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  • Unions Defend Keystone Opposition: We Have to Support Obama!

    The Obama Administration’s decision to forego the Keystone pipeline has forced the country’s labor groups into a bitter civil war. At issue is the central purpose of the labor movement: those who feel it should represent workers in the workplace generally oppose the administration’s decision; those who see unions as primarily political organizations have generally supported it.

    Unions that had a stake in the Keystone decision were livid that the administration abandoned it, and equally angry at their fellow union members who had supported that decision, according to a Friday report from Politico Pro ($):

    “People are p****d,” said one U.S. labor official who supports the proposed TransCanada pipeline. “The emotions are really, really raw right now. This is a big deal.”

    “It’s repulsive, it’s disgusting and we’re not going to stand idly by,” Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan told POLITICO. “The rules have changed. So we’ll react accordingly.”…

    “Unions and environmental groups that have no equity in the work have kicked our members in the teeth,” O’Sullivan said. “And anger is an understatement as to how we feel about it. We’re not sitting at the same table as people that destroy our members’ lives.”

    But other top figures in the labor movement defended the decision. Their argument: re-electing President Obama is a higher priority than preserving union jobs, and to that end, unions had to prevent Republicans from gaining the upper hand on the top political issue of the day.

    But the unions who signed the joint statement said it was the right thing to do and was necessary to help Obama fend off Republican attacks over his jobs record.

    “We’ve worked with Sierra [Club] and the others for a long time and we raised the issues about the hypocrisy of the Republicans in our statement,” Communications Workers of America spokeswoman Candice Johnson said. “That’s what we believe and … we thought it was very important to lay out exactly what was happening.”

    “It was kind of not explicitly about the president’s decision [on the pipeline] but the main issue was to rally around the president when the issue of jobs was being taken over by the GOP,” said Sean Sweeney, director of the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University, who helped the effort.

    “The president’s re-election is at stake here,” he said. “There’s bigger fish to fry. There’s more at stake here than just a pipeline.” [emphasis added]

    So while the decision to not move forward with Keystone XL may “destroy our members’ lives,” as Sullivan put it, political issues, per the Johnson and Sweeney camp, must override concerns about the actual jobs of current union members.

    Rank-and-file union members are often subjected to the political whims of union leaders who have their own interests – not their members’ – at heart. The fact also underscores the importance of right-to-work laws, which at least allow workers to decide whether their paychecks will be docked for these esoteric political activities.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Unions Defend Keystone Opposition: We Have to Support Obama!

    1. DanJ1 says:

      It's typical Liberal hypocracy. The unions saying that electing Obama is more important than thier members' jobs is the same as Liberal Jews being Liberal first and Jewish second when it comes to Obama's handling of Isreal.

    2. PaulC37 says:

      Mark Chapter 3
      24 'How can Satan[Union] drive out Satan[Union]? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last.

      25 And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never last.

      26 Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot last either — it is the end of him.

    3. Bobbie says:

      "we raised the issues about the hypocrisy of the Republicans in our statement" one thing about the destroyers of America, they always have words with absolutely nothing of significance, to back them up. This isn't about personality conflicts this is about America's future and whether it be democrat and or republican, the good of America will continue to fight through the government ignorance and union thugs who refuse to work in favor of America!

    4. mag357jhp says:

      Why worry about the lives destroyed. To make an omelet…

      So instead of doing what is good for the union members they want to make Republicans look bad and help Obama get elected. Union members should sue.

    5. Kay says:

      Unions are not about their dues paying members, but they are about the political power Obama gives the select few running the unions. Union leaders feel that its more important to retain their power and the financial rewards that come with it than actually putting people to work. It is surely time for the union sheeple to come together and overthrow their leaders and the one in the whitehouse. Union and non-union Americans have had enough and if the two will come together then something positive for working Americans will happen. Can't imagine that dues paying union members will sit idly by while the jobs go away at the whim of a unAmerican president. Obama doesn't want Americans working and prosperous, but wants them impoverished and dependent on the gov't. Gov't dependency gives him the dictator's upper hand and control of us all, so see him for what he is and vote him out. The fact that he spent millions to seal his records should tell us all that he is hiding something he doesn't want Americans to know? This is not pure republican talk, but it is pure fact and nothing but the truth.

    6. IGotAComment says:

      Does all this mean that the union leadership still gets a paycheck …

      and fewer regular union workers have a job and no paycheck …

      OK …. thanks, I just wanted to make sure I understood the situation.

    7. IGotAComment says:

      "The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor the pipeline, with 36% who Strongly Favor it. Just 27% are opposed, including 12% who Strongly Oppose the project. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided."
      Hey, the numbers are in.
      Let's see, if it were put to a vote today, it would be:
      56% favor, 16% undecided, 27% opposed.

      If the 16% divided equally:
      64% favor, 35% oppose
      Would we build the Keystone XL Pipeline?
      Yes … And lots of people would get jobs.

    8. guest says:

      In view of bho's UNCONSTITUTIONAL appointments of 3 union lawers to the NLRB;looks a if union members that actually want jobs and to help America's energy crisis have zero influence . Surely SOME union members can see the destruction bho is bringing to our country.And are there NO DEMOCRATS that know the Constitution and want to see our country saved from socialism??

    9. Viet Nam veteran says:

      Johnson and Sweeney must be doing quite well for themselves to blindly follow their Pied Piper into the hole of under-mediocrity! Sweeney states in part…"there's more at stake here than just a pipeline" – - yeah, like…how about the Agenda 21 platform??????????????? All those potential jobs lost–all those families negatively affected byt this selfish decision….all that potential tax revenues lost to the states and government just because "certain unions and the Sierra Club" have to support the president.

    10. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      If Obama played in the freeway, would they?

    11. Barbara says:

      It was a trade off. The unions got two appointed to the NLRB by obama's unconstitutional recess appointment, and obama reject the pipeline and pander to his base and the wacko tree huggers. The rest of us got SCREWED again by Obama.

    12. Dave says:

      It is not unusual for any large group to disagree on policy, why should unions be any different. Tree huggers, koch brothers, christians, congress, wallmart, chinese money allocators, ecomists. Disagrement is good. John Stewert Mills told us that disagreenent is key to sucess in the long term. And what about the mysean council, was jesus born in nazerath or bethleham?

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