Expansion Highlights Growing Collaboration to Turn Today’s Environmental Challenges into Job-Creating and Economic Opportunities
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 6, 2014) – Labor and environmental leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance today announced the addition of the International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers (BAC) and EDF Action to its membership. With this announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance has grown to include 16 of the country’s largest unions and environmental organizations—bringing together more than 16 million members and supporters across the country.
“Tackling the nation’s environmental challenges—including addressing the threat of climate change—presents an enormous opportunity to grow our economy and to create good jobs, but that opportunity can only be captured through innovation and collaboration,” said Elizabeth Thompson, President of EDF Action, the political action partner of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). EDF is a leading national environmental nonprofit, founded by scientists in 1967, that today represents more than 750,000 members. “The BlueGreen Alliance was founded on the belief that we can’t choose between jobs and the environment,” Thompson added. “We have to have both, and we have to work together to make that happen. We are thrilled to be joining this strategic partnership dedicated to making that vision a reality.”
The BAC was founded in 1865. The oldest continuous union in North America, they represent highly skilled trowel trades craftworkers across the U.S. and Canada. Their members include bricklayers, stone and marble masons, cement masons, plasterers, tilesetters, terrazzo and mosaic workers, and pointers/ cleaners/ caulkers.
“Our members are working every day to ensure that our built infrastructure is energy efficient,” said James Boland, President of BAC. “By joining the BlueGreen Alliance, we’re showing our commitment to a better future for workers and the environment. Addressing climate change and preparing for its impacts is an opportunity to create quality, family-sustaining jobs, and the BAC wants to be part of the unique partnership working to achieve that vision.”
“The solutions to climate change and other environmental challenges are available now, and this partnership is essential to ensuring that jobs are created and the economy grows along the way,” said Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) and a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance (BGA). “BGA is critical to ensuring that this happens, and the addition of EDF Action and BAC is another step forward in building a stronger collaboration for the future.”
“Every day, the BlueGreen Alliance works for a clean, safe environment for our kids and good jobs for American working people,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, and a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “The Sierra Club believes deeply in these principles and we are proud to work alongside our partners at BGA. We welcome EDF Action and the International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers to the organization, as we continue this important work to ensure a strong clean energy economy.”
“Earlier this week, the EPA announced a Clean Power Plan aimed at addressing climate change. Now more than ever a partnership like BGA is critical to ensuring the basic premise that we can grow our economy and create good jobs through solutions to our biggest environmental problems,” said David Foster, the organization’s executive director. “We are excited to welcome EDF Action and the BAC to our partnership during this critical time.”