Speakers at the rally included Matt Yonka, President of the Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council; Lorne Seay, Secretary-Treasurer of the Virginia AFL-CIO; and Danny Watson, Business Manager for the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 45.
“So many hardworking Virginians travelled from across our Commonwealth this morning so we could tell Governor McAuliffe that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him in his support of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” said the rally’s organizer, Matt Yonka. “Like Governor McAuliffe, working people in Virginia believe this pipeline will be an economic game-changer for our Commonwealth. It’s going to put thousands of hardworking Virginians to work, and it’s going to rebuild our manufacturing economy in a way that we haven’t seen in many years. The governor is right, the ACP is a ‘jobs pipeline’” Yonka concluded.
Yonka highlighted the more 8,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in economic stimulus that will be generated across Virginia during the pipeline’s construction, including thousands of jobs for the pipefitters, welders and equipment operators represented by the Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council.
“Virginia’s labor community is excited to do our part to help rebuild Virginia’s economy, create a cleaner energy future and provide a better life for working families,” said Lorne Seay. “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our infrastructure and bring back the middle class jobs that have disappeared in too many of our communities. We’re tired of seeing our friends and fellow union members leave Virginia because they can’t find work here. If we want Virginia’s economy to work again for the middle class, we have to build new infrastructure like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” Seay concluded.
“The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is all about jobs, economic opportunity and improving the lives of working Virginians,” said Danny Watson. “Virginia’s boilermakers are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work building this pipeline. We’re excited about the chance to finally bring back our manufacturing jobs so we can build a better life for our children and our communities. We have the tools, we have the experience, and you know we have the work ethic. Now it’s time to give us this opportunity to put our skills and experience to work to build this major project that will benefit all Virginians,” Watson concluded.