Priorities include membership education, building environmental partnerships and advocating for climate action that strengthens the middle-class

SAN DIEGO – February 3, 2015 – Today, the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO announced a the establishment of an Environmental Caucus to engage union members around environmental issues like climate change, environmental policy and partnerships within the region’s labor movement.

“Just like the fights for Equality and Immigration Reform, climate justice is social justice and the time for action is now. The Caucus will not only be vital in helping to put working families at the forefront of climate action, it will help us advocate for smart policies that create sustainable union jobs,” said Richard Barrera, secretary-treasurer of the San-Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council.

San-Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council Executive Board President Mickey Kasparian echoed Barrera’s sentiment, adding that “When we partner with community and environmental allies, we accomplish meaningful change that benefits working families and our environment. This new Caucus will mobilize our labor movement around pressing environmental issues like climate change so we can strengthen our economy, create cleaner communities and build a healthier future.”

Caucus Chair Dr. Jim Miller, a member of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Guild, San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community Colleges, Local 1931 stated, “The old myth that we must choose between a clean environment and good jobs is a false choice. The truth is the climate crisis creates the possibility for new alliances and historic opportunities to change the game and create a more sustainable world that raises living standards and lifts people into the middle class. The Caucus creates an avenue to engage on these issues and ensure working families are at the table.”

Founding members include AFT Local 1931, CNA-NNU, San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569, University Professional and Technical Employees-CWA 9119, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) Local 1998, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and other unions.

The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council AFL-CIO is the local central body affiliate of the AFL-CIO founded in 1891. It includes 135 affiliated labor groups within San Diego and Imperial Counties with a membership of more than 250,000 working families.

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Media Contact: Samantha Peterson  |  619-309-8169  |  speterson@unionyes.org

© 2014 San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council
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