Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Labor's Green Energy Elevator Pitch

Washington, D.C.--As the notion of the "green economy" has come into vogue over the last few years, organized labor licked its chops. Take the Apollo Alliance, for example. The labor-sponsored group launched in 2004 with claims that a shift to renewable energy could create 3.3 million jobs, presumably unionized, in the U.S.

At a mid-September forum in Washington, D.C., organized by the Cleantech Group, two labor reps made their case to the venture financiers now putting money into newfangled energy technology companies. They dangled labor's political muscle, $5 trillion in union pension assets and an emphasis on flexibility and partnership.

"Partnership is the most important thing that we want to get across to you today," said Christopher Chafe, executive director of Change to Win, a federation of seven unions with 6 million members. Chafe seasoned his remarks with words like "dialogue" and "relationships"--he used some variation of "partner" at least a dozen times.

Full story at