Laborers Statement on Bill Hansen
Duluth, MN (September 21, 2015) – The Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota released a statement tonight on DFL House 3A candidate Bill Hansen's offensive remarks towards Minnesota construction workers, made in a video posted on Youtube:
“A video posted on youtube.com shows Bill Hansen speaking some insulting words about the construction workers that live and work in Northern Minnesota. In that video he states:
'We need the jobs. Jobs are important. But those aren’t the jobs we want. In this modern age, these projects are going to be man camps…that clear out the community, create a lot of crime, prostitution, gambling. All kinds of community problems and tend to drive out other sustainable jobs.'
Mr. Hansen has been an outspoken critic of the copper/nickel mining projects proposed for Minnesota. So those comments come as no surprise. What is disturbing, is that someone running for political office would so easily dismiss jobs paying $25+/hour with family healthcare benefits, pensions and training programs. Jobs like those are the backbone of strong families and communities; jobs that bring people in and keep them here.
What is most disappointing, however, is that to this point both sides have carried on a respectful debate. Now in the heat of an election campaign, Mr. Hansen has apparently revealed what he truly thinks of the men and women of the Laborers Union and other construction workers. His distorted view of construction workers is at best uninformed. At worst, it seems like pandering to a group of voters for political gain."
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjk2-VUAfgU#action=share
Dan Olson, President & Business Manager
Laborers Union Local #1091
Chartered in 1968 by the Laborers International Union of North America, LIUNA, the Laborers District Council of MN and ND and its seven affiliated Local Unions represent about 12,000 workers in Minnesota, North Dakota and Northwestern Wisconsin. For more information check out their website or Facebook page http://www.minnesotalaborers.org/ or http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaLaborers.
The Iron Range Building and Construction Trades Council released their own statement earlier, included below:
"In a video posted on his campaign website, Bill Hansen had some harsh words for the workers on the Iron Range.
We know he doesn’t support the proposed copper/nickel mines and he is certainly entitled to that opinion. What was shocking to the Labor community and their supporters was the blatant disrespect for the members of Minnesota’s Building and Construction Trades Unions.
Mr. Hansen said: “We need the jobs. Jobs are important. But those aren’t the jobs we want. In this modern age, these projects are going to be man camps…that clear out the community, create a lot of crime, prostitution, gambling. All kinds of community problems and tend to drive out other sustainable jobs.”
Our members are drug-tested, safety conscious professionals who work very hard to build Minnesota. Mr. Hansen has degraded our members for his own personal and political gains. He clearly has a delusional and skewed view of current-day construction workers and the value they bring to their families and community."
Iron Range Building and Construction Trades Council