February 18, 2009

Employee Free Choice & The Environment

Last night I had the honor of sharing the stage with some of Chicago and America's strongest champions for working families - Congressman Danny Davis, national AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, Laborers' International Union of North America President Terence O'Sullivan, Anna Burger, who heads the Change to Win labor coalition, and Dennis Gannon, head of the Chicago Federation of Labor. We came together, with other faith and public interest leaders, to rally support for the Employee Free Choice Act.

Sierra Club strongly supports the Employee Free Choice Act and we are proud to stand strong with our brothers and sisters in organized labor and work to get the Employee Free Choice Act to President Obama’s desk.

Now some might ask - what does the right to organize have to do with clean air and clean water?

We know that workers are our first line of defense against toxic pollution, chemical spills, and other accidents that can devastate communities.

We know that union workers are more qualified and better trained to deal the health and safety risks of hazardous chemicals.

We know that union workers have greater protections if they blow the whistle on hazards and accidents in the workplace. Union workers have support and protection, and won’t fear for their job if they call attention to a dangerous problem.

We want to work together with our allies in labor to create good, high paying jobs in the new clean energy economy. But we also need to make sure those green jobs are 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 and saves the planet for future generations.

That’s why Sierra Club calls on Senator Burris, and all of our members of Congress to do the right thing for workers and the environment, and pass the Employee Free Choice Act NOW!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I support EFCA and am a Club member, but let's be honest about why Sierra Club is backing this legislation: its passage will mean stronger unions, more Democrats and progressives elected to office, and thus a better legislative reception for all liberal groups, be they environmentalists, pro-choice activists, or gun-control advocates.

This is what I tell my progressive friends about EFCA: a stronger labor movement means a stronger left, and thus a higher chance for whatever your leftist issue is to get some traction.