakota Access Pipeline is providing over 4,500 high-quality, family supporting jobs.

Furthermore, trying to make climate policy by attacking individual construction projects is neither effective nor fair to the workers involved.  The AFL-CIO calls on the Obama Administration to allow construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to continue.

Contact: Jasmine Nazarett (202)637-5018

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