The workers building the Dakota Access pipeline want to express our gratitude to law enforcement, first responders, N.D. National Guard personnel and local officials for standing up for our right to work in a safe environment.
These men and women who are protecting us every day deserve our respect. Law enforcement officials have shown us their best, even under the most difficult conditions.
Every North Dakotan deserves the right to feel safe at home, at work, and in the communities where we live. The actions of the protesters who have illegally occupied private land near Cannon Ball, and ambushed construction site up and down the pipeline right-of-way, have violated those rights, even as they complain loudly about interference with their "right" to trespass and harass workers.
The fingerprint of skilled construction craftsmen and women can be found in every corner of this great country. We take great pride in the work we do and we have the utmost respect for the environment, and the communities where we live and work. No one takes safety more seriously than the men and women working to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.
For months now, our members have worked under constant threat, losing wages and sleep as a result of aggressive and unsafe protest tactics. It must stop. It is time for the federal government to stop delaying completion of this important national infrastructure project. Let us do our jobs, and more importantly, ensure that we are allowed to complete it safely.
No man, woman, or child should fear that a member of their family is at risk for the job they do - yet here we are in 2016, and skilled construction craftsmen must use caution entering and leaving jobs sites for fear of what might happen. This is simply unacceptable.
Support our country and state's skilled craftsmen and women. Support the local communities who want this project. And most importantly, support the men and women of local law enforcement as they do their jobs.
Bryson, Bismarck, is business agent, Laborers International Union Local 563.