Tuesday, April 21, 2009

High Road or Low Road? Job Quality in the New Green Economy




In "What if Green Jobs Don't Pay," by
Brady Yauch in the 4/19/20 Washington Post


The green jobs initiative gets even stickier when it comes to unions -- a major supporter of the Obama administration and his fellow Democrats. The Good Jobs First report noted that few workers at wind and solar jobs were backed by collective bargaining agreements. And in at least two cases, the company leaders were found to have run aggressive anti-union campaigns, aided by union-busting consultants.

As lawmakers and business leaders across the country battle over the Employee Free Choice Act (which would make it easier to unionize workplaces), that fight is likely to get heated. But as money from the stimulus plans starts to make its way to the coffers of green companies, the importance of the union in the nation's manufacturing heartland will flare up once again.

See: High Road or Low Road? Job Quality in the New Green Economy
by Philip Mattera et al. (February 2009)

As the federal government prepares to spend billions of dollars promoting the creation of green jobs as part of the huge economy recovery bill, this report warns that the jobs already being created in climate-friendly sectors of the economy do not always measure up in terms of wages and other terms of employment. The report was commissioned by Change to Win, the Sierra Club, and the Teamsters and Laborers unions.

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