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Press Release


Contact: Prerna Jagadeesh, Green New Deal Network,

200 union reps, climate activists & community members rally for solidarity and a Green New Deal

In demonstration of unity, climate activists and reps from 10 labor unions joined in solidarity with the Green New Deal movement

Washington, D.C.  – Yesterday, MetroBar DC rang with an atypical kind of yelling and cheering as 200 activists, union representatives, and community members rallied for a Green New Deal in solidarity with workers fighting for living wages and safe work conditions amid unprecedented corporate greed and climate disaster. Representatives from UPS Teamsters Local 639 attended the rally on the heels of UPS Teamsters winning a historic tentative agreement, after a contract fight that centered on the climate safety issue of ensuring workers have air conditioning to protect them from scorching heat. At the rally, attendees affirmed that the climate and labor movements’ fights are one and the same.

Hosted by movement hub Green New Deal Network, the solidarity rally featured speakers from unions UPS Teamsters Local 639, Starbucks Workers United, SAG-AFTRA, and Union for Everyone, and was attended by representatives from 10 unions in total. Senator Ed Markey (MA), Representative Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), and Representative Robert Garcia (CA-42) also spoke, exhorting the climate movement to continue fighting for a full Green New Deal and committing to continuing that fight in Congress.

“We introduced the Green New Deal on February 6, 2019 and nothing has been the same since then. We created a movement, that created the momentum, which created the moment when Joe Biden signed the largest climate bill in the United States. And we know that it’s only going to be the second largest bill in United States history, because we’re coming back for more,” said Senator Ed Markey, Massachusetts. “You are the leaders of the Green New Deal Movement. Our victory is tied to your continued hard work.”

“Today I’m here to tell you that the fight is not over,” said Carthy Boston, a worker with UPS Teamsters Local 639. “Green New Deal partners were instrumental in getting us the deal that we have today. It’s not ending here because solidarity does not stop here. We’re taking this movement to every single [part] of corporate America.”

“We’re creating the culture and the atmosphere for the White House and Congress to say we can’t have a discussion on the Green New Deal without labor in the room – and we can’t have a discussion about labor and just transition without folks from the Green New Deal movement in the room,” said Representative Rashida Tlaib, MI-12. “Know that you’re getting credibility from myself and others in Congress saying that a Green New Deal has to happen hand-in-hand with the labor movement.”

“We have 160,000 workers, and 86% of us do not make enough to cover our health insurance,” said Towanda Underdue, TV theatrical negotiating committee, SAG-AFTRA. “It’s the rank and file workers that we’re talking about who just want to make a living wage, pay their bills, and put food on the table who are suffering. And the studios are saying they don’t have money! No – they do have the money, and they need to pay us what we deserve, and we appreciate the Green New Deal movement being allies with us.”

“Right now in Erie, Pennsylvania, 1,400 members of my union, UE, have been on strike for green jobs for a month now. This is exactly the place where we need to make the Green New Deal work to show that addressing the climate crisis can create good union jobs,” said Will Breakwood, a worker with UE Local 179. “These workers want to build the clean, green locomotives that are essential to our future. This action addressing the climate crisis has been brought forward by workers, for workers.

“This fight is about all of us as workers and as young people knowing our collective power and not being afraid to flex it,” said Lauren Maunus, an organizer with Starbucks Workers United. “We’re not going to stop organizing until we win a Green New Deal because it’s both about our livelihoods and our literal lives.”

“We know the threats that are at our doorstep. The threat of authoritarianism. The threat of people being legislated out of existence. The threat of crushing workers and crushing democracy in the process,” said John Paul Mejia, spokesperson with Sunrise Movement, a member organization within Green New Deal Network. “Ultimately what we have to realize is that the people that want to impose that vision of America have to subvert democracy because they are not the majority and we are.”

Courtesy Photos:

Caption: Senator Ed Markey addresses a crowd of 200 climate activists, union reps, and community members supporting a Green New Deal and climate/labor solidarity.
Caption: Carthy Boston, a worker with UPS Teamsters Local 639, speaks about UPS Teamsters’ successful negotiation of a historic tentative agreement with UPS.
Caption: MetroBar DC was packed yesterday with 200 climate activists, union reps, and community members rallying for a Green New Deal and in solidarity with workers striking and bargaining for their rights.
Caption: At the Green New Deal Labor Solidarity Happy Hour, attendees enjoyed drinks while building power in the Green New Deal movement.
Caption: Towanda Underdue, TV theatrical negotiating committee, SAG-AFTRA, addresses the crowd.
Caption: L to R: Ryan Hastings, SAG-AFTRA; Carthy Boston with UPS Teamsters Local 639; Towanda Underdue with SAG-AFTRA; Saul Levin, Legislative and Policy Director of the Green New Deal Network; Senator Ed Markey; and Tracey Lewis, Policy Counsel at Public Citizen.


About the Green New Deal Network

The Green New Deal Network is a nationwide network of organizations committed to transforming our politics and economy with policies that address the climate crisis, that create good, union jobs, and that repair past harm and advance justice. The Network includes coalitions in 233 states, as well as a coordinating team of 14 national organizations: Center for Popular Democracy, Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Greenpeace, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indivisible, Movement for Black Lives, MoveOn, People’s Action, Right To The City Alliance, Service Employees International Union, Sunrise Movement, US Climate Action Network, and the Working Families Party.