BlueGreen Alliance Praises Middle Class Task Force for Focus on Green Jobs

The BlueGreen Alliance praised the first Middle Class Task Force Meeting in Philadelphia and its focus on green jobs as a pathway to a strong middle class in the United States.

February 27, 2009

Labor-Environmental Partnership Says Good, Green Jobs Will Help Fuel Nation’s Recovery

MINNEAPOLIS (February 27, 2009) After news yesterday that new jobless claims climbed to a 26-year high, the BlueGreen Alliance praised today’s first meeting of Vice President Joe Biden’s Middle Class Task Force in Philadelphia and its focus on green jobs as a pathway to a strong middle class in the United States.

United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard, who will appear at the Task Force meeting today and is a founding member of the BlueGreen Alliance, commented:

“We applaud Vice President Biden and this Middle Class Task Force for focusing on green jobs because any economic recovery must be focused on rebuilding the prosperity of working men and women in this country. With investments in the green economy – including those in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – we can put people back to work in the United States and take on the task of combating climate change.

“To rebuild our middle class, we must also be sure that the jobs created in this new, green economy are good jobs with family-supporting wages and benefits, that we maximize the number of jobs created in this economy, and that these jobs truly contribute to the protection of our environment for future generations of Americans.”

Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, also a founding member of the BlueGreen Alliance, said:

“Creating jobs and protecting the environment go hand-in-hand, and that is why creating green jobs is so important to our economic recovery. The development of a green economy in the United States confronts the dual challenges of unemployment and climate change, and will help to set America back on the path to economic prosperity while beginning our nation’s transition to the clean energy future.”

BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster said:

“The jobs created in a green economy will be many of the same jobs that already exist today – engineers, sheet metal workers and steelworkers will help to develop wind power; carpenters, truck drivers and building inspectors will retrofit buildings; and laborers, operating engineers and machinists will modernize our electricity grid. Green jobs are a pathway to a strong middle class – and investments in this new green economy will help to fuel our nation’s recovery.”

The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs created in a new, green economy. The Alliance, launched by the United Steelworkers and Sierra Club in 2006, has since grown to include the Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Laborers’ International Union of North America and Service Employees International Union. The Blue Green Alliance unites more than 6 million people in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy.

For more information, visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

-30-