USW Backs BlueGreen Alliance National Manufacturing Agenda
PITTSBURGH, June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) union, along with other members and leaders of the labor-environmental partnership BlueGreen Alliance (BGA), today launched the group's ambitious agenda to rebuild American manufacturing while fighting the effects of climate change.
The BGA, founded in 2006 by the USW and the Sierra Club, now includes more than a dozen unions and environmental organizations committed to fighting for good jobs, clean infrastructure and fair trade. The group's proposal, released today, outlines a set of national actions necessary to create a manufacturing economy that is globally competitive, clean, safe and fair for workers and communities.
"The USW will always reject the false notion that we must choose between good jobs and a clean environment," said USW International President Tom Conway. "We believe this country must have both, or we will have neither. That belief has formed the basis for our membership in the BlueGreen Alliance for the past 14 years."
The BGA agenda outlines a set of national actions to modernize the U.S. industrial base, create good jobs, combat climate change and ensure fairness for workers and communities. The five pillars of the plan are to invest in a new generation of American manufacturing; to innovate to transform industry; to responsibly mine, recycle and reclaim the critical materials necessary for a secure, clean economy; to use public investment to create markets for a strong, clean, fair manufacturing economy; and to change the rules to build a clean economy that works for all Americans.
"These priorities, if they are followed, will mean a stronger, safer, more prosperous future for all workers, families and communities in the United States," Conway said. "American industrial workers - and Steelworkers in particular - are an essential part of that future.
"USW members have led the way in producing the next generation of clean, environmentally friendly products, including tires designed for greater fuel efficiency, paper products from recycled materials, bearings for wind turbines, and new steel pipe to prevent leakage," Conway said. "Manufacturing workers are the key to solving our environmental crisis while ensuring the growth of our manufacturing base."
Conway said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the urgency of the United States rebuilding its manufacturing base and putting Americans back to work.
"We don't have the luxury of time," Conway said. "We need to act now, to ensure the long-term health of our citizens, our economy and our planet."
Conway is scheduled to testify on Wednesday, July 1, before a special U.S. Senate committee on the climate crisis, and he plans to submit the BGA's manufacturing agenda as part of his testimony.
"To achieve the goals laid out in the BGA's agenda, we will need the support of workers as well as government and industry leaders," Conway said. "We must make sure that American workers are leading the way on these changes, rather than becoming victims of them."
The full text of "The BlueGreen Alliance Manufacturing Agenda: A National Agenda for Clean Technology Manufacturing Leadership and Industrial Transformation" can be found here:
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. For more information: www.usw.org.