The AFL-CIO’s endorsement of a pipeline project expected to create thousands of infrastructure jobs has rankled liberals activists, including a member of AFL-CIO’s coalition.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline, a proposed 1,200-mile project capable of transporting nearly 500,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois. Trumka said that union workers and the region will benefit from the 4,500 jobs the project is expected to create and touted the safety and efficiency of pipeline transportation of crude oil.
“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,” he said in a Friday release. “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.”
Several Native American and environmental groups oppose the project, and some labor activists say that the union should rescind its endorsement.
The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), a member group of the AFL-CIO with more than 20 chapters nationwide, joined a coalition of minority union workers to oppose the project. The Labor Coalition for Community Action, composed of the APALA, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, among others, said that the union must stand in solidarity with minority communities, rather than “corporate greed."