October 2011, Week 3


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 17 Oct 2011 22:08:44 -0400
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Labor Petition Against Keystone XL and Tar Sands
Pipeline - Please Sign Now!

Dear sisters and brothers -

Recently we signed this on-line petition "Labor
Movement Against the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline" 
and we would like to encourage others in labor to do
the same (in personal capacity).

You can sign here: 

This is not just about a pipeline. If approved and
constructed, Keystone XL will have a huge impact on
First Nation communities, on global greenhouse gas
emissions, and risks major contamination of the largest
freshwater aquifer in North America.  Labor can add its
voice to the rising opposition to this horrendous

By building a pipeline from Alberta to Texas, Keystone
XL will open up the Tar Sands in Canada to massive
expansion, and will release huge quantities of this
dirty oil into the global energy system.  Who will
benefit?  Certainly not us.

That's why over 1,000 people were arrested in protests
against the pipeline in Washington during August -- the
largest wave of civil disobedience since the Vietnam
War. Union people were among those arrested, as were
farmers, ranchers, First Nation leaders, climate
justice activists, and top scientists.

Approval of the TransCanada corporation's pipeline will
strengthen the political and economic power of
corporations like Koch Industries that want to destroy
the labor movement.  The American Petroleum Institute
is promising hundreds of thousands of jobs in order to
win support for the project. However, these claims are
wildly exaggerated and the project could end up killing
more jobs than it creates.  See this Cornell Global
Labor Institute study for the real numbers:


The president must decide yes or no on Keystone XL. We
can work with our allies in the social movements to
send a clear signal - union members want jobs, but not
jobs from dirty Tar Sands oil!

In solidarity,

Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance 
Bill Fletcher, Center for Labor Renewal 
Roger Toussaint, Transport Workers Union 
Bruce Hamilton, Pres.,Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1700 
Jennifer Badgley, Political Director, IBEW Local 569 
Joe Uehlein, Labor Network for Sustainability



Labor Movement Against the Keystone XL Tar Sands

We are active members, shop stewards, staff and elected
local, regional and national officers of unions and
workers' organizations based in the United States.

We urge the State Department and the President not to
grant approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In so doing, we stand in solidarity with the Tar Sands
workers in Alberta represented by the Canadian Energy
and Paperworkers Union; the Alberta Federation of
Labour, and the Canadian Labour Congress. We commend
those unions and individual trade unionists in the U.S.
for actively and publicly opposing the Keystone XL

We also stand in solidarity with First Nations and
other communities whose families and livelihoods have
been harmed by the Tar Sands. By opposing Keystone XL
(and the proposed Enbridge pipeline across British
Columbia) we join with those farmers, ranchers, and
community members who live along the route and are
concerned about the damage that spills from the
pipeline will have on their water and land. And we add
our voices to those in the environmental movements in
the US and Canada who unequivocally oppose Keystone XL
because it will have serious environmental, climate
change, pollution and health impacts.

We need jobs - but not jobs based on dirty energy and
Tar Sands oil. Keystone XL will benefit the big oil
corporations like Koch Industries and Valero that are
determined to destroy the labor movement.

We join with those in labor who call for a Green New
Deal to create jobs by way of major investments in
public mass transit, electrical grid modernization,
scaling up renewable sources of power, energy
conservation, ambitious fuel efficiency programs, and
sustainable alternative fuels.

We believe construction of Keystone XL will kill more
jobs than it creates by increasing fuel costs in the
Midwest and through the cost of oil spills, increased
emissions, and reduced investments in renewable sources
of energy.

We urge trade unionists to attend or support the
November 6 (one year from the next presidential
election) call to action outside the White House to ask
President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands

(In personal capacity, organizational information for
identification purposes only.)

You can sign here: 


Amalgamated Transit Union and Transport Workers Union
Statement (August 18, 2011)

Washington, DC - James C. Little, President of the
Transport Workers Union (TWU), and Larry J. Hanley,
President of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) issued
the following joint statement in opposition to the
approval of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

"We are leaders of transport workers unions
representing over 300,000 working women and men in the
United States.

"We call on the State Department NOT to approve the
construction of the Keystone XL pipeline or to take any
actions that lead to the further extraction of Tar
Sands oil from Alberta, Canada.

"We share the Environmental Protection Agency's
concerns conveyed to the State Department on two
occasions (most recently on June 11, 2011). These
concerns cover the potential impacts to groundwater
resources from pipeline spills, the high levels of GHG
emissions associated with the proposed project, and the
inevitable damage to the health of communities affected
by the increase in refinery emissions.[1] Approval of
this project at this time would therefore be reckless
given the EPA's own assessment of the environmental

"We are also concerned that Keystone XL could double
the amount of highly toxic Tar Sands oil being imported
into the United States. The Tar Sands has destroyed
vast areas of boreal forest and inflicted havoc on
local communities. The expansion of the Tar Sands will
inflict immeasurable harm on both people and the
environment and impede our country's and the world's
efforts to transition to a green and more sustainable

"We need jobs, but not ones based on increasing our
reliance on Tar Sands oil. There is no shortage of
water and sewage pipelines that need to be fixed or
replaced, bridges and tunnels that are in need of
emergency repair, transportation infrastructure that
needs to be renewed and developed. Many jobs could also
be created in energy conservation, upgrading the grid,
maintaining and expanding public transportation - jobs
that can help us reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas
emissions, and improve energy efficiency.

"We therefore call for major "New Deal" type public
investments in infrastructure modernization and repair,
energy conservation and climate protection a means of
putting people to work and laying the foundations of a
green and sustainable economic future for the United

About the ATU

The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labor
organization representing transit workers in the United
States and Canada. Founded in 1892, the ATU today is
comprised of over 190,000 members in 264 local unions
spread across 44 states and nine provinces, including
3,000 workers at Greyhound Lines, Inc. Composed of bus
drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical
personnel and other transit and municipal employees,
the ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for
the interests of its hard- working members.

About TWU

The Transport Workers Union represents 200,000 members
and retirees in 22 states.  TWU's members work on
railroads, airlines, gaming, public mass transit,
utilities and university workers.



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