“Temporary jobs” is a term that some people use to demean the work that many of our members perform for most of their lives. Though constructing a pipeline is a job that doesn’t require an office or a fixed location for our workers, it’s projects like these that are the bedrock of a career for operators. Our careers support our families. Projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline don’t just involve laying pipe in the ground; in fact they support thousands of workers throughout the supply chain. From rolling the steel, to manufacturing the heavy equipment, this project provides opportunity both at the job site and in communities across Iowa.
Characterizing pipeline jobs as temporary is no different than saying that home builders or consultants have unsustainable long-term careers. Like many professions, job sites and clients change on regular basis, but this does not in any way undercut the value or necessity of the work being performed. There’s nothing temporary about the long term opportunities that the Dakota Access Pipeline will provide Iowa’s workers.
Chad Carter is the Vice President, Business Representative, of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 234.