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Amid Tribal Pipeline Fight, Internal AFL-CIO Letter Exposes 'Very Real Split'


Amid Tribal Pipeline Fight, Internal AFL-CIO Letter Exposes 'Very Real Split'

Jon Queally, staff writer

The AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor federation, generated waves of criticism by standing against the Standing Rock Sioux and supportive allies last week by endorsing the Dakota Access Pipeline – a project opponents say threatens tribal sovereignty, regional water resources, and sacred burial grounds while also undermining efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.


if Trumka’s minions spent the money they spent on hobnobbing with Democrats on programs for strike funds and other worker support programs, none of this would be an issue. There’s no reason on earth that a union of this size should ever be compelled to support heinous policy simply to preserve a relatively small number of socially damaging jobs.
Unionism desperately needs the end of the AFL-CIO as an entity.


Could you imagine the strength of the AFL-CIO if it were to require (like union dues) crash courses in the Mondragon model and history and APPLY THAT in its strategies and planning? What kinds of incentives could the Union use?

Balance study with apprenticeships/internships at worker owned companies here and abroad; incentivize cooperative leadership in developing companies

In the meantime Trumpka might want to be very attentive to the fact that the country is watching unions in the full knowledge that they are at the cusp between predatory global capitalism and societal dignity and continue in a 19th century rut that is flooded, desiccated, bulldozed and boondogled on a regular basis by the corporations that alternately humiliate and coerce them with temporary fixes ( think the meaning of 'reserve/reservation and think of Indian reservations writ large and how extraction of value is done at will) as pawns on a global chessboard.


His name should be changed to McGrveytrain who in the right mind would support a planet killing oil pipeline company for falsely promising to create 4500 high paying jobs. The reality is that these pip-dream jobs pay a few people (very few people) a little above average pay for supervising the pipeline activities. The workers that lay the pipes and dig trenches are probably Mexican migrants or low wage earners whose jobs will vanish once the pipeline is completed. There will perhaps be 4500 low wage workers until the job is done then the pipeline will rupture and spew millions of gallons of tar and deadly filth for lack of proper monitoring and shady workmanship. Oil companies are not in a habit of hiring highly paid workers, on the contrary knowing from past history they tend to cut corners to the bone, pocket the profits and disappear into thin air when disaster hits.


The nurses come through, AGAIN! Sacred Spaces. Equal Justice. Love over hate. “Pitting workers against workers…”, was pointed out. Yes, this “divide and conquer” is always the first tactic of the bankster class to obfuscate their larceny against me and my friends and millions who must toil daily to sustain life and limb.


Today’s labor unions force their members into accepting a false dichotomy.
The choice the leadership puts forward is to either build the pipeline and earn a living, or don’t build it and starve.
Support the fossil fuel industry or support those dirty, Hippie tree huggers.

The plutocrats who lead the majority of today’s unions are every bit as corrupt as the plutocratic politicians they support.


This is happening in North Dakota. The wind energy resources of just 20 percent this state’s surface area is equal to the average electricity usage of the entire USA. The building trade jobs that would be provided by scaled-up wind energy development would totally dwarf all the pipelines in the region.

The days of “Teamsters and turtles - together at last” have been totally forgotten…


That is the problem with unions; they almost always sell out their rank and file dues paying members to the oil garchs!


The world was declared round several hundred years ago.
It’s high time that you accepted that fact and stopped supporting the fossil fuel industry.


Pardon my ignorance, but what is AGW? Without knowing that, (and maybe even with knowing that) it sounds like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. The latter half of your post makes some sense, but trying to compare this situation to an astroid is ludicrous. And what ‘mindless hysteria’ are you talking about?


Exactly, Hitlers Dachau oven operators were probably paid well too and pimps make a lot selling some innocent child sexually


This is not about the past. The whole geo-history of the planet entangles biological development with earth chemistry–like oxygen and carbon dioxide. What happened in the past is only partly relevant and certainly not predictive. This is a new situation where human activities are going to change earth-chemistry faster then organisms, including humans, can evolve. It will likely produce an “autocatalytic” situation beyond human control–therefore it is unprecedented.

