Blue Collar Jobs vs. Enviro Extremism: Unions Calling Out Democrats

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Trade unions are, more and more every day, letting Democrats know choosing environmental extremism over blue collar jobs is a recipe for future defeat.

There was an amazing op-ed piece on the Pittsburgh TribLive platform the other day from Philip Ameris, Business Manager of the Western Pennsylvania Laborers’ District Council. The Council is part of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). Ameris talked up an endorsement of a Democrat challenger named Chris Roland to existing Democrat State Representative Summer Lee. Why? Because, Lee against the HB 1100 “Energize PA” legislation designed to support blue collar jobs. Lee, in the breach, chose to side with Tom Wolf and the enviros funded by the Heinz Endowments against the interests of blue collar workers.

blue collar jobs

We’re seeing more of this every day. The trade unions are rising up to tell the Democrat party it has being co-opted by wealthy special interests more keen on making wildernesses than blue collar jobs. Here is some of what Ameris had to say:

Labor is only focused on the color blue, and by that, I mean who will create and protect blue-collar jobs to bring Pennsylvania residents of all backgrounds into the middle class. That is very different from the color associated with one’s political party.

I am baffled by Democrats who think they will earn the union vote just for being in the Democratic Party. That lesson should have been painfully learned in 2016 when President Trump won Pennsylvania with over 40,000 votes. Democrats need to earn back their endorsement, and in order to do that, they need to act on behalf of Pennsylvania’s working men and women.

While Lee is a Democrat, she attacks projects that would promote blue-collar job creation and economic prosperity, especially among the state’s minority groups. One construction project Lee vehemently opposes is the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County. This manufacturing plant that will be powered by Pennsylvania’s clean, natural gas resources has created 6,000 construction and manufacturing jobs and will create hundreds more once operational. On this project, construction workers earn a family-supporting wage…

Pennsylvania House Bill 1100 will expand the petrochemical plant industry and create jobs similar to the ones on the Shell plant. Although it received bipartisan support, Lee voted against the bill.

HB 1100 goes an extra step further for Pennsylvania’s working families by tying the tax credit to the prevailing wage. Companies that invest to build a petrochemical plant must pay workers the prevailing wage in order to receive the modest tax credit once manufacturing begins

It is pretty simple: If you are not going to protect blue-collar jobs, you are not going to get labor’s endorsement.

Is the Democrat party listening? If Tom Wolf, Andrew Cuomo and Phil Murphy are any indication, the answer is no. Although Wolf is the best of the lot, all three have sold some part of their souls to gentry class NRDC gang types, putting the wants of the the Haas, Heinz, Park and Rockefeller families ahead of the need for good paying blue collar jobs. It’s not about the environment, which is protected which is protected by myriad regulations, best management practices and the simple fact natural gas has done more than anything to clean our air.

No, it’s about the gentry class interests in green eggs and scam, their desire to create wilderness playgrounds for themselves and, above all, their egos, all of which trump blue collar jobs in their aristocratic imaginations. But the trades are now calling out the Dems who are letting themselves be co-opted and that is a profoundly good thing. As Phillip Ameris says, “If you are not going to protect blue-collar jobs, you are not going to get labor’s endorsement.” So nice to see labor calling a halt to this despicable abandonment of blue collar interests by those who, for so long, claimed to be about nothing else.

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Blue Collar Jobs vs. Enviro Extremism: Unions Calling Out Democrats