Transition to clean energy must create union jobs that benefit families

Justin Williams, an attorney for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 132, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the transition to clean energy and why it must be done in a way that creates good paying, union jobs.

IUOE Local 132 represents over 4,000 workers across West Virginia, a state heavily dependent on coal and the natural gas industry. The Mountain State has always been at the forefront of energy and has recently invested in wind turbine technology.

Williams said there needs to be a gradual transition to renewable energy; it cannot suddenly happen. Coal will not be cut out immediately and lawmakers need to establish a plan that moves clean energy forward and at the same time, benefits union workers and their families, he added.

Williams also spoke about the recently passed infrastructure bill, including $65 billion to rebuild the electrical grid and $55 billion to upgrade water infrastructure. This will create good paying jobs for engineers and will be great for the country, especially West Virginia, he said.

Lastly, Williams talked about efforts to pass Prevailing Wage laws and efforts to end So-Called “Right to Work” legislation in West Virginia. Republicans currently control the state legislature, but unions like the IUOE are working to educate lawmakers about the benefits of Prevailing Wage and ending So-Called “Right to Work” laws.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics:


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