Union leaders: Man, this Keystone XL decision just “reeks of politics”

posted at 7:21 pm on March 11, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Indeed. When even the usually avidly pro-labor MSNBC host Ed Schultz suddenly discovers that it’s in his interest to throw his union pals under the bus on the Keystone XL pipeline, you know something’s up. Via The Hill:

Labor leaders have long backed the pipeline, arguing it would create thousands of construction jobs and boost the economy. But many of them have been muted in their criticism of President Obama, for fear of opening a rift with the White House over the controversial project.

That seemed to change on Tuesday, as the presidents of building trade unions linked the delay of Keystone to broader anger at the administration within the labor movement.

“Our anger doesn’t just stop with Keystone XL,” Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) told The Hill. “We are extremely angry about the Affordable Care Act and the fact that there is 12.8 percent unemployment in construction.”

“Are [lawmakers] really for jobs and the middle class?” O’Sullivan said. “This whole thing reeks of politics.”

Big Labor has generally been on board with the pipeline’s construction from the get-go, but as a small yet merry band of extremely well-monied and out-of-touch eco-radicals have gotten increasingly vocal about disrupting Keystone XL, unions are evidently starting to feel the need to throw some of their own not inconsiderable donor weight around.

“I urge the president of the United States to get on with it and approve that permit” to build the pipeline, said Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, an alliance of 14 unions representing workers in the U.S. and Canada. He spoke at a news conference at a Washington hotel during the building trades’ legislative conference.  “I think the White House needs to worry about November,” he said when asked what he and other building trades union officials would do if the White House doesn’t act soon.

One can only hope. Even after jerking Canada around for years and repeating incessant reports offering the same pro-pipeline conclusions, the Obama administration can’t even seem to manage to summon the political will to throw several vulnerable pro-Keystone XL Senate Democrats that bone — although, the Obama administration could be saving a thumbs-up decision for the opportune moment, since they’ve now waited this long already anyway. There has been at least one report that the Obama administration is thinking about lighting this candle within the next month or two, and that could be a timely boon to Dems like Landrieu and Begich.


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There’s been a decision?

Cindy Munford on March 11, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Obama’s “Dither Doctrine” isn’t just for foreign policy…

ConstantineXI on March 11, 2014 at 7:24 PM

From now on, Obama’s Delta Tau Chi name is “Dithering Dilettante”

ConstantineXI on March 11, 2014 at 7:24 PM

You could say the same thing for ObamaCare..

Hmmmm unions?

Electrongod on March 11, 2014 at 7:28 PM

“We are extremely angry about the Affordable Care Act and the fact that there is 12.8 percent unemployment in construction.”

STFU!

You wanted him! You got him!

GarandFan on March 11, 2014 at 7:34 PM

“I think the White House needs to worry about November,” he said when asked what he and other building trades union officials would do if the White House doesn’t act soon.

…great understatement!

KOOLAID2 on March 11, 2014 at 7:35 PM

OT: Sink sunk, Jolly jolly

13th District 96.9% Reporting
D. Jolly GOP 48.5% 87,320
A. Sink Dem 46.7% 84,169
L. Overby Lib 4.8% 8,729

blammm on March 11, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Dogs-Fleas etc

neyney on March 11, 2014 at 7:43 PM

All we “haters” and “racists” should savor these “buyers remorse” stories. There will be many to follow.

Happy Nomad on March 11, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Actually, is there anything that Obama has or hasn’t done that doesn’t reek? Of politics. And prevarication. And indecision.

de rigueur on March 11, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Just whut can one say? Hubris? Comeuppance? Hypocrisy? Goes around comes around? Back stabbin’? Front stabbin’? Mother rapers? Father rapers? Union busting? Bunion busting? Walter Reuther, where are you?

vnvet on March 11, 2014 at 7:48 PM

It would be wrong to lump all building trade unions in with big labor. Many have been furious for years that their votes have become so diluted within the AFLCIO.

