Why should environmentalists care? Martin Luther King, Jr. put it best: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” If America’s workers lose their voice, then corporate polluters will have won a giant victory and all Americans will end up paying a price.
If you need an example, here’s a spectacular one: Last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil explosion began as a workplace health and safety incident in a nonunion work setting. It turned into the worst environmental disaster in our nation’s history. If the 11 workers who were killed had been members of a strong union, their lives might have been saved — and the oil spill itself might never have happened. We know that unionized workers are more likely to sound the alarm about workplace hazards — and so do the companies they work for.
That’s why Wisconsin Sierra Club activists were among the 10,000 people who turned out in Madison to protest Governor Walker’s union-busting yesterday, and it’s why the Club will continue working closely with our brothers and sisters in the labor movement to build a stronger, more equitable America that protects the health of our communities, creates clean-energy jobs, and advances policies that help working families across the country. That’s an America where everyone does win.