Sierra Club leader indicates solidary with workers, supports Proposal 2


Michael Brune with Sierra Club supporters of Proposal 2, including, at left, the state Chapter Director Anne Woiwode.


By Cynthia Price
Legal News

One would expect that Michael Brune, the Executive Director of the national environmental organization Sierra Club, would visit Michigan to try to get people to vote for Proposal 12-3, the Renewable Energy initiative.

But instead he was in Grand Rapids Monday to show his support for Proposal 12-2, which protects collective bargaining rights.

Indeed, before the press conference, Brune said, “Michigan Proposal 3 is probably the most important clean energy initiative in the country.”

But Sierra Club was also one of the early members of the coalition BlueGreen Alliance, “a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations working to create good jobs, a clean environment and a 21st century economy in America.”

BlueGreen Alliance’s Jobs21 National Co-chair Mark Schauer — a former Michigan congressman — told the gathering of about 50 union members and environmentalists that Prop 2 is critical to ensuring the continuation of a strong middle class. He noted, “ The same people and corporations attacking the rights of workers are attacking the environment.”

Opponents claim passage of Prop 2 would give too much power to union leaders, hurt municipalities in balancing their budgets, and cause a bureaucratic nightmare in rolling back laws. But Brune stated, “Workers who can collectively bargain...safeguard our neighborhoods, our communities and our environment.”