NY nurses and healthcare unions to mobilize against Keystone

The United Healthcare Workers East and New York State Nurses Association vowed to rally thousands of members against the Keystone XL pipeline for a march in September.

The two unions, which together represent half a million nurses and caregivers joined forces Thursday to express their frustration with the Keystone XL pipeline, calling for action on climate change.

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"We are half a million nurses and healthcare workers and we declare our strong support for policies that address the dangers of climate change and prioritize public health, green jobs and renewable energy," the two unions said in a joint statement. "We oppose the Keystone XL pipeline as a hazard to people’s health and a threat to the survival of millions in our country and around the globe."

It's a different tune than the one being pushed by manufacturing, and building trades unions, which overwhelming support construction of the pipeline. Keystone would carry crude oil from Alberta to Gulf refineries.

The healthcare unions vowed to rally their members for what many environmental groups are calling the largest climate change march to day in New York City.

The unions said they plan to "mobilize our members, build further opposition among labor leaders, and educate the public," on the Keystone XL pipeline, and climate change.

The march will be on Sept. 21, two days before President Obama heads there for the United Nations climate summit to work with global leaders on climate action.

The summit is meant to build momentum for climate talks in Paris next year where 120 countries will work to form a global pact on greenhouse gas reductions.