Are green jobs good jobs? Two years ago, everyone thought so. Home weatherization was going to create thousands of jobs. We could pull ourselves out of the recession, cut our energy bills, and save the climate. It was a win-win-win.
Then reality set in. Weatherization today is a low-road industry. Profit margins are low. Small contractors fight each other for the work. Pay is low, training is minimal, safety is often ignored, and labor laws are frequently violated.
But the hard work of the Green Justice Coalition has been changing that reality. In Massachusetts, after a two-year campaign, the Green Justice Coalition – which brings together building trades unions, community and environmental organizations –recently signed breakthrough agreements with the leading weatherization vendor and utility company in the state.