Fifty-Thousand Strong Utility Workers Union of America Joins Labor-Environmental Partnership to Expand Clean Energy Economy, Create Good Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2009) As Congress debates clean energy legislation, the BlueGreen Alliance today announced that the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) will join the fast-growing labor-environmental partnership. UWUA brings more than 50,000 members working in America’s utilities to the BlueGreen Alliance, strengthening its efforts to create good jobs in the clean energy economy.
“We know from experience what the transition to a clean energy economy looks like, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of building it with our labor and environmental partners,” said D. Michael Langford, National President of the UWUA. “As this nation looks for solutions to our energy, climate and economic crises, clean energy is central to these solutions, and we are working with the BlueGreen Alliance to make sure that green jobs are good, union jobs that support families and communities.”
The UWUA has over 50,000 members working in the electric, gas, water and nuclear industries across the United States. The union represents workers at FirstEnergy’s R. E. Burger power plant in Ohio, and was instrumental in the company’s decision to convert from coal-fired to renewable biomass, a conversion that will be fully completed by 2013.
“We know that the transition to clean energy will create jobs across the country, whether for utility workers, laborers or steelworkers,” said Ed Good, a UWUA Local 350 member who works at the Burger plant and is the president of Ohio’s Belmont-Monroe Central Labor Council. “By joining with the BlueGreen Alliance, we can be a part of this transition – creating good jobs and protecting the environment for our kids and our communities.”
The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. Launched by the Sierra Club and United Steelworkers in 2006, the BlueGreen Alliance has grown to include the Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Laborers’ International Union of North America and Service Employees International Union, and unites six million people in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy.
“Building a clean energy economy will help us to confront the threat of global warming and create good jobs at the same time,” said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “But this goal will not be achieved by working separately, which is why this partnership is so important, and we are thrilled that the Utility Workers – the men and women who run America’s electric utilities, are joining in this important effort.”
“This partnership of labor unions and environmentalists is key to building a strong clean energy economy-one that creates jobs here in the United States,” said United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard. “The Utility Workers bring to the BlueGreen Alliance a key perspective in how we can transition to a clean energy economy in this country, and we are pleased that they have joined us in this effort.”
“There is a growing number of working people around the country who are taking action to build an economy that creates good jobs and reduces global warming,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “With the addition of UWUA to the BlueGreen Alliance, it is clear that their voices are getting louder and louder every day.”