Saint Paul, MN – U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum and other federal and state officials signed a letter yesterday calling on President Joe Biden to stop the Line 3 Replacement. Some versions of the letter included inflammatory anti-worker rhetoric suggesting that the presence of construction workers poses a threat to the safety and well-being of area residents. Joel Smith, President and Business Manager of LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota responded today.
“We are deeply disappointed in all of the elected officials that chose to sign on to this anti-worker letter. Roughly half of the LIUNA members working on the Line 3 Replacement are local workers — our friends and neighbors who live, work, raise families, support businesses and pay taxes in our local communities. We are proud to be building the Line 3 Replacement with safe, skilled, quality construction. This letter crosses the line and we condemn it. All workers deserve respect and dignity.
Unfortunately, these officials chose to scapegoat blue-collar workers and promote a false and insulting image of the thousands of professional men and women improving infrastructure we all rely on. This toxic rhetoric dehumanizes our members and emboldens activists to subject them to further abuse and to use dangerous tactics which have put workers and protestors in unpredictable and threatening environments on the job site.
We ask all elected officials to refrain from further anti-worker rhetoric and to watch this video of the abuses both indigenous and non-indigenous pipeline workers experience doing their jobs.”