You use phrases like “mindless hysteria” and “stark raving bonkers” and “stupid and ugly.” Who exactly is doing the flaming?


Best line: “Would you build an oil pipeline under Arlington Cemetery?”


Amazing, how you guys can shoot yourselves in the foot, continually.
Here’s a big old news flash; there are good paying, skilled labor jobs to be had getting this nation off of the %$#@ fossil fuels. Wind. Solar. Yup, rethink your stand.

P.S. I recall seeing you dears in Seattle in 1999, at the WTO protests.
What the hell happened in the intervening years, Dudes?

Adding this as well: why aren’t you dear folks lobbying congress for getting this nation’s infrastructure up to speed??? Imagine the union work to be had in that sector!


if you are suggesting that the current climatic conditions and trends aren’t the result of human activity, then your idea of “science” is indeed a novel one. Certainly the planet was, at one time, substantially hotter. That was before anything resembling a human, or any other mammal for that matter, had arisen, for the simple reason that such an environment doesn’t support them. But perhaps I miss your point, and you are actually advocating a planetary “reset” of the pre-cambrian variety?


Guessing, Matt, that you might actually be sincere in trying to put together some apparent contradictions in the science of paleoclimatology and AGW, here is my understanding. It’s true that there were trees at the North Pole, etc, during the Carboniferous period (~ 360 M years ago) and CO2 level was 1500 ppm. So then why does everyone insist that such an Earth would be “dead” if it were recreated today? The answer is that the sun is hotter now than 360 M years ago. It’s part of the natural evolution of a sun-like star that its radiation gradually increases over its 9 Billion year life. So if we could go back to 1500 ppm AND turn down the thermostat on the sun, then yes, Earth would be full of life again. But if the sun keeps doing what physics says it will do, and is doing now, at this time CO2 anywhere near 600 ppm would indeed lead to runaway global warming. BtW it is also known that even if CO2 were reduced all the way to zero, the sun’s gradual heating will cause runaway planetary warming some time in the next 60 M to (max) 900 M years, and Earth is destined to become another Venus, no matter what we do. So we’re talking about global suicide now vs going sustainable to give ourselves another 60 M years to figure out interstellar space travel, which will probably be long enough.


Are you familiar with the P-T mass extinction 151 million years ago? It resulted in the sudden extinction of more than 90 percent of all species. It was caused by a sudden “spike” in atmospheric CO2, likely csued by super-massive basaltic eruptions through a very thick limestone unit called the “Siberian Traps.” It resulted in badly acidified oceans, very rapid warming and a sharp drop in oxygen in the atmosphere due to the death of so much cytoplankton in the seas, and plant life on land.

But this “spike” - geologically speaking - was dozens of time slower than the real “spike” of CO2 in human time scales that human emissions are causing. So while we can confidently predict a major planetary mass extinction, becasue there is really no precedent in the history of the earth for the rapidity of the atmospheric disruption humans are causing - we really don’t know how much worse it will be. It is likely that some species will survive, but maybe it will be only microbbes and cockroaches and a few other hardy critters and maybe, in 20 million years or so, species diversity will return.


I think you mean 600 million more years for the estimated minimum time limit for complex life on earth due to increased solar output.

It is believed that we are past the best conditions for complex live diversity, though. The earths homeostatic systems will need to work harder and harder to keep those CO2 levels down for tolerable temperature levels.


“on a planet where runaway temperatures are said to be changing everything.”

Not good enough from Common Dreams - this is mealy mouthed whitewash. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that runaway temperatures due to human induced climate change are likely to severely damage the planet and its life forms in the near future. Just search “eastern Siberia arctic shelf” via youtube and consider the future of your children’s children.


“well-endowed federal transition fund for all out-of-work fossil fuel sector workers”

Why is no one talking about a real solution? It’s a guaranteed annual income for all. This would allow people who want to work to find meaningful or non-harmful but trivial jobs if they wanted more money or something to do in their now abundant free time. They could also do the things thery’re now too busy to do, learn and think about. Job loss for planetary considerations is a very important issue where we should be strongly advocating for a GAI. IMHO.