November 16, 2016
Madison Local 236 Union recently traveled to Standing Rock to show their support for the Native Americans who are standing up against the Dakota Access Pipeline. They did so in spite of the fact they did not have the backing of the heads of the Unions. This put them at risk.
Laborers Union International, better known as Local 236 of Madison Wisconsin, prides themselves on being a public service union. In that spirit, they journeyed to Standing Rock to give the Sioux a written resolution detailing their support. They did this with the clear intention of setting an example so that other unions would listen and also take action to support Standing Rock.
Local 236 hoped their courage would inspire others. And they were successful in this endeavor. The Madison Teachers Union followed suit on Monday, November 7, 2016 by issuing their own written resolution stating unequivocally their support as well. Also many other unions have also joined in support.
Union representative Carrie Riddle was sent to North Dakota with this information for the Sioux Indian reservation:
“As most of you know, the City of Madison has passed a resolution to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock against the pipeline. Most also know that one of our alders [Rebecca Kemble] was arrested there. We at liunna local 236 feel the need to take a stand on the issue.
“We know many unions are for the pipeline and just as many are against it. Due to how our city is situated between several large bodies of water that are a part of the Mississippi watershed, we strive as a whole to keep our lakes clean.
“Because of the nature of our job, we know that, unlike air, water is a closed loop. What we have is all we get. Our lakes provide untold amounts of recreation along with what comes out of our taps. It must remain clean.
“The city government has worked with the indigenous tribes here to try and preserve their heritage. As a diversified group, we also understand wanting and keeping a heritage. We feel there would be more and better sustainable jobs if we invested in other types of energy that were not fraught with so many accidents.
“We stand proudly in solidarity with the city of Madison, her citizens, and the people of Standing Rock against the pipeline. After all, this is Madison. Thank you.”