Happy Earth Day! It’s a great time to celebrate the cooperation between the environmental movement and the union movement in building a stronger, greener economy. A big part of that collaboration is making sure that green jobs are good jobs, so workers can bargain for health care, pensions, job security and fair wages.
That’s why it’s encouraging that so many environmental groups have joined the coalition supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. The bill is critical to protect workers’ freedom to form unions, and give them a voice in the workplace and the ability to have a say in how their jobs impact their community.
Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, EarthAction and Green America have joined the fight for the Employee Free Choice Act, as has the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of union, environmental, business and community groups focused on building a new energy economy.
Here’s what Allison Chin, president of the Sierra Club, had to say about the Employee Free Choice Act earlier this year:
Our members overwhelmingly support the Employee Free Choice Act, and we are proud to stand strong with our brothers and sisters in organized labor. Passing the Employee Free Choice Act is one of our highest priorities, and we pledge to work tirelessly until it is on President Obama’s desk.
We support this vital piece of legislation because it’s right for workers, right for America and because it is simply the right thing to do. But we also know that companies that treat their workers right are much more likely to treat our environment right.
As we build the clean energy economy and create the millions of new green jobs that will put our economy back to work, we need to make sure those green jobs are also good jobs. Protecting workers’ most basic rights, including the right to choose how and when to form a union, is an essential part of building a clean energy economy that lifts up all workers.
Chin was one of the many community leaders who spoke at the Feb. 4 rally on Capitol Hill in support of the Employee Free Choice Act.
Rebuilding a new energy economy that works for everyone will require that workers have the ability to bargain and hold their employers accountable for safe workplaces and community-friendly practices. The freedom to form unions will be critical to a stronger, cleaner and more sustainable economy.