Union of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters and Service Techs Joins BlueGreen Alliance to Fight for Good Jobs and a Clean Environment

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A new partnership between a major building trades union and the BlueGreen Alliance environmental group will focus on creating good jobs while protecting the environment--with an emphasis on the installation and maintenance of effiicent and sustainable water and energy systems.

United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters

...the history of the UA includes the first environmentalists, those skilled tradespeople who installed the systems that brought clean water to Canada and the United States in the early part of the last century.

A new partnership between one of the largest and most progressive building trades unions in North America and the BlueGreen Alliance is expected to focus attention on the design, installation and maintenance of sustainable water and energy systems in homes, offices, factories and public buildings.

The United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinklerfitters and Service Technicians (UA) is now part of the BlueGreen Alliance’s fast-growing and unique labor-environmental partnership.

“Our members—some 340,000 strong—have a deep commitment to sustainability. After all, it’s UA members who install and maintain efficient energy and water systems in every segment of our society,” said William P. Hite, General President of the UA. “UA members are also avid outdoors people who enjoy the beauty and variety of natural resources that are found in North America. In fact, I would say that the history of the UA includes the first environmentalists, those skilled tradespeople who installed the systems that brought clean water to Canada and the United States in the early part of the last century.”

The contributions the UA makes to safeguarding our health and promoting energy efficiency was recognized by David Foster, executive director of the Blue-Green Alliance.

“The UA knows from experience that the economy is shifting toward a cleaner, more sustainable future, and that in order to create good jobs, we need to ensure that our workers are prepared to meet the demands of that 21st century economy,” he said. “We are pleased to welcome the UA into the ever-growing fold of unions and environmental organizations who are working to advance the reality that environmental protection and job creation are inextricably linked.”

General President Hite stated that his organization is looking forward to working to advance job creation through solutions that make the economy stronger and the environment cleaner.

Among the UA’s priorities is the restoration of America’s water infrastructure. In calling for support of this effort, the UA and the BlueGreen Alliance noted that every $1 billion spent in water infrastructure improvements creates 20,000 good jobs. The UA supports reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act, as well as funding for water infrastructure programs.

The UA also supports programs that improve energy efficiency, and that support is echoed by the Sierra Club, a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “About 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from the nation’s buildings,” said Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club. “The UA represents members who are working hands on to make our economy more efficient and our environment cleaner on a daily basis.”

About the United Association:
The United Association is a multi-craft union whose members are engaged in the fabrication, installation and servicing of piping systems. There are approximately 340,000 highly skilled United Association members who belong to more than 300 individual local unions across North America. The United Association has been training qualified pipe tradesmen longer than anyone else in the industry, with premier training programs including five-year apprenticeship programs, extensive journeyman training, organized instructor training, and certification programs.

About the BlueGreen Alliance:
The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations working to expand the number and quality of jobs in the 21st century economy. Launched by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club in 2006, the Blue-Green Alliance has since expanded to include 11 major U.S. labor unions and four of the nation’s most influential environmental organizations, uniting nearly 15 million members and supporters.

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Rick Terven
United Association
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