Big Labor Pushes Alaska Gas Pipeline Project

September 2009 Vol. 236 No. 9

The Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline project received a stamp of union approval through several unanimous resolutions at the AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh, PA, Sept. 15.

Described as an “important project to our nation’s economic future,” the project was endorsed in three unopposed resolutions passed by AFL-CIO convention delegates.

Drue Pearce, federal coordinator for the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects (OFC) said, “Today the Alaska natural gas pipeline project received a monumental endorsement from labor at the AFL-CIO annual convention. America needs world-class infrastructure projects that can give hard working Americans good paying jobs. This is just that kind of project and the AFL-CIO working families get it.”

Vince Beltrami, the president of the Alaska AFL-CIO, addressed the national convention on the importance of this gas pipeline project to labor. “It would create tens of thousands of direct jobs and estimates exceeding 100,000 indirect jobs, from the engineering and manufacturing of pipe and other parts to the transportation, loading, shipping, and construction of the project and operations thereafter. So, as we adopt this resolution, I seek only to make this body aware of and hope to build support for the largest project in the country that moves us to a cleaner, greener economy and puts thousands of our members to work.”

Pearce stressed that there are jobs for all Americans, not just Alaskans. “This project will have direct and indirect impacts to many of our labor sectors, all of which will be critical in supporting this project.”

To underscore labor’s support, Frank Carroll, the Second District International vice president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers [IBEW], who represents all of New England, also spoke about his resolution. “Like the resolution says, we need a world-class infrastructure, significant investment in transportation, and a highly educated and well-trained workforce to put it all together. We must push further for additional projects that will not only bring jobs and rebuild the economy, but also aid our manufacturing sector and address the energy and environmental issues.

“One project that brings it all together is the proposed natural gas pipeline in Alaska,” he continued. “Even though this project is thousands of miles from my home, it will benefit my community and communities across the country. This is the type of infrastructure projects we must continue to fight for. Ones that will rebuild our economy through good jobs.”

For more information:
The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas website
Vince Beltrami’s speech

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