Contrast Gerard’s back-stabbing of his members with Mark Ayers, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. Ayers’ group is an alliance of 13 national and international unions that collectively represent more than 2 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada.
“Environmental activists who are not saddled with the economic and psychological scars that accompany long-term unemployment will applaud the fact that they successfully induced the White House to block this project,” Ayers said. “Meanwhile, thousands of proud Americans throughout the heartland will once again be faced with the terrifying prospect of losing their homes and their livelihoods as they struggle to find work.”
Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan pulled his union out of the BlueGreen Alliance – a coalition of unions and environmental groups – after Obama’s action blocking Keystone XL.
“We’re repulsed by some of our supposed brothers and sisters lining up with job killers like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council to destroy the lives of working men and women,” said O’Sullivan, whose union represents more than 500,000 construction industry workers in the U.S. and Canada. “We believe in protecting the planet, but we must also care about the people on it.”
Other unions supporting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Teamsters, and the United Association of Plumbers & Pipe Fitters for the United States & Canada. Leaders of these unions understand that supporting jobs for their members is the reason the unions exist, not to join with the enemy and fight against their own members best interests.