November 22, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Oakland, CA – Hundreds of union members and supporters protested outside a downtown Wells Fargo branch Nov. 10, calling on the bank to pull its investments out of the Dakota Access Pipeline under construction in North Dakota.
The protesters, who included union janitors, security guards, nurses, and teachers, said the oil pipeline could pollute drinking water on land occupied by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The national AFL-CIO has endorsed the pipeline on the grounds that it will create jobs, as have other unions including the Laborers International Union of North America. But the protesting labor leaders said that was not worth causing serious damage to the environment. “As union members, we believe in the fundamental right of all workers to a safe and dignified livelihood. But we need not just jobs and paychecks, but clean air, water, and soil for ourselves and for our children’s children,” Felipe Cuevas, president of the Oakland chapters of SEIU 1021, told KTVU-TV. Read more