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Green Workers Alliance (GWA)

Green Workers Alliance Condemns WV v. EPA Ruling; Calls Out Big Utilities for Role in Climate Destruction

By staff - Green Workers Alliance, June 30, 2022

“We can’t rely on Washington to lead the way...Workers, consumers, and everyday citizens must lead the transition away from fossil fuels.”

Washington D.C. - In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA, Green Workers Alliance, a worker-power organization made of current and aspiring renewable energy workers, released the following statement:

Today’s outrageous decision in West Virginia v. EPA is the culmination of a long-running campaign by the fossil fuel industry and investor-owned utilities to take away the government’s abilities to regulate their dangerous emissions. The utility industry wants to keep us hooked on fossil fuels so they can rake in huge profits while emitting harmful and deadly pollution at the expense of the people, the planet, and workers. But we won’t let the far-right majority of the Supreme Court dictate our future. We are taking the fight directly to utility companies to force them to use more renewable energy and help create millions of good, green jobs.

“The West Virginia v. EPA decision will increase pollution and utility costs, making people sicker while lining the pockets of greedy politicians and corporations. We can’t rely on Washington to save us from climate change and we are running out of time. Now more than ever, we need to organize the people who can lead the transition away from fossil fuels: renewable energy workers,” said Matthew Mayers, Executive Director of Green Workers Alliance. “This is a tragic day for our communities and for the environment, but we have a plan to hold Big Utilities accountable.”

“Right now, people are being laid off from solar and wind jobs because projects are delayed or canceled. Many are going back to oil and gas jobs. Instead of weakening our ability to clean up our energy production, we need utilities to step in and buy more renewable energy so these projects get back on track. But with this new case and similar ones to possibly come forward, renewable energy workers may be even more displaced,” said Crystal McCoy, a heavy equipment operator on renewable energy projects and Green Workers Alliance member.

This devastating decision from a far-right Supreme Court that is out of step with the majority of the American public makes clear Washington will not lead the way on the transition to a green economy. Workers, consumers, and everyday citizens must shift our attention to Big Utility companies and demand they dramatically increase their renewable energy use and set higher labor standards for their renewable energy contractors. Labor, community, and environmental groups must coordinate pressure and hold utilities accountable in the fight for climate justice. With power from the grassroots, we will fight corporate greed and build a power sector that is good for the environment, workers, and utility customers.

How You Can Join the Green Workers Alliance

By Staff - Labor Network for Sustainability, February 2022

The Green Workers Alliance is a new multiracial organization that fights for more and better green jobs. More than 400 workers have already joined GWA online. On-the-ground organizing will begin in Virginia and other southeastern states this spring.

The GWA is initially focusing on the 100,000 workers in the utility-scale renewable energy field. According to Mathew Mayers, GWA executive director,

These workers travel around the country to work on solar and wind projects. They are usually employed by subcontractors or temp agencies, who are under pressure to lower costs to win contracts from utilities or other companies financing the projects. Too often, health and safety conditions suffer, pay is low, and workers face job insecurity as they are constantly hustling for the next gig.

Mayers says, “Ultimately, it is the electricity utilities who have the power to improve these conditions, as they either finance the projects or buy the electricity which they produce.” The GWA is demanding that the utilities use 80% renewable energy by 2030.

The GWA is already helping workers fight sexual harassment and wage theft on the job. IAnd it is providing trainings on worker rights and job applications for workers who work – or want to work – in renewable energy. Next recruiting target: rooftop solar installers in the West.

All green workers – and anyone who wants to work in this sector – are welcome to join at https://www.facebook.com/groups/greenworkers

All green workers–and anyone who wants to work in this sector–

Sign the GWA petition demanding that the utilities use 80% renewable energy by 2030.

Check out the GWA website: https://www.greenworkers.org

Green Workers: Organize!

By Staff - Labor Network for Sustainability, January 2021

The two fastest growing occupations in America are solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians. There are nearly 3.4 million workers in the green energy sector alone, outnumbering fossil fuel workers by a three-to-one margin.

Now workers in this burgeoning industry can join the Green Workers Alliance. A project of the Partnership for Working Families, the GWA was recently launched to organize current and potential “green workers” to win policies that can create good jobs by fighting climate change. The GWA aims to thereby take on the twin crises of environmental injustice and economic inequality. The Alliance is building on the online-to-offline organizing tactics of the United for Respect and Gig Workers Rising campaigns. All green workers–and anyone who wants to work in this sector –is welcome to join. If you are a Green Worker, or want to be one, visit https://www.greenworkers.org.

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