Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
Earlier today, there was a major victory for America’s pro-union clean energy future. During a press conference at the AFL-CIO headquarters, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and Ørsted signed a project labor agreement (PLA) to construct the company’s U.S. offshore wind farms with America’s union workforce. Members of the Biden–Harris administration, including Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, took part in the celebration.
The first of its kind in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Agreement (NOWA) sets the bar for working conditions and equity, injects hundreds of millions of dollars in middle-class wages into the American economy, creates apprenticeship and career opportunities for communities most impacted by environmental injustice, and ensures projects will be built with the safest and best-trained workers in the country. Authorized by 15 international union presidents and their local affiliates, the NOWA covers all of Ørsted’s contractors and subcontractors that will perform offshore wind farm construction from Maine down to Florida.
This PLA is a significant milestone because it creates an example for offshore wind and other clean energy firms to follow: one where labor standards, environmental protection and good business practices can and should go hand in hand. As AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler remarked, “This is what it looks like to put the words ‘high-road labor standards’ into action.” This high-caliber agreement for working people and the planet reminds us that clean energy jobs can and will be good-paying, family-sustaining union jobs.