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News and Events
May 17, 2012: CLU Salutes Martha Coakley, Mark Erlich, and Trinh Nguyen
Join us at 5 pm for our annual Salt of the Earth awards ceremony at SEIU Local 615, 26 West Street, Boston (two blocks from Downtown Crossing and Park Street T stops). Beer, wine, and hors d'oeuvres run from 5 to 6; the program runs from 6 to 7; and then socializing resumes. Community Labor United's 2012 Salt of the Earth Awards will go to Attorney General Martha Coakley, New England Carpenters leader Mark Erlich, and Boston Housing Authority chief of staff Trinh Nguyen. To reserve a ticket ($50) contact Soledad Boyd, firstname.lastname@example.org. To place an ad in our during-the-event "ad book" slide show, contact Jeremy Shenk, email@example.com. We'll also sell tickets at the door.
June 9, 2011: Hearing on a bill to regulate the temp industry
The Problem: as the part-time economy grows, some temp agencies are cheating workers and the state by pocketing millions of dollars in taxes, unemployment insurance, and workers' comp. Current state laws don't effectively regulate the temp industry.
The Solution: The REAL Law (for Reform Employment Agency Legislation).
When: Thursday, June 9th @ 10:30 am
Where: State House, Boston, Room A-1
Help us pack the room and send a strong message -- Massachusetts, stand up for the rights of temp workers! The hearing will be before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, Chaired by Rep. Coakley Rivera and Sen. Wolf. The REAL coalition will have a panel of speakers testifying (including workers, community and labor leaders) and is encouraging supporters to submit as many written testimonials as possible. For more information on legislation or how to support upcoming hearing, please see attached fact sheet (English and Spanish) or contact Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Executive Director, MassCOSH, 617-825-7233 x15, www.masscosh.org.
March 16, 2010: Apollo Alliance and Green Justice Coalition Release Report on "High Road" Jobs
Massachusetts Can Get 6,000 Good Jobs…
…by making the fast-growing weatherization field a “high road” industry. That’s the takeaway from a report released Tuesday March 16, 10:30 am at Room 437 in the State House in Boston. The report’s authors – the national Apollo Alliance and its Massachusetts affiliate, the Green Jobs Coalition – show that:
The jobs are coming. The state and utility companies are investing $1.4 billion in building energy efficiency over the next three years. That will create 6,000 direct and 8,300 indirect jobs in the construction sector retrofitting more than 100,000 residential units and 20,000 commercial and municipal structures.
Right now, weatherization wages are poverty wages. Prevailing wages in home weatherization are $11.26 to $17.59 per hour in Massachusetts, so low that workers qualify for low-income weatherization assistance themselves.
"Low-road" jobs cost workers, taxpayers and the state. Employers who underpay workers shift the cost of supporting their families onto taxpayers. This can cost the state and federal government more than $28,000 a year per family.
"High-road" jobs are a good bargain. Paying all of Massachusetts's energy efficiency workers $18 an hour + $4 in benefits would bring in $32 million a year in income taxes, unemployment insurance contributions, and workers compensation premiums.
The state, cities, and utility companies can make weatherization jobs “good jobs” by requiring contractors to meet Responsible Employer standards, concludes An Industry at the Crossroads: Energy Efficiency Employment in Massachusetts. Responsible contractors would pay fair wages and benefits, provide quality training and safe workplaces, and hire local residents. Responsible contractors can help end Depression-level joblessness in the state’s low-income communities and communities of color by hiring local residents. For more information contact Mike Prokosch at Community Labor United, 617-723-2639 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Interviews are available with workers in the industry, labor market expert Dr. Andrew Sum of Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies, and leaders of the state’s Green Justice Coalition.
