Labor and the Environment – My Article in the Ventura County Star


My “Eye on the Environment: Labor, environmental groups support ‘green-collar’ jobs” article is running in the the Ventura County Star. The article focuses on labor and how it is an essential part of our communities and the larger environment. The article was written with the kind support of David Goldstein, the regular columnist for the Eye on the Environment column in the Ventura County Star and an SEIU Local 721 member leader.

Here is a snippet of the article:

Nationally, an alliance of the environmental movement and labor unions has had an increasingly powerful role in advocating for policies affecting both groups.

Including 10 of the biggest labor unions (represented by blue, as in “blue collar”) and four of the biggest environmental organizations (green) in the country, the BlueGreen Alliance has 15 million supporters and members.

The executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance, David Foster, began his path decades ago by working with his union to improve conditions affecting the health of workers in the nation’s steel mills. Still, working conditions are a basic environmental/labor issue affecting everyone from farm workers exposed to pesticides to custodians using solvents to clean.

More recently, one key area of focus for the national environmental and labor movements to tackle together has been the development of a well-trained and highly motivated American workforce benefitting from the growth of a green economy. As blue-collar jobs are outsourced to lower-wage countries or eliminated due to automation, more workers must gain skills and move into “green-collar” jobs, recycling resources, creating clean energy, managing hazardous materials and developing advanced transportation.
Read the full story.

-Ventura County Star, August 31, 2012