Green activists find new ally in US unions
By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer
POZNAN, Poland – Some U.S. labor groups that have long feared environmental campaigns as a threat to American jobs are starting to see advantages in going green.
This evolution was clear at this week’s U.N. climate talks in Poland, where several American labor groups and environmental activists made joint appeals for policies that would promote high-tech renewable energy as the answer to both and job losses.
About 25 representatives of U.S. unions were in Poznan — about twice the number at last year’s U.N. talks in Bali, Indonesia — representing workers from the electrical, transit, steel, service and other sectors.
“There is a very wide cross-section of American unions that reflects the growing engagement of American unions’ support of climate change policies,” said David Foster, executive director of the Blue Green Alliance. The group was founded by the , North America’s largest manufacturing union, and the , the United States’ largest and oldest grass-roots environmental group.
“There’s a power in the joint vision that we just don’t have functioning on our own,” added Foster, who was for 16 years a United Steelworkers regional director.
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