Saturday, June 10, 2006

Good news--a twofer

First, AFSME and the SEIU are joining forces to form one union for Houston public employees. Historically, they're rivals, and this is a good signal for progressive unionism in the south.

Second, the United Steelworkers of America and the Sierra Club have united in a 'blue-green' coalition to fight for tougher standards on steel and industry.

One strategy I've always wanted to see get pushed by the national unions and the national environmental movement might go like this:

Unions and the greens push--hard--for government investment in clean-energy industry. They would work with communities and their faith leaders as a job development and education iniative. The industries are established, their workers are organized. The progressive movement then gains more allies who have reaped (hopefully) lifetime employment from the efforts of labor and the greens. Labor and greens win more respect, connections (and this is very important) real victories that can change people's lives. I'd love to see this effort bring these jobs where they're needed the most--our cities. I can just imagine then brining more folks of color into labor's ranks and into the environmental movement as a consequence, thus cementing a long-term 'blue-green-brown' alliance that could change the face of movement building.

Ahh, I'm smart.

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