Trade unions refuse to answer why they supported Biden despite his years of promising to take down Keystone
Thomas Catenacci, DCNF
- Multiple trade unions involved in Keystone XL Pipeline construction refused to explain why they endorsed President Joe Biden who promised to nix the union job-creating project.
- The North America’s Building Trades Union endorsed Biden in October but said it was “deeply disappointed” after his Keystone executive action.
- “I wish he hadn’t done that on the first day,” American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations President Richard Trumka, who endorsed Biden, told Axios. “It did and will cost us jobs in the process.”
Multiple trade unions involved in Keystone XL Pipeline construction refused to explain why they endorsed President Joe Biden who promised to nix the union job-creating project.
Trade unions who had praised the Keystone XL Pipeline for creating thousands of jobs were silent when asked repeatedly by the Daily Caller News Foundation why they supported President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office, revoking the federal permit for the Keystone Pipeline after promising to do exactly that during his campaign.
“The Teamsters strongly oppose yesterday’s decision, and we would urge the administration to reconsider it,” International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said in a statement following the executive action.
“It will reduce good-paying union jobs that allow workers to provide a middle-class standard of living to their families,” Hoffa continued. “America needs access to various forms of energy that can keep its economy running in the years ahead. This decision will hurt that effort.”
The Teamsters, the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters signed the Keystone Pipeline’s labor agreement in August. The agreement promised the creation of 42,000 “family-sustaining jobs” in the U.S. and $2 billion in total earnings for the all-union workforce.
While the unions’ leaders all championed the union-friendly project, they still endorsed Biden who explicitly promised to nix the pipeline’s construction.
“We can count on [Biden] to stand with us on issues of critical importance to LiUNA members and their families,” General President Terry O’Sullivan said in a September endorsement message.
IUOE General President James Callahan said “best choice for Operating Engineers and their families” in a September letter to union members.
But, all four unions ignored multiple requests for comment when the DCNF asked for them to explain their decision to endorse Biden despite his promises to nix Keystone, which they had celebrated as a victory for union workers and families.
The DCNF also contacted powerful union federations the North America’s Building Trades Union (NABTU) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Both the NABTU and AFL-CIO ignored the requests despite their endorsement of Biden and subsequent disavowal of his Keystone executive action.
“Well, I wish he hadn’t done that on the first day,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who endorsed Biden, said of the executive order during a recent Axios interview. “It did and will cost us jobs in the process.”
Meanwhile, 14 Republican state attorneys general wrote a letter to the White House Tuesday, informing the president they were reviewing all legal options over the decision to revoke the Keystone permit.
“Please be aware that the states are reviewing available legal options to protect our residents and sovereign interests,” the letter said. “In the meantime, we urge you to reconsider your decision to impose crippling economic injuries on states, communities, families, and workers across the country.”
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