Penn Unions Eagerly Support GOP’s Proposed $1.7 Billion Gift to Shell Oil
This political season, organized labor seems to be rallying around Democratic Party candidates across the country–except in Pennsylvania. There, unions are lining up behind a plan by anti-union Republican Gov. Tom Corbett to generate new jobs by offering enormous tax giveaways to one of the world’s richest oil companies.
Corbett is courting a U.S. subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell that is considering construction of a new petrochemical refinery in the small town of Monaca, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. The refinery project would create jobs in an economically distressed region, leading a long list of the state’s top labor organizations to put aside any other disagreements with Corbett and back the effort.
“Yes, we’re pushing this project,” says Frank Sirianni, president of the Pennsylvania State Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO. “My feeling is that if you are going to have a project of this magnitude, it ought to be built by union workers who live and work and pay taxes here in Pennsylvania.”