Ryan Pollock, an inside wireman with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) writes about the recent AFL-CIO Convention in Texas:
Not only were many of my fellow trades siblings—plenty of whom work in the fossil fuel industry or represent fossil fuel workers—strongly in favor of the GND at the start of the convention, but the political struggle to get most everyone else on board required minimal effort. In the end, our state AFL-CIO passed a GND-style resolution. This victory is a powerful model for conventions across the country; it shows how resolutions like this one can become a standard labor demand.
I discovered a pro-GND resolution passed by the Alameda, California Central Labor Council (CLC). After reading the Alameda resolution, I wondered if I could pass something similar in my own CLC (Austin, TX), to which I’m a delegate. After tweaking the language of the Alameda resolution to make its references to the crisis in California more relevant to Texans, I submitted the resolution at the July meeting of the Austin CLC. After some explanation and discussion, the resolution passed unanimously.
Over the next few days, entire districts of building trades threatened to walk out of the convention if my resolution even made it to the floor of the state convention. The resolution was modified to replace GND with “Federal Environmental Policy” and references to “young climate activists” and “Congress” were removed, but its substance remained the same.
Thereupon “the resolution went to the AFL-CIO floor and passed unanimously, no discussion required.”
For Ryan Pollock’s full account and his recommendations for what trade unionists can learn from this experience, see “A Green New Deal Can Win, Even Among Building Trades Unions” »