Thousands of out-of-town protesters descended on northern Minnesota to disrupt construction on the Line 3 pipeline project.

While everyone has the right to express themselves – even those against the pipeline – I think the impact on the pipeline workers is often overlooked.

Since construction, Enbridge has hired nearly 6,000 workers for these good-paying pipeline jobs – something that should be celebrated after a year of lost jobs and decreased hours and wages for many families in greater Minnesota.

Over the past seven months, anti-pipeline groups have continually protested at worksites, shutting down construction and halting progress on this much-needed pipeline. But when construction is shut down due to the dangerous antics of protesters, it means workers are not able to do their job, often leading to lost wages.

Many of these protesters claim to support union workers, but their actions and antics say otherwise. They are quite literally taking money out of the pockets of these hardworking men and women who depend on their Line 3 pipeline jobs to pay the bills.

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The Line 3 project has gathered all permits required of it, has surpassed all necessary environmental reviews and studies, and has been given the green light by both federal and state agencies and courts. Protesters can continue to make their voices heard but need to let the pipeline workers do their jobs – and do so without disruption and harassment.