Keystone Wobblies

Union hits back

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When President Barack Obama used his veto power in February to block legislation passed by both houses of Congress that would have authorized construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) came at him swinging.

LIUNA's general president, Terry O'Sullivan, put out a two-line statement calling the veto "disgustingly predictable." In an earlier release anticipating the president's action, O'Sullivan accused Obama of "put[ting] politics first" and said "too many job-killing Democrats have perverted" the process for approving major infrastructure projects.

LIUNA has not hesitated to lean hard on opponents of Keystone, even urging its members to use last year's midterm election to punish House Democrats who were refusing to go along. "For every action there is a reaction," read a letter from the group, "and our reaction to this frontal assault on our way of life needs to be loud and clear: If you do not stand with us, we sure as hell will not stand with you!"

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