IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew recently returned from a tour of unionized wind energy plants in Europe, a trip that has helped bolster the campaign to bring GE wind jobs home to the United States.
President Kennebrew joined labor, government, and private sector leaders from the U.S., Germany, and Denmark,as well as coalition partners with Climate Jobs New York and the Climate Jobs Resource Center.
America is getting ready to ramp up its domestic wind energy industry, with more than 150GW of electric capacity potentially approved by 2025, and supported with critical public sector investment.
For the U.S. to reach its wind energy goals, we will need to install thousands of wind turbines and related components, cabling and grid upgrades, specialized vessels, port upgrades, and more. The three key questions are how much of this machinery and parts will be made in the U.S., whether this U.S. production will support good-paying union manufacturing jobs, and which corporations will lead the manufacturing.
On the Europe trip, IUE-CWA President Kennebrew toured a Vestas blade factory in Denmark, meeting with the developer Ørsted and manufacturer Vestas. The event also included a meeting with Pension Denmark, which finances many wind projects and is directed by unions and employers in an equal partnership.
In Germany, IUE-CWA’s delegation met with labor unions IG Metall and IG Chemie along with government officials, including Germany’s Minister of Environment Steffi Lemke, Green Party parliamentarians, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Chief of Staff. They met at the EEW Monopile factory in Rostok on the Baltic Sea, a facility which builds the monopiles, the huge metal tubes that are the foundation for offshore wind turbines.
President Kennebrew, IUE-CWA staff, and our GE Locals’ leadership want to make sure that America’s green energy future will be built by union labor and this recent delegation to Europe highlighted how this can be achieved.
GE has the infrastructure and technology to lead the US into a green energy renaissance and skilled IUE-CWA union workers are ready to get to work.