New Renewable Energy Policy Must Have Labor Standards

The NYS AFL-CIO and its affiliates have been working to implement the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in an effective and responsible way. Many affiliates have been involved in the panels and workgroups that were created to provide input about reducing the state’s carbon emissions, improve environmental and energy policy, and transition industries negatively impacted by the CLCPA to protect jobs and the tax base as well.

It is imperative that wage and job standards are included in the development of renewable energy. Protections like requiring prevailing rate and project labor agreements on the construction of facilities is critical. But we also must do more to ensure we create family sustaining jobs that lift up our communities. This includes the ongoing operation and maintenance of renewable energy generation and distribution, as well as the manufacturing and supply chain projects and facilities.

We strongly applaud both houses for including labor peace agreements for employers that provide the ongoing operations and maintenance of renewable energy facilities. Both houses also include Buy American provisions for the manufacture of component parts. We support and are exploring the possibility of including Buy-NY for component parts where feasible.

Mario Cilento, President