A recent letter from U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum and other federal and state officials calling on President Joe Biden to stop the Line 3 Replacement suggested the presence of construction workers on the project posed a threat to local residents. Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy responded to the lawmakers’ assertions:
“Prior to work starting on the Line 3 Replacement, the Minnesota AFL-CIO Executive Board unanimously passed a resolution urging both opponents and supporters, ‘along with our elected representatives and allies, to promote respectful dialogue, and to both refrain from and speak out against attempts to demonize protesters, pipeline workers or law enforcement, including rhetoric suggesting that the mere presence of protesters or pipeline workers poses a threat to the safety or well-being of area residents.’
Instead of respectful dialog, these lawmakers opted to demonize Minnesotans who are working hard to support themselves and their families. All working people, no matter where they come from, what they look like, or where they work, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
Many of the letter’s signatories have long stood with working Minnesotans in our fights for safer workplaces, higher wages, job creation, and other pro-Labor policies. That’s why it is both shocking and offensive to see them disparage workers in this manner. These lawmakers owe working Minnesotans an apology for using this toxic rhetoric to further a policy position.
As work on Line 3 continues, the Minnesota AFL-CIO once again urges people on all sides of this issue to stick to the facts and refrain from demonizing workers or protesters.”