In 1998, a Steelworker locked out of his job at Kaiser Aluminum testified about job security at the Pacific Lumber Habitat Conservation Plan hearings in Eureka, CA. The entire auditorium fell silent and then erupted in applause before many of the Pacific Lumber workers present realized they were clapping for someone speaking against their parent company, the Maxxam Corporation. The voice of labor was being heard on behalf of both protecting jobs and the sustainable management of the region's forests. |
An extraordinary and historic labor and environmental alliance grew out of the initial coalition of forest activists in California fighting the Maxxam Corporation's destruction of ancient redwoods and Steelworkers locked out of Maxxam's Kaiser Aluminum plants. In April 1999, fifty labor and environmental leaders gathered in Eureka CA to discuss their common interests. That summer, the Houston Principles outlining goals for a sustainable environment and sustainable jobs were written and endorsed by over 200 groups and individuals. The Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment was born, with its debut at the WTO Ministerial meeting in Seattle in late 1999.
Next weekend, April 6-7, ASJE is holding its third annual membership meeting. Activities will include workshops, panels, and an election of board members. Portland State University is the location. This conference will be a great opportunity to become involved in ASJE, and strengthen turtles/Teamsters ties.