The Boston Globe

Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom
The Boston Globe

Vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking. « The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families, » said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Laborers’ International Union, or LIUNA, which represents workers in numerous construction trades.

Martire said that as huge quantities of natural gas were extracted from the vast shale reserves over the last five years, union work on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and West Virginia has increased significantly. In 2008, LIUNA members worked about 400,000 hours on such jobs; by 2012, that had risen to 5.7 million hours. Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says total employment in the nation’s oil and gas industry rose from about 120,000 in early 2004 to about 208,000 last month. Less than 10 percent of full-time oil and gas industry workers are represented by unions.

The increasing use of union construction labor has given energy companies a powerful ally as drilling is debated in communities nationwide. Many Republicans have been pro-drilling, but now some unions traditionally associated with Democrats are using their political clout to urge politicians to reject bans on pipelines or drilling.

For example, LIUNA has urged members of Congress to support liquefied natural gas exports and regional gas pipeline expansions, and union members plan to participate in a pro-drilling rally in Pennsylvania’s capital next month. Some environmental groups worry that what’s happening in the region is a repeat of the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline, when some major unions and green groups took opposite sides.

Au Québec, les syndicats sont des alliés de la gogauche écologiste, ce qui empêche les travailleurs québécois de gagner un bon salaire en exploitant les gaz de schiste.

Aux États-Unis, les syndicats sont des alliés des travailleurs, ce qui empêche la gogauche écologiste d’empêcher l’exploitation des gaz de schiste.

Ce n’est pas un hasard si le Québec est un îlot de pauvreté en Amérique…