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Unions in heated split over inclusion of Californian Tom Steyer in Super PAC




Tom Steyer speaks at Global Green USA's Millennium Awards at Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California benefiting the places, the people and the planet in need.
Tom Steyer speaks at Global Green USA's Millennium Awards at Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California benefiting the places, the people and the planet in need.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Global Green

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In an open, heated letter to Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, a fellow union head has blasted Trumka's alliance with California environmental philanthropist Tom Steyer calling it "political bullshit."

For the 2016 election year, Steyer has joined forces with other large Democratic organizations including the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations to increase voter turnout for their party. The clash is over Steyer's opposition to oil and gas projects such as the Keystone pipeline, which undercuts American job creation seen as central to some unions' missions. The letter from LIUNA (Laborers' International Union of North America) states that Steyer's "'Leave it in the Ground' [position] is not a viable energy policy."

Historically, other unions have come to include environmental planks in their missions (for more on that see Blue-Green Alliance).

Will Trumka disavow his alliance with Steyer? Could this rift harm the Democrats' get-out-the-vote efforts?

Guests:

Steven Greenhouse, Former labor and workplace reporter for “The New York Times,” Working on a new book about the future of the American worker and labor unions

Brian Mahoney, Labor and employment reporter, POLITICO Pro