AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined AFT President Randi Weingarten at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting yesterday to announce progress in the labor movement’s commitment to investing in infrastructure, clean energy retrofitting and job training.
A broad coalition chaired by AFT, and including SEIU, AFSCME, National Education Association (NEA), Fire Fighters (IAFF), the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) and investment funds affiliated with the labor movement have worked with other partners to advance a set of goals announced in June at CGI America. At that meeting, the AFL-CIO committed to work with member unions, union pension funds, their investment professionals and government at every level to invest $10 billion in job creating infrastructure as well as at least $20 million in specific energy retrofits over the next year, a retrofit of AFL-CIO headquarters and training tens of thousands of workers in the skills necessary to work on 21st century infrastructure.
Trumka said :
At the AFL-CIO, we know America wants to work. And we can’t wait for Washington. We look forward to working together to see that workers’ capital is invested profitably in rebuilding our country and putting America back to work.
“Public employees, unions, investment groups and others want to be part of a renewed America. What we’re talking about today is America’s retirees, and future retirees, helping their country recover economically and invest in projects that might never have gotten off the ground because of budget crises,” Weingarten added.
Here’s what has been accomplished so far:
- The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust has funded a $134 million energy efficiency and asbestos removal project for Penn South Mutual Cooperative in New York City. The trust also has developed a pipeline for $79 million in further investment in energy efficient and retrofit projects. The trust’s board also passed a resolution to work with Fannie Mae to invest in Fannie Mae’s Green Refinance Plus mortgage-backed securities.
- The AFL-CIO, with the assistance of CGI, has issued a request for proposals for a $3 million energy efficiency retrofit of its headquarters.
- The AFL-CIO, the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) and investment funds affiliated with the union movement continue to work on financing energy efficiency retrofits for commercial, industrial and public buildings, including in particular public housing. Promising conversations are under way with new state-sponsored entities seeking to sponsor such retrofits in Oregon and in Colorado.
- Joint labor-management apprenticeship programs in the U.S. construction industry added some 8,000 new registered apprenticeships since CGI Chicago. These same joint labor-management apprenticeship and training programs have enabled about 40,000 construction workers in the clean energy workforce to complete their certification training and obtain certifications in specialty fields.