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More unions support Standing Rock Sioux and safe water

CFA is in strong company as more and more unions across the nation send solidarity to protestors who are opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline to defend tribal land rights and water safety.

It is the case at this time, that the AFL-CIO and some of its affiliated unions are opposing the protests and supporting the pipeline in the name of generating jobs on construction and operation of the pipeline.

However, even within the AFL-CIO, the Labor Coalition For Community Action (which is comprised of AFL-CIO Constituency Groups that include the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and Pride at Work) has sided with the Standing Rock Sioux and the “water protectors.”

A news release from APALA headlined “AFL-CIO Constituency Groups Stand with Native Americans to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline” says the labor coalition groups “advocate for a progressive labor movement rooted in dignity and respect of all peoples….”

Here are some of the labor unions that have come out in support of the Standing Rock Sioux and spoken out for clean water and environmental justice:

CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: Solidarity Statement from CFA to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, September 13, 2016

SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION: Statement supporting the Standing Rock Sioux efforts to stop the pipeline, October 1. In addition to unequivocal support for the “water protectors,”  and noting environmental injustice against communities where many of the two million SEIU members live, SEIU tackled the issue of jobs straight on: “Our government must make the needed investments into building a new clean economy.… We will fight for an economy and democracy in which working families can live and work in a clean environment with good jobs for all.”

COALITION OF GRADUATE EMPLOYEE UNIONS: Solidarity Statement. Grad student unions at the California State University, UAW 4123 and these universities are in solidarity with Standing Rock: NYU, U. of Chicago, UMass Amherst, Ann Arbor, UW Madison, Urbana-Champaign, UIC, UConn, UC, and McMaster U. “Water is life, no job on the dead planet! #NoDAPL”

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, LOCAL 2121 (City College of San Francisco): Delegate Assembly Resolution, Sept 27, 2016

And, others have issued statements including Communications Workers Of America, Amalgamated Transit Union, American Postal Workers Union, United Electrical Workers Union, National Nurses Union, and National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981.

In a statement to NBC News, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said the AFL-CIO letter was not indicative of widespread labor unity on the issue. He noted of the unions that have stated their support for the tribe: “We stand together in peace and solidarity because this pipeline threatens the lives of the more than 17 million people who rely on the Missouri River for their water.”

PHOTO: Labor union members at Standing Rock. A labor solidarity camp has been forming this week at the site. Go to #LaborForStandingRock to see photos of and commentary by labor union activists.

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