Labor vs. Climate

Union Members Demand AFO-CIO Dissolve Partnership with Eco-Freak Tom Steyer’s PAC

The Hill reports that seven unions of the AFL-CIO have written president Richard Trumka to pull out of a $50 million fundraising project with the For Our Future PAC associated with billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer (above).

For Our Future has pledged to raise $50 million to elect a Democratic president in November.

The signers included Sean McGarvey, president of Building and Construction Trades; Terry O’Sullivan, president of Laborers’ International Union of North America; James Callahan, president of the International Union of Operating Engineers; William Hite, president of the United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians; Frank Christensen of the International Union of Elevator Constructors; Kinsey Robinson of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers; James “Bud” McCourt of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers; and Daniel Stepano, of the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association.

Together, these groups represent 1.5 million union workers.

They decried the “big tent strategy” fighting climate change, noting proposed regulations came with  “mixed results at best and disastrous results at worst for our members and their employment prospects.”

The union reps added they were not “climate science deniers” but had to stay committed to “core interests” of their members.

The New York Times reported last month that Steyer will invest a minimum of $25 million in “get out the vote” efforts through another PAC he apparently operates, NextGen Climate.

NYT notes that young voters are more concerned with climate change, but less likely to actually vote.

“As I traveled around the country in the 2014 election cycle, I saw that young voters care deeply about climate change, but what they haven’t been is as engaged in the electoral process as older Americans,” Steyer told reporters.

He plans to target college and university campuses this election as opposed to the TV ads he backed in swing states two years ago.

Mr. Steyer was the largest individual donor in the 2014 midterm elections, laying down $74 million. He backed 7 Democratic candidates for Senate. Three won.

The dominant issue then was opposing the Keystone Pipeline. After several years of debate, Obama vetoed the pipeline in February 2015.

Thanks to our sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/280066-afl-cio-rift-opens-over-green-mega-donor-tom-steyer