Posts Tagged ‘labor day list’

Labor-management partnerships: The seeds of success in the green economy

Abigail Paris serves as Program Assistant for the Socially Responsible Business Program.

Flambeau River PapersToday is Earth Day—a day to reflect on the importance and value of the natural environment.  Started more than 40 years ago in the United States, Earth Day is now celebrated in over 175 countries. It also serves as a time to take note of year-round environmental stewardship. In the 2010 edition of our annual Labor Day List: Partnerships that Work, we did just that.

The eight businesses featured in the report are leaders in the green industry, in terms of both environmental sustainability and labor-management partnerships. Litecontrol manufactured the first architectural lighting systems to be Cradle to Cradle™ certified. Gerding Edlen Development led the first LEED-Platinum certified renovation of a building on the National Register of Historic Places. McGough Construction built the first office building in Minnesota to be certified LEED Platinum. Flambeau River Papers will be the first pulp and paper mill in North America to go fossil fuel free by using a biofuel plant that turns wood byproducts into green diesel fuel to power the mills.

Read more »


Labor-management partnerships help Europe weather the economic storm

Abigail Paris serves as Program Assistant for the Socially Responsible Business Program.

In 2008, a financial meltdown triggered a deep recession, arguably the deepest recession to face the European Union (EU). Unlike in many other places in the world, the EU—through the collaboration of its employers, unions and governments—was able to avoid sky rocketing unemployment and emerge from the recession relatively unscathed. On March 3, 2010, the European Commission released a report, entitled Industrial Relations in Europe 2010, which highlighted how labor-management partnerships helped the EU adapt to the post-recession world.

Read more »


Green jobs must be good jobs

There’s a lot of hype about “going green.” But we must ensure that as we pursue alternative energy and sustainability we are protecting our greatest resource: America’s workers.

This year’s Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference explored ways to incorporate workers’ rights into green initiatives. At the conference, American Rights at Work hosted two panels, highlighting employee protection within the agriculture and construction industries.

Read more »


2010: A year-end roundup

The American Rights at Work blog team is about to close up shop for the holidays. But before we do, here’s a roundup of some of our favorite posts from 2010, from most to least recent. Happy Holidays! Read more »


You say tomato, I say awesome. Sign our Thank You card!

Eurofresh logoIn this year’s Labor Day List, American Rights at Work highlighted the amazing labor-management collaboration at Eurofresh, an Arizona company that produces some of the nation’s tastiest tomatoes.

Eurofresh grows their produce in greenhouses, which keeps workers from having to toil in the hot sun. And their vegetables are pesticide-free, so workers and consumers are safe from toxic chemicals. Even better, Eurofresh managers actually respect the workers’ rights, health, and their union!

“Thanks to our employees and the union we have a good quality product that is safe,” said Robert Pulido, vice president for human resources at Eurofresh. “It’s a group effort.”

So why not take a second today to thank Eurofresh and its workers for providing good, green jobs and making consumer safety a priority?  Sign our Thank You card here! We’ll deliver your comments to the company’s management and its union.


Moving full steam ahead to bring streetcars and good jobs back to America

Many cities are turning to streetcars to ease congestion and reduce carbon emissions, but until recently, no U.S. manufacturer was meeting the growing demand. Then in 2005, Oregon Iron Works, Inc., seized the opportunity, forming United Streetcar to produce state-of-the-art, modern streetcars. After winning a competitive bid from the city of Portland, OR, United Streetcar rolled out its premiere tram in 2009—the first American-made modern streetcar in nearly 60 years. The company is now using its 250 union workers to build additional streetcars for Portland, and its cars are also operating in Seattle, WA, and Tucson, AZ.

Oregon Iron Works’ longstanding relationship with the Ironworkers and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has allowed United Streetcar to build a collaborative, empowering partnership with its workers. Shop-floor design meetings bring worker ideas in at the ground level, and the company actively solicits employee feedback on all projects and processes, making the company “better, stronger, and more cost-effective,” according to United Streetcar President Chandra Brown. “The union is helpful and can be an important piece of the company and its success,” she says. Read more »


Shining a light on Sharp Solar

Down in Memphis, Tennessee, Sharp Solar and its 385 union workers are bringing good manufacturing jobs back to the United States, all while providing residential, commercial, and utility customers access to clean energy. The company assembles solar panels with the partnership of its skilled employees and their union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Read more »


McGough Construction: An unshakable foundation in workers’ rights and sustainability

A recognized leader in sustainable construction and labor-management relations, McGough Construction is the company behind some of the most iconic structures gracing the Twin Cities skyline.

In addition to original projects like the LEED-Platinum-certified headquarters of Great River Energy, the company specializes in ‘greening’ existing buildings—providing resources and maximizing efficiency for clients who want to improve sustainability or pursue green building certifications.

And the company’s dedication to sustainability goes beyond green buildings. Read more »


Litecontrol: A beacon of business-savvy and forward-thinking policy

At a time when all too many companies are cutting corners for short-term gain, Litecontrol is illuminating the path to a sustainable future. With a commitment to cooperation, innovation, and its employees, the Hanson, Massachusetts-based company has made a name for itself in the architectural lighting industry, and in our 2010 Labor Day List. You can read the company’s full profile here.

Fully employee-owned since 2007, Litecontrol produces energy-efficient lighting systems for office buildings, schools, hospitals, and libraries. Through an Employee Stock Option Plan and membership in their union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Litecontrol workers have both a financial stake in the company and a voice on the job—not to mention fair wages, healthcare benefits, and retirement security. Read more »


Golden Solar: A specialty electrical contractor with workers’ rights at its core

Golden Solar LogoWhen Colorado passed groundbreaking renewable energy legislation in 2004, Shawn Josserand saw an opportunity. The voter-initiated policy mandated utilities to begin generating electricity from renewable sources, and empowered homeowners and businesses to generate their own electricity—in effect, creating a modern day “clean energy gold rush”.

As a master electrician and longtime member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Josserand combined old fashioned entrepreneurship with progressive views about labor relations to make installing renewable energy sources easy and efficient for all Coloradans. Based in Golden, Colorado, Josserand’s business—Golden Solar—installs solar panels for residential and commercial clients using 100-percent union labor. The company handles all phases of design and installation, and has quickly earned a reputation for exceptional quality, outstanding customer service, and high standards. Read more »