As Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer attempts to halt the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, labor unions who represent workers on the pipeline are pushing back.
United Steelworkers National Rapid Response Coordinator Randie Pearson joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to explain what the Rapid Response program is and why Enbridge Line 5 is vital to their members.
What is the USW Rapid Response program
Pearson said the Rapid Response program is intended to help members understand their standing as union members. It is an educational, engagement and empowerment program for USW members. They are nonpartisan and focus on issues that affect union members at work and home.
Enbridge Line 5
The USW is currently invested in protecting Enbridge Line 5, a pipeline that runs from Canada, through Wisconsin and Michigan and then back into Canada. The current issue is that it runs on the lake bed of the Straits of Mackinac.
The pipeline delivers crude and natural gas liquids that are turned into a myriad of everyday chemicals. It also employs thousands of workers and plenty more secondary workers in supported industries.
Pearson said that shutting the pipeline down will raise prices on everything from jet fuel to the cost of heating in homes.
She said there is a common sense solution to the problem. Enbridge has offered to construct an underground tunnel that will protect the waterway from any spill or accident that may happen. The company has offered to fund the entire project, placing no burden on local taxpayers.