WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --In just the past week, more than 200 LIUNA members turned out to voice support for energy projects that build good, family-supporting construction careers, part of an ongoing effort by the union to make sure public officials hear about the benefits of the projects from local workers.
On Wednesday and Thursday, LIUNA members testified before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's two hearings in support of Spectra Energy's Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline project. More than 400 members had previously submitted comments in support of the project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and dozens of members have lobbied their local community leaders.
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and other states across the U.S., LIUNA members have provided thousands of letters of support for natural gas pipelines and submitted hundreds of hours of comment and testimony in support of projects for Spectra and other energy companies. Members have been delivering a consistent message about valuable construction careers, high-quality and safe pipeline work, and the need for affordable energy.
The union has developed a reputation among energy companies as a valuable ally in winning approval of projects due to its ability to mobilize its members, most of whom work and live in affected communities.
"The current energy boom is supporting hundreds of thousands of good construction careers," LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan said. "That's good for America, but it's also in our interest and the interest of contractors to keep that going." O'Sullivan said that means overcoming irrational opposition, but also making sure the projects are built safely with highly-skilled and trained workers.
"There's a right way to build a pipeline and that's why more contractors are turning to us," he said, noting that LIUNA has trained workers in pipeline construction since its founding more than 100 years ago. Today, the union has more than 70 fixed and mobile training centers and offers 164 hours of pipeline-specific instruction.
The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers' International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.