Soon-to-be-out-of-work UAW members particpate in green labor conference

When Ford shuts down its Twin Cities plant that produces the Ranger pickup, UAW workers from Local 879 will lose their jobs. It also means that Ford is closing a plant that runs on clean electricity from a hydroelectric plant (shown above) on the Mississippi River near the plant. Workers have proposed that Ford save the plant by investing in advanced technologies and claim it would make a ideal location to produce a fuel-efficient vehicle. Members of the union recently hosted a Labor and Sustainability Conference that brought unions together with support groups to discuss the climate and other green issues.

The Steelworkers, for example, are behind a 10-year, $300-billion plan to invest in manufacturing plants that produce environmentally friendly products such as hybrid cars and solar panels. Called the Apollo Alliance, the plan would try to restore high-paying factory jobs to the U.S.

As one Local 879 official said: "This rests on the notion that we can have both a healthy environment and good-paying union jobs in a green economy."

[Source: Barbara Kucera / People's Weekly World]

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