Dakota Access Pipeline & the Future of American Labor

Jeremy Brecher, of the Labor Network for Sustainability and Michael Leon Guerrero, of the Climate Justice Alliance, discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline, Climate Justice, and burning questions for the future of the American labor movement.
As United States Energy Transfers Partners began building the Dakota Access Pipeline through territory sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the tribe began an escalating campaign against the pipeline. By this summer members of nearly 200 tribes around the country joined nonviolent direct action to halt it. Amidst wide public sympathy for the Native American cause, environmental, climate protection, human rights, and many groups joined the campaign. The Pipeline has become an issue of contention within organized labor. When a small group of unions supported the Standing Rock Sioux and opposed the pipeline, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka issued a statement urging that work on the pipeline continue. Other constituencies within labor quickly protested president Trumka's stance and that of the Building Trades. Jeremy and Michael explore why this is a divisive issue within labor, and suggest that the sharp debate can have a silver lining for a troubled labor movement.