The speakers at the press conference were Rich Rogers, Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Boston Labor Council; Dr. Andrew Sum, Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University; George Noel, Massachusetts Commissioner of Labor; Martin, a residential construction worker from Chelsea; Kalila Barnett, Executive Director of Alternatives for Community and Environment in Roxbury; Ron Ruggiero, Field Director of the national Apollo Alliance; and Kellie Page, member of United for Hire and the Alliance to Develop Power in Springfield. Photos from the event are as follows:
Photo 1. Dr. Andrew Sum, Rich Rogers, Kalila Barnett, Ron Ruggiero, George Noel.
Photo 2. Audience; standing, Lee Matsueda from ACE's T Riders Union.
Photo 3. Rich Rogers, Kalila Barnett, Ron Ruggiero, George Noel.
Photo 4. George Noel.
Photo 5. Rich Rogers and Kalila Barnett.
The following photos are from the Boston City Hall meeting immediately afterward:
Photo 6. Councilor Chuck Turner addresses the audience.
Photo 8. The audience in the Piemonte Room.
November 20, 2009: Green Justice Coalition Intervenes in DPU Proceedings
At the end of 2009, the Green Justice Coalition intervened in legal hearings to defend our breakthrough agreements with the state’s utility companies and nail down the commitments they made. The final documents we filed with the DPU give a clear and thoroughly documented argument for our Green Justice model.
The Initial Brief says that the utility companies must:
- detail how they will provide upfront financing for low-to-moderate-income customers and communities of color;
- make a binding commitment to use community mobilization outreach strategies in 2010’s pilot programs and then statewide;
- ensure that jobs come with good wages and training, health and safety standards, local hiring, CORI-friendly policies, and Responsible Employer Requirements;
- gather data to track who’s getting the services and the jobs; and
- create a process to get Green Justice constituencies on their working groups.
Mary Jo Connelly’s testimony describes the Green Justice model for energy efficiency with equity..
Karen Courtney’s testimony describes responsible contracting and how it will create quality local jobs.
October 27, 2009: Green Justice Coalition Wins Pilot Efficiency Programs
First-in-the-nation, $1.4 billion energy efficiency plan will bring economic revival to Massachusetts's working class communities in 2010
On October 27, 2009 Massachusetts adopted a $1.4 billion plan that will cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, cut energy bills and create high-quality jobs in the state’s highest-unemployment communities. For national feature stories on this breakthrough plan, see Apollo Alliance and Partnership for Working Families.
Under the plan, the state’s utility companies will work with the Green Justice Coalition to:
1. Pay for "Community Mobilization Initiatives” – intensive, door-to-door outreach campaigns that sign up hundreds of low-to-moderate-income residents for high-quality home retrofits.
2. Find up-front financing so residents can afford “deep” retrofits, save money and energy.
3. Make sure weatherization contractors hire community residents for good “green” jobs with family-supporting wages and benefits, proper job classification, and training for lifelong careers.
The state Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) will set up an Equity Committee to see that these new jobs and services reach working class neighborhoods and communities of color.
The plan calls for several pilot programs which the Green Justice Coalition is now negotiating with the state’s largest utility companies. The pilots will use Green Justice’s unique model combining community mobilization with “bundling.” When community-based organizations mobilize a neighborhood and “bundle” hundreds of local retrofit jobs into one contract, high-road contractors can successfully bid on that contract, hire new local workers, and provide good jobs that bring money back into that neighborhood. “Bundling" will create new jobs in the middle of our jobless recovery and start to repair the state’s broken labor market, which provides ever fewer blue-collar jobs. Lessons learned from the initial pilots in 2010 will be plowed into the utilities’ statewide energy efficiency programs in 2011.
The agreement reached today is a triple win against the economic crisis, the opportunity crisis, and the climate crisis. Community mobilization and bundling will significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and help the state meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals, especially in marginalized communities with the draftiest, oldest, and least energy-efficient homes.
The EEAC’s decision follows several months of advocacy by the Green Justice Coalition, a new alliance of community organizations, labor unions, environmental and faith groups. The coalition mobilized for EEAC hearings, surveyed lower-income neighborhoods, and gathered thousands of cards calling for the changes listed above.
For details on the issues at play in this campaign, see our Issue Brief below.
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