Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Leading US Union SEIU Makes Fighting Climate Change a Campaign Priority

Flint residents attend a congressional hearing about the water crisis in their Michigan city. (Photograph Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters) Click to Enlarge.
One of the US’s largest unions voted to use political pressure to fight climate change on Tuesday, citing events such as Hurricane Sandy, the California drought and the water situation in Flint, Michigan, as examples of how the phenomenon disproportionately affects its members.

Members of the two-million-strong Service Employees International Union (SEIU) voted to add environmental justice to the list of the union’s priorities and to use its powerful voice at the state and federal level to put climate change on the political agenda in 2016.

The SEIU previously succeeded in making the fight for a $15 minimum wage a national issue and was able to get it on the legislative agenda in a handful of US states and cities.  Its campaign led to major victories for the minimum wage movement in states including California and New York.

The union now hopes to do the same for climate change – a subject that has been largely absent so far from the 2016 presidential campaign.  The proposal could prove controversial with some in the labor movement, considering that more than 100,000 energy-related jobs have been lost in the last year and a half.

Read more at Leading US Union SEIU Makes Fighting Climate Change a Campaign Priority

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