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Statement of Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA, On Congressman Ed Markey’s Remarks to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee Regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline
Washington, D.C. (March 29, 2013) – In callous and dismissive comments to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee Thursday, Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey highlighted his ignorance of a key driver of the U.S. economy – the construction industry – and showed his disregard and disrespect for workers in the sector, who are trying to put food on their tables for themselves and their families.
Congressman Markey once again stated his opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would create thousands of good jobs. According to media reports, the Congressman said, “What’s in it for us except a few thousand temporary jobs building the pipeline?”
Congressman Markey should understand that many construction jobs, by their nature, are temporary. When workers complete a construction project, they are finished. However, what they build – such as the Keystone XL – remains behind to benefit communities and our country for generations to come.
The union construction workers who will build the Keystone XL Pipeline have been bearing the brunt of hardship during the recession and they still face joblessness double the national average. For them, the Keystone XL is not “a few thousand temporary jobs,” as Congressman Markey states, nor is it only a pipeline – it is a lifeline. The pipeline industry is vibrant and a key job creator for the men and women of LIUNA.