The coalition of union members and environmental groups is growing stronger as both groups push for green jobs and organizations like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council join the drive to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. Now you can add another group to the mix—the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA).
For 18 months, the USA has been working to build support within the union movement for preserving our hunting and fishing heritage. Launched in 2007, the USA is a joint venture of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) and 21 unions. The hunting and fishing club is open to union members, retirees and their families.
One of USA’s main goals is to support the TRCP’s longstanding dedication to guaranteeing access for hunters and anglers, conserving the fish and wildlife habitat and increasing funding for conservation.
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, an avid hunter, says:
When union workers get on a job, they get it done right, so bringing them together in this new way promises to dramatically advance the effort to better conserve our natural resources.
USA sponsors the TV series, “Escape to the Wild” on VERSUS Country. New episodes air each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (EST). The show rewards members of AFL-CIO unions with a hunting or fishing trip of a lifetime.
Bill Schneider, writing on NewWest.net, quotes several union leaders on why the USA is so important.
Machinists President Tom Buffenbarger, a TRCP board member, tells Schneider:
Quality places to hunt and fish are disappearing—threatening America’s sporting heritage. The USA will help turn the tide by unifying union sportsmen and women across the country to form a strong voice of influence.
Firefighters President Harold Schaitberger agrees, saying:
We’re proud to offer a program to help our hardworking men and women enjoy the activities they’re passionate about.
Click here to learn more about the USA.
Schneider says the creation of USA is significant because “we finally have a conservation group specifically for organized labor.”
Union members, of course, can join any of the nation’s hundreds of conservation groups, but only about 30 percent do. Most don’t because, in part, of political perception.
To me, there’s no real difference between a “conservationist” and an “environmentalist,” but many people—and I suspect most union members among them—disagree with my opinion. Regardless, it’s vital that the TRCP has come along and given organized labor a pure, union-focused group, the Good Old USA, and solved that real or imagined political problem.