Monday, July 9, 2007

Good Jobs, Green Jobs, and the Emerging Labor-Green Alliance

We can promote economic growth and job creation even when we call for environmental sustainability. There is a growing alliance between labor and the environmental movement that is popularizing this idea.

One important development in this regard was the Blue-Green Alliance formed last year by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club.

According to an AFL-CIO Now post on this alliance, the goals of the coalition are to promote clean, alternative energy to help turn the tide against global warming, to promote fair trade policies that also include environmental protections, and to educate, expose, and reduce the use of toxins in our workplaces, consumer products, and homes.

This type of alliance between labor and the environmental movement is so important. It draws a lot of key issues together: creation of jobs and addressing issues of economic justice, globalization, corporate dominance of political processes, while educating on and advancing policies that promote sustainability.

Another such coalition is the Apollo Alliance, which is leading important efforts to transform our economy into a clean energy one, while creating new jobs and breaking the addiction to oil.

Apollo argues that a new clean economy itself will require the development of whole new industries and new job creation in manufacturing and other basic, union dense industries, or what it calls "green collar jobs." Check it out.

I love it.

--Joel Wendland

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