You are here

A healthy planet for our children to inherit, or destroying the earth for jobs? Join Thousands of Workers in Saying: We Will No Longer Accept This Choice!

By Labor for Standing Rock - Labor for Standing Rock, February 2017

Dear Fellow Workers:

We are the people whose blood, sweat and tears built this country’s infrastructure. Our hard work keeps our families fed—and it should also protect the world our children will live in tomorrow.

We play a critical role in making America what it is, and what it will become. Now we have united as thousands of workers across the country to ask a tough question: “What kind of world are we building?”

President Trump recently cleared a path for the completion of the controversial Dakota Access (DAPL) and Keystone X-L (KXL) Pipelines, despite massive global protest against these projects. In violation of the right of all people to clean water, air and land - and in violation of Indigenous peoples’ Treaty Rights - the corporations behind these pipelines continue to dangle the promise of good paying jobs in front of people like us, who need work. In doing so, they force us to trade temporary pay—for the future health of everyone we care about.

As working people, of course we demand decent, well-paid jobs. There is no question about that. But we also demand long-term health and safety for our children and grandchildren. Corporations have been lying in order to profit off our lives and the healthy lives of future generations. They tell us pipelines are safe and that they do not fail, which is demonstrably not true. That leaves working people with a choice between one or the other: a job today or a livable planet tomorrow. We will no longer accept this choice.

Join us in telling union leadership to stand up to these corporations. We must be clear: There are no jobs on a dead planet.

Demand union leadership in Washington, D.C. take back support for these pipelines. Call or email:

The Building Trades recently claimed that the pipeline projects will “put tens of thousands of Americans to work and unleash billions and billions of dollars of earned wages into our economy.” You know how we can put even more Americans to work? By repairing our existing infrastructure. The Teamsters said the projects would “support working families and increase our energy security.” You know how else we can increase our energy security? By transitioning out of the dying fossil fuel industry into clean energy.

We feel it is our duty, as American workers, to tell our leadership: 10,000 temporary jobs, dwindling to just a handful of permanent jobs, on pipeline projects that threaten the future of our families—this is a raw deal from wealthy corporations, and we will not accept it.

Much of the economic growth in the United States because of our investments in infrastructure, from bridges and airports to dams and railways. Now much of this network is crumbling. We can rebuild this infrastructure and build the nations renewable energy infrastructure. There is a fast growing labor market for renewable energy jobs, we need to lead in the fight to make these new jobs union jobs. We could build something that provides our nation with ongoing, quality jobs that provide true energy independence.  Our work could mean much more than supporting a corporation’s bottom line in a dying industry.

The attached fact sheet breaks down exactly how dangerous and unnecessary these pipeline are—and it also exposes the ways union leadership hurts workers by refusing to advocate for better, cleaner, more secure jobs for its members and for a future generation of highly skilled workers. These jobs are possible.

It is for these reasons that unions and thousands of union members are standing up against these fossil fuel pipeline projects. The Labor for Standing Rock Facebook page alone has (more than) 30,000 members. 

Up for the fight? We need your voice.

Join us in calling on Teamster and Building Trades leaders to end their indefensible collaboration with corporate interests behind the DAPL and Keystone pipelines.

Demand union leadership in Washington, D.C. take back support for these pipelines. Call or email:

Workers' rights are inseparable from indigenous rights, and from the right of all people to a clean environment. As the Standing Rock Sioux say, “Mni Wiconi” – water is life. There are no jobs, or life, on a dead planet. We need a just transition and full employment to build a sustainable world. We hope you will join us in that fight.

#MniWiconi #WaterIsLife! #NoKXL! #NoDAPL!

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.