At pay rates varying for $31 to 50+ per hour, many are republicans.

They’re also at the forefront of the pro-fracking movement.

frank on March 11, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Eh, what are they going to do, vote republican? The unions have to keep funding and voting democrat to keep their gravy train going.

Obama will snub them because he actually believes that plant food is bad for the environment.

lymond on March 11, 2014 at 8:04 PM

It would be wrong to lump all building trade unions in with big labor. Many have been furious for years that their votes have become so diluted within the AFLCIO.

At pay rates varying for $31 to 50+ per hour, many are republicans.

They’re also at the forefront of the pro-fracking movement.

frank on March 11, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Well then, let’s hear them start to speak up!

We can’t hear them at all when they are drowned out by other Union Members who are only interested in voting for Democrats who will use Tax Payer money to create Union jobs for them.

wren on March 11, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Democratics can treat the greedy unions the same way they treat the black demographic, they can say “Yeah? So where else are you gonna go?”

slickwillie2001 on March 11, 2014 at 8:18 PM

It would be wrong to lump all building trade unions in with big labor. Many have been furious for years that their votes have become so diluted within the AFLCIO.
At pay rates varying for $31 to 50+ per hour, many are republicans.
They’re also at the forefront of the pro-fracking movement.
frank on March 11, 2014 at 7:50 PM
Well then, let’s hear them start to speak up!

We can’t hear them at all when they are drowned out by other Union Members who are only interested in voting for Democrats who will use Tax Payer money to create Union jobs for them.
wren on March 11, 2014 at 8:11 PM

You can hear them publicly in radio spots they run supporting fracking. My guess as to why they won’t publicly oppose the dems.: they view the republicans as in the pockets of the Chamber & Big Business. Who they view as hell bent on consigning them to work for substandard wages.

frank on March 11, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Does the president pick out his own clothes to wear in the mornings or does he have a footman? Can he perhaps have whoever does that help him to decide what to do about the pipeline? Maybe they could sit him down at the breakfast table and tell him he can’t go out to play until he makes a decision about it. It’s pretty simple stuff…yes…or no.

scalleywag on March 11, 2014 at 8:28 PM

When you’ve lost the Unions…hey, I thought they had more muscle than this. If a Union can’t get a Dem to decide their way, hmmm….

Who is John Galt on March 11, 2014 at 8:34 PM

But all these fools vote Democrat and the Union gives millions and millions of dollars to Democrats. Madness.

Rogervzv on March 11, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Who is John Galt on March 11, 2014 at 8:34 PM

The bulk of the building trades are AFL-CIO and they are outnumbered. The bulk of the AFL-CIO are in lockstep with Obama & against the pipeline, I would imagine.

frank on March 11, 2014 at 8:42 PM

decision just reeks

F R E E
the
S H A D !

KOOLAID2 on March 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

“Our anger doesn’t just stop with Keystone XL,” Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) told The Hill. “We are extremely angry about the Affordable Care Act and the fact that there is 12.8 percent unemployment in construction.”

You bought the whole program, and help elect this man twice; you stood in support of his seizure of the healthcare system, and his destruction of jobs.

This is your whirlwind – feel free to reap!

massrighty on March 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Mother rapers? Father rapers?

vnvet on March 11, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Nice!

massrighty on March 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM

“We are extremely angry about the Affordable Care Act and the fact that there is 12.8 percent unemployment in construction.”

Huh? I thought unions were backing immigration reform with amnesty for resident illegal aliens along with millions of new immigrants and temp workers.

What do they think all that cheap labor will do to unemployment for US citizens in the construction trades?

Nomas on March 12, 2014 at 6:45 AM

Those ingrates!

Don’t they know Obama is changing the rules about overtime pay?

So it’s great for a bunch of mostly non-union people who already have jobs, assuming they don’t lose their jobs due to staff cuts after the rule change.

s1im on March 12, 2014 at 9:40 PM