The Empowerment Alliance Stands With Labor Unions Who Oppose The Job-Killing Green New Deal - TEA

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The Empowerment Alliance Stands With Labor Unions Who Oppose The Job-Killing Green New Deal

“Labor unions say they are withholding support for a Green New Deal unveiled by Democrats last week to transition the American economy away from fossil fuels, arguing the loosely-defined plan could kill jobs if its architects aren’t careful.” (Valerie Volcovici, “Labor Unions Fear Democrats’ Green New Deal Poses Job Threat,” Reuters, 2/12/19)

The AFL-CIO opposes the Green New Deal and called it “not achievable or realistic.” “But the AFL-CIO throwing water on the plan complicates matters for Democrats who rely on labor support. Without the backing from unions or the business community, it will be a hard sell for Democrats to get it beyond grass-roots support. In their letter to Markey and Ocasio-Cortez, Roberts and Stephenson called the Green New Deal “not achievable or realistic.” They urged the lawmakers to include labor in conversations related to climate change, but said it shouldn’t impinge on other priorities such as infrastructure.” (Colby Itkowitz, “AFL-CIO Criticizes Green New Deal, Calling It ‘Not Achievable Or Realistic,” The Washington Post, 3/12/19)

Yvette Pena O’Sullivan, Executive Director of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA): “We will never settle for ‘just transition’ language as a solution to the job losses that will surely come from some of the policies in the [Green New Deal] resolution.” “The resolution’s backers say the plan – once fully sketched out in the legislation – would create jobs in much the same way as President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s by putting Americans to work on transformative government-led projects. It also calls for a ‘just transition’ for current fossil fuel workers – from coal miners to pipeline workers – through guarantees of healthcare, jobs, and job training. Union officials told Reuters they were skeptical. ‘We will never settle for ‘just transition’ language as a solution to the job losses that will surely come from some of the policies in the resolution,’ said Yvette Pena O’Sullivan, executive director of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), whose members work in construction and other industries.” (Valerie Volcovici, “Labor Unions Fear Democrats’ Green New Deal Poses Job Threat,” Reuters, 2/12/19)

“Phil Smith, a spokesman for the United Mine Workers (UMWA), which represents workers in the coal industry, echoed the concerns. ‘We’ve heard words like ‘just transition’ before, but what does that really mean? Our members are worried about putting food on the table,’ he said.” (Valerie Volcovici, “Labor Unions Fear Democrats’ Green New Deal Poses Job Threat,” Reuters, 2/12/19)

Sean McGarvey, President of the North America’s Building Trades Unions, said his members are skeptical of “green job” promises: Those “working in the oil and gas sector can make a middle-class living, whereas renewable energy firms have been less generous.” “Sean McGarvey, president of the North America’s Building Trades Unions, representing construction workers across all sectors including energy, said his staff had been contacted by Markey’s office about the Green New Deal, but said his members are skeptical of ‘green job’ promises. Members “working in the oil and gas sector can make a middle-class living, whereas renewable energy firms have been less generous,” he said at a pipeline safety event last week.” (Valerie Volcovici, “Labor Unions Fear Democrats’ Green New Deal Poses Job Threat,” Reuters, 2/12/19)

“‘We will not stand by and allow threats to our members’ jobs and their families’ standard of living go unanswered,’ wrote Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, and Lonnie Stephenson, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.”  “The AFL-CIO, the national arm for U.S. labor unions, offered a critical assessment of the Green New Deal, warning that the ambitious plan to combat climate change could adversely affect U.S. workers. In a letter to Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) last week, the lawmakers who introduced a resolution last month detailing the key components of their plan, the AFL-CIO said it could not support a proposal that did not address their concerns. ‘We will not stand by and allow threats to our members’ jobs and their families’ standard of living go unanswered,’ wrote Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, and Lonnie Stephenson, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.” (Colby Itkowitz, “AFL-CIO Criticizes Green New Deal, Calling It ‘Not Achievable Or Realistic,” The Washington Post, 3/12/19)

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