A Labor Union Leader Sees Obama for What He Is


Thanks to LiUNA for this photo of President O’Sullivan

Terry O’Sullivan of the Laborers’ International Union of North America calls out Obama

In an 12 November 2015 CNS article, the president of one of the unions to endorse Obama in 2012 now sees Obama for what he is:

In reaction to President Barack Obama’s decision to not allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, Terry O’Sullivan, the president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA!), said Obama had “once again” thrown “hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus” while “doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change.”

“His actions are shameful,” said O’Sullivan in a press release. “The president may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer.”

Last week, President Obama announced his decision to kill the pipeline proposal because Secretary of State John Kerry and the State Department had informed him that Keystone XL “would not serve the national interest of the United States.”

Obama also stressed the necessity for America to “transition” to a “clean energy economy,” and added, “America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change.  And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.  And that’s the biggest risk we face — not acting.”

LiUNA’s President Terry O’Suillivan said, “President Obama today [Nov. 6] demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs.  After a seven-year circus of cowardly delay, the President’s decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one more indication of an utter disdain and disregard for salt-of-the-earth, middle-class working Americans.”

“The President may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer,” said O’Sullivan.

The Keystone XL pipeline would have run from Canada down through the Midwest United States to refineries in Texas and Illinois, and to a distribution center in Oklahoma.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, construction of the Keystone XL pipeline “could support 42,000 jobs and put $2 billion in workers’ pockets.”

LiUNA, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, was founded in 1903 and currently has 557,999 members. It is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Terry O’Sullivan has been president of LiUNA since 2000.

“The President Has Thrown Working People Under the Bus”

In an op-ed written by O’Sullivan in the Labor Press on 9 November 2015, the president of this union unloads on Obama:

President Obama today demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs.After a seven-year circus of cowardly delay, the President’s decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one more indication of an utter disdain and disregard for salt-of-the-earth, middle-class working Americans.

The politics he has played with their lives and livelihoods is far dirtier than oil carried by any pipeline in the world, and the cynical manipulation of the approval process has made a mockery of regulatory institutions and government itself. We are dismayed and disgusted that the President has once again thrown the members of LIUNA, and other hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus of his vaunted “legacy,” while doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change. His actions are shameful.

In its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Keystone XL Project Executive Summary, issued in January 2014, President Obama’s own State Department concluded that building the Keystone XL “is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction in oil sands.”[1] Worse, reviewing the impact of not building the Keystone XL, the same report concluded that, “the total annual GHG emissions (direct and indirect) attributed to the No Action scenarios range from 28 to 42 percent greater than for the [Keystone XL].”[2] But facts apparently mean as little to the President as the construction jobs he repeatedly derided as insignificant because they are “temporary.” Ironically, the very temporary nature of the President’s own job seems to be fueling a legacy of doing permanent harm to middle- and working class families.

From this decision on the Keystone XL, to the attack on quality healthcare through the so-called “Cadillac Tax,” to his efforts to ship good jobs overseas through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Barack Obama’s disdain for working people is evident. The President may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer.The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.

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