WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2010) – Today, the BlueGreen Alliance announced that the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association joined the fast-growing labor-environmental partnership dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the clean energy economy. With the Sheet Metal Workers – which brings 150,000 men and women employed in the construction, manufacturing, service, railroad and shipyard industries – the BlueGreen Alliance unites eight major U.S. labor unions and two of America’s largest environmental organizations in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy.
“We are committed to bringing our voice to this thriving and unique labor-environmental partnership,” said Michael J. Sullivan, General President of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association. “The clean energy economy represents an enormous opportunity to create good jobs that help to rebuild America’s infrastructure and retrofit America’s commercial building stock with energy efficient heating and cooling systems while addressing our biggest environmental challenges.
“We are already working to create a green economy that creates good, sustainable jobs, and the BlueGreen Alliance will join us in helping to pass important new initiatives like Building Star,” continued Sullivan.
“The BlueGreen Alliance welcomes the Sheet Metal Workers and their 150,000 union members to our effort to build a clean energy economy across the United States,” said Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers, a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “It is imperative that the jobs created in the clean energy economy are domestic, union jobs that support families and communities, and the Sheet Metal Workers are key to the effort to make this vision a reality.”
“The solutions to our environmental challenges are also the solutions to our economic and unemployment crises,” said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Step by step, we are building a clean energy economy that will create good jobs and protect the environment. The manufacturing, construction, service, railroad and shipyard industry workers of the Sheet Metal Workers are already helping to build that clean energy economy, and we are thrilled to have them as part of this great labor-environmental partnership.”
“Whether we are building America’s clean energy infrastructure, protecting the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively for good, green jobs, or advocating for trade agreements that include labor, environmental and human rights standards, the Blue Green Alliance and the Sheet Metal Workers are a perfect fit,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the Blue Green Alliance. “We are pleased to add their 150,000 members to the ranks of union members and environmentalists working together to build a cleaner, more efficient, and more prosperous American economy.”
The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the clean energy economy. Launched by the United Steelworkers and Sierra Club in 2006, the BlueGreen Alliance now includes the Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Laborers’ International Union of North America, Service Employees International Union, Utility Workers Union of America, American Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union and the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, uniting more than eight and a half million people in pursuit of good, clean energy jobs.