Labor and Environmentalists Unite Nationwide

madison wi union rally photo

Photo credit: Nickolas Nikolic/Creative Commons

The movement continues nationwide to counter the anti-union legislation being proposed in many states. Sierra Club staff and volunteers around the country continue our work with unions on these issues. But why would enviros unite with unions?

I'll let Alan Lawrence answer this: He's the chairman of the Fox Valley Sierra Club chapter in Wisconsin.Here are his words from a weekend rally:

Hard hats and tree huggers share fundamental goals and values, including the right to safe and healthy working conditions and the creation of good clean-tech jobs. We are the working people. We are ordinary people interested in the environment and the planet.

This last weekend, Sierra Club organized rallies with coalition partners across Wisconsin—but we've been on the ground in Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, and several other states.

The BlueGreen Alliance is one example of environmentalists and unions working together. Launched in 2006 by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club, this unique labor-environmental collaboration has grown to include nine other unions and three other environmental groups.

Our own Board President Robin Mann spoke at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this month on behalf of the BlueGreen Alliance:

What has changed is the redistribution of power and wealth in this country into the hands and pockets of corporate polluters. And they are driving a very destructive agenda - destructive to working families, destructive to good jobs, destructive to basic protections from pollution and destructive of our future.

Unions and environmentalists share a common vision of creating healthy, safe, prosperous communities across America. Together, our movement fights for policies that ensure clean air, water and lands, and decent wages, health care, and a secure retirement for working families.

Stay tuned for a National Day of Action on April 4th, when workers, environmentalists, civil and immigrant rights activists, students, people of faith and many, many more unite under the umbrella "We Are One" for events at work sites, houses of worship, community centers and in the streets.

Read more about unions:
With EPA & Labor Unions Under Fire, So is US Democracy
Are Labor Unions 'Greenmailing' Solar Power Companies?