America’s Largest Union of Transit Workers Joins Labor-Environmental Partnership
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 8, 2009) – As world leaders gather this week in Copenhagen to negotiate a global agreement on climate change, the BlueGreen Alliance announced today that the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the nation’s largest union of transit workers with 190,000 members, has joined the fast-growing labor-environmental partnership as it works to create good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy.
“The goal of a green economy – an economy where mass transit is a key priority to ensure the creation of good jobs and a cleaner environment – is one that we all share,” said Ronald J. Heintzman, International Executive Vice President of the ATU. “We are thrilled to join our union brothers and sisters, and our friends in the environmental movement, in advancing our goals to expand public transportation, protect the safety and security of workers and ensure that the jobs created by this green economy are good jobs that can support families and communities.”
ATU, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has 264 local unions spread across 44 states and nine provinces. Composed of bus drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical personnel, and other transit and municipal employees, the ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for the interests of its hard-working members.
“The BlueGreen Alliance welcomes the Amalgamated Transit Union and their over 190,000 union members to our effort to build a clean energy economy in the United States,” said United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard, a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “It’s important that we all work together to create the good jobs we need to rebuild the middle class by transitioning to clean energy, and expanding public transit is a key component to achieving that goal.”
“We have long-supported public transportation as a green solution and so we are especially thrilled to be joined by the Amalgamated Transit Union in this effort to build a cleaner, more efficient economy,” said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club and a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Addressing the issue of global warming allows us to also create good jobs that promote economic prosperity for the next generation, leaving our planet and our communities in better shape than we found them.”
“As America takes on the task of revitalizing our economy while also confronting our climate and energy challenges, we have to make expanding public transit a priority, and those new jobs in this sector must be good jobs that can support a family and a community,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Expanding public transit, and thereby creating good union jobs, is key to making the green economy a success.”
The BlueGreen Alliance, launched by the United Steelworkers and Sierra Club in 2006, is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. The BlueGreen Alliance has since grown to include the Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Laborers’ International Union of North America, Service Employees International Union, Utility Workers Union of America, Amalgamated Transit Union and the American Federation of Teachers, and unites more than eight million people in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy.