Two labor-environmental coalitions have merged as of July 1. The Apollo Alliance, launched in 2003 as a coalition of environmental, labor, business and community leaders, is now a project of the BlueGreen Alliance. BlueGreen Alliance was founded in 2006 by the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Sierra Club, and today is made up of nine unions and four environmental organizations. Both groups are focused on efforts to create jobs in the United States by developing a “clean energy” economy.
“We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines while the U.S. misses the boat on the industries of the 21st century,” said USW president Leo W. Gerard in a press statement.
Earlier this year, the BlueGreen Alliance launched Jobs21! — a campaign calling for investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation infrastructure, fuel-efficient vehicles, a smarter electrical grid, broadband Internet, recycling and green chemistry. Such investments would create new jobs and markets in manufacturing, construction, education and other sectors.
The Apollo Alliance takes its name from President Kennedy’s 1961 call to restore America’s technological leadership by landing the first man on the moon within the decade. The group argues that the United States should make a similar commitment today to green technological development.
BlueGreen Alliance has chapters in 10 states, while the Apollo Alliance has chapters in 13 states; combined, they have state and local affiliates in 18 states, now called BlueGreen Apollo Alliances. Labor unions in the group are USW, Communications Workers of America, Service Employees, the Laborers, Utility Workers Union, American Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union, Sheet Metal Workers, and United Food and Commercial Workers. They’re joined by the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, and Union of Concerned Scientists.