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Organic Consumers Association

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The Green New Deal Needs Labor's Support. We Asked Sara Nelson How to Get It.

The president of the flight attendants union says stopping climate change and defending workers are part of the same fight.

Despite widespread support for the Green New Deal, an ambitious resolution to transform the economy and society to address the climate crisis, the labor movement is not uniting behind it. On March 8, the AFLCIO’s Energy Committee released an open letter to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) criticizing the plan on grounds it “could cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families.”

In contrast, some union locals have come out in support of the resolution, including the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, which noted in January that “climate change poses an immediate and long-term threat to all working people.” Groups like Climate Workers, a membership organization of rank-and-file workers, the Labor Network for Sustainability, a labor group that fights for ecological and economic justice, and the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of major unions and environmental groups, have spent years trying to bridge the labor movement and the movement for climate justice, but rifts remain.

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