For Immediate Release
Labor Activists Launch New Labor Network for Sustainability
WASHINGTON - Reflecting the growing concern within organized labor and its allies not only with climate change but with an array of issues that threaten the world's long-term future, the LNFS will bring together activists from many different labor organizations to make labor a more effective force for sustainability. It will address the issues -- from water resources to food security, from corporate accountability to economic justice, from climate protection to renewable energy -- that will determine whether we have a just and sustainable future.
Founder and convener of the LNFS is Joe Uehlein, the former Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO's Industrial Union Department and former director of the AFL-CIO Center for Strategic Campaigns. Uehlein is a founder and board member of Ceres, member of the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists and senior advisor to the Blue Green Alliance.
"Organized labor is increasingly realizing that its future lies with creating green jobs in a green economy. But that is really an aspect of the broader issue of ensuring a sustainable future for all people," said Uehlein. "Our job is to provide information to help organized labor and rank and file workers align their own self interest with the need for long term sustainability."
The LNFS has launched the website www.labor4sustainability.org to serve as an independent source of information, perspective, and coordinated action. It will utilize "Web 2.0" social networking techniques to draw together climate and sustainability activists in the labor movement and people working in the "green economy" into a force for advancing worker interests - while advancing the broader social good.
The LNFS's first campaign will be to strengthen provisions for workers whose jobs may be threatened by climate change legislation.
"Climate legislation will have to change our basic energy systems, but it needs to ensure that change will not be made on the backs of the coal miners, truck drivers, and utility workers who happen to work in carbon-emitting facilities," asserted Uehlein. "We need a transition policy that provides a good future for all even as we make sure that future is sustainable. If our proposed climate legislation doesn't do more to protect those workers it affects, it will risk a backlash against the measures that are necessary to protect the planet. If we can bail out the Wall Street executives who ruined our economy we can provide a decent future for the workers who built up our economy."