Unions form nonprofit to push green jobs, help for nuclear plants

AP Photo/Robert Ray, File — In this March 16, 2011, file photo, steam escapes from Exelon Corp.’s nuclear plant in Byron, Ill.

(The Center Square) – A new union-sponsored push for green energy said the future of Illinois’ nuclear power plants is a priority, but will it be enough to convince corruption-wary lawmakers and Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign off on what critics call yet another ratepayer bailout for one of Illinois’ utilities?

Climate Jobs Illinois, a collaborative nonprofit run by leaders in organized labor, announced the formation Monday.

Climate Jobs Illinois list the Illinois AFL-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, International Association of Bridge Structural Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers State Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134,

International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, Laborers International Union of North America Great Lakes Region, Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region,

Service Employees International Union Local 1, and the United Auto Workers Region 4 as member unions.

Executive Director Nikki Budzinski, who recently left the Pritzker administration, said the nonprofit will unveil new policy initiatives not only in the energy sector but also infrastructure and other policy areas in the coming months.

“There is a lot of rightful anxiety right now as it relates to a lot of these topics,” she said Monday. “That’s why we formed this coalition. We really want to make sure that those concerns of working families are elevated in this debate.”

• See the complete story in the Friday, 9/18 print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.

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