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|Gamesa Technology Corporation, Inc.|
In Partnership With: USW
Building a new, green energy economy while respecting workers’ rights
Gamesa Technology Corporation is setting the example of how private industry can partner with government and with labor to harness the vast potential of renewable energy. The wind power producer is leading the way in protecting the environment, helping to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, and creating the good, union, green-collar jobs of the future.
Gamesa launched operations in Pennsylvania in 2005 as a pioneer for domestic green energy production. The company has invested $175 million in the state and now employs roughly 1,200 workers. Its four Pennsylvania facilities produce enough wind turbines to power up to 270,000 households across the country each year.
Known for its progressive relationships with European labor unions, it was a logical decision for the company to embrace a neutrality agreement and voluntarily recognize the decision of a majority of its employees to choose union representation. Jim Bauer now works for Gamesa just 1,000 yards from the now-closed US Steel plant where he was employed for 25 years. He appreciated his new employer’s respect for its employees decision to form a union, as Gamesa “didn’t try and put up any roadblocks.”
Gamesa negotiated its first contract with the United Steelworkers (USW) in 2007 and has remained a cooperative partner with its workers and their union ever since. The company’s employees benefit from a strong contract that provides good wages, healthcare benefits, a matched 401(k) retirement plan, and 13 days of vacation in the first year. Further, both union and company officials meet monthly in joint committees at each of Gamesa’s plants to discuss issues pertaining to safety, health, and the environment.
“The building blocks of Gamesa’s success have their base in the collaboration and dialogue that we’ve established with the employees who work in our factories< and with the union that represents them,” says Julius Steiner, CEO of Gamesa USA. USW International Vice President Tom Conway echoes the value of the relationship. “Clearly, both sides are dedicated to what is best not only for the business, but also for the workers, their families, and the well-being of the community. At the same time, we are jointly able to do what is right for our environment. All together, this has been a win-win-win so far.”
As it continues to expand its business domestically, Gamesa proves that companies can be successful while advancing a socially responsible approach to workers’ rights and our environment.
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