Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, had a puzzling reaction to President Biden’s cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline with stroke of a pen.
President Biden’s elimination of the pipeline on his first day as President immediately killed 1,000 jobs. It will likely end up costing ten times that many jobs.
Many of these jobs were held by union men and women.
Here is what Trumka said:
“I wish [President Biden] hadn’t done that on the first day because the Laborers International [Union] is right,” Trumka told Axios. “It did and will cost us jobs in the process. I wish he had paired that more carefully with the thing he did second by saying, ‘Here’s where we’re creating jobs.'”
Huh—the problem was that Biden killed a thousand jobs, with thousands more to follow, his first day in office?
Maybe it would have been better for the President to kill American jobs on the second or third day, or maybe wait a week?
Trumka “wishes” the President had “paired” his obliteration of the jobs of American workers with the bromidic news that he plans to create lots of green jobs?
Trumka’s reaction has been called a “muted” response, but it’s really a bizarre reaction. Labor unions exist (supposedly) to help workers stay in good jobs.
As for the jobs the Biden administration is “creating,” they don’t exist yet.
It does a laid-off worker little good to be told that jobs are being “created” at some time in the future that will solve the problem, though it may mean uprooting one’s family and moving to a different part of the country, along with taking a pay cut.
Heritage Foundation economics research fellow Rachel Greszler told Fox News:
“The fact that Trumka was relatively indifferent to Biden’s move to kill thousands of union jobs is troubling and revealing,” Greszler said. “It shows that unions don’t actually represent workers’ interests, but rather union leadership’s quest for power.”
Trumka expressed displeasure with the pipeline project cancellation but also praised Biden as possibly “the best union president we ever had” during an “Axios on HBO” interview that aired on Sunday.
“It suggests that he’s going to get something in return for sitting silent on a matter that is negatively impacting [workers],” Greszler said, referencing union-backed policies like a $15 federal minimum wage and the PRO Act.
Biden’s pledge [is] to create new “high-paying union jobs” through investments in green energy infrastructure projects.
“There’s a gap between what they’re promising and what’s actually possible,” Greszler said. “You can talk about these green jobs, but it’s going to take years, if not decades, to actually generate these jobs.”
If Mr. Trumka is hoping for a minimum wage hike to bail out the men and women who are out of work because of the pipeline cancellation, maybe it is time to remind the union leader that most of these people were making considerably more than $15 an hour.
Displaced pipeline workers say they will be ruined. They know this:
“Solar panels are going to be built by the cheapest bidder, with the cheapest parts that we can get,” David Dickerson [who is out of a job because of the Biden executive order] said Tuesday. “That’s flooding our market right now on all solar farms.”
“It won’t be union work or jobs,” he added.
You’d think Trumka would be alarmed.
White House Spokesman Jen Psaki and Fox’s Peter Doocy, who seemed more sympathetic to laid-off pipeline workers than the big labor guy, went at it during a White House presser:
Doocy referenced Biden’s pledge to create “high-paying union jobs” through investments in green energy infrastructure projects.
“Well, I’d certainly welcome you to present your data of all the thousands and thousands of people who won’t be getting green jobs,” Psaki responded. “Maybe next time you’re here you can present that.”
“But you said that they would be getting green jobs, so I’m just asking when that happens?” retorted Doocy, citing a recent claim by Laborers’ International Union of North America that Biden’s decision to cancel the pipeline would cause 1,000 union jobs to “immediately vanish” and eliminate 10,000 more construction jobs.
“As the president has indicated when he gave his primetime address to talk about the American Rescue Plan, he talked about his plans to also put forward a jobs plan in the weeks or months following,” Psaki answered. “He has every plan to do exactly that.”
Translation: Who the heck knows?
This is deja vu.
We’re back in the Obama years when we constantly heard about the advent of new, green jobs. We also read about big green energy projects, heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars, that were going belly up.
Because the media bought into the Obama agenda, stagnant jobs reports were always “unexpected.”
What is most infuriating is that men and women who were willing to get their hands dirty and do physical jobs to provide good lives for their families are expendable, while the virtue signaling of the left must go on regardless of the toll in human suffering.
We all want a clean environment, but at this point, those green jobs are still mostly pipedreams.