TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's largest union in the private sector is throwing its weight behind a new motion from the NDP that aims to create good jobs in the energy sector while respecting the wishes of Canadians, the rights of First Nations and the protection of the environment.
"Stephen Harper's resource development strategy might as well have been written by foreign oil companies," said Joie Warnock, Unifor's Western Director. "The NDP's bill puts Canadians first. It has a long-term vision that respects democracy and good jobs."
The NDP's bill, sponsored by Skeena—Bulkley Valley Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen, will mandate the National Energy Board to consider the impact of pipeline proposals on Canadian workers in the refining and energy sector. The bill also bans crude oil tankers on the Northwest Coast and requires the National Energy Board to be more accountable to Canadians.
"Canadian natural resources should create long-term Canadian jobs and meet Canadians' energy needs," said Warnock. "Unifor stands united with the groups demanding that the federal government stop reckless pipeline projects and invest in greener jobs that can support families and communities."
Unifor opposes raw bitumen pipeline projects—including Enbridge's Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan's southern expansion—because they do not create long-term employment and the federal approval process has largely ignored the public's concerns.
130 First Nations, most BC municipalities, and at least half of British Columbians oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal. According to the Alberta Federation of Labour, only 228 permanent jobs will be created from the pipeline.
Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 305,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.