New plan will create good paying jobs and fight income inequality by addressing the climate crisis
“This is the most comprehensive statement brought together by environmentalists and trade unionists, so far, in the United States, Canada, and perhaps Europe,” said International United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard.
Gerard was flanked by leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance (BGA) and National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to announce the release of the joint “Solidarity for Climate Action” plan. The plan represents the first ever partnership between organized labor and the environmental community to comprehensively confront the climate crisis.
In total, the plan was two years in the making and is the product of a partnership between 14 different partner unions and organizations.
Through the plan, the 14 partners say that the transition to a carbon-free, clean economy can and should be built by the American workforce. It outlines the ways that organized labor and the environmental community can come together to avoid harmful levels of carbon emissions whilst providing good-paying, high quality, and sustainable jobs for the American workforce. It places an added focusing on impacting communities that have been decimated by the decline in the fossil fuel and coal industry.
These new jobs will rebuild long-ignored infrastructure while simultaneously rebuilding the American manufacturing industry by producing sustainable products.
“I will be damned that, if on my watch, we move toward a clean energy future that requires us to buy solar panels from China or offshore wind turbines from Germany or electric vehicles from somewhere else, I want all those products made right here in America,” said NWF Executive Director Collin O’Mara.
The plan highlights the need for fairness for workers and communities noting that, “The boldness of any plan requires that the workers and communities impacted are afforded a just and viable transition to safe, high-quality, union jobs.”
As poor and minority communities feel the impact of the climate crisis first, according to the plan, they should receive the benefits of the plan first, too. The plan plainly states, “We must inject justice into our nation’s economy by ensuring that economic and environmental benefits of climate change solutions support the hardest hit workers and communities.”
Read or download the full plan here.
The 14 partners that formed the plan are: United Steelworkers, Sierra Club, Communications Workers of America (CWA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Utility Workers Union of America, (UWUA), Union of Concerned Scientists, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), EDF Action, Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC), and League of Conservation Voters (LCV).
Eric Steen, BGA Communications Director at 612.466.4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Khari Mosley, BGA Pennsylvania Regional Program Director at 412.562.0351 or email@example.com