The Green New Deal lays out how we can get to 100% clean energy with living-wage jobs. In February 2020, MN350 joined local unions in a series of actions to fight for dignity and a healthy planet for our children – and won!
While we have worked with unions in the past, this was the first time that a union in MN has explicitly named climate justice demands in contract negotiations – and maybe the first time in the country.
Learn more about the work we’ve started together and how you can get involved.
On February 27, we joined SEIU Local 26 janitors to strike for dignified wages, sick days and climate justice. On Saturday, March 7, janitors reached an agreement after months of negotiations, and preparing to launch an open-ended strike.
“We couldn’t have achieved this outstanding win without all of our amazing allies who threw down in support of us. Your solidarity meant the world to us. Together we are winning a #BetterTomorrow!”
“I am from Ecuador, and I saw over time that climate change pushed people like my family off the land and forced us to migrate. We need corporations to act, not only to protect janitors, but to do their part to address their role in stopping climate change from harming people here in Minneapolis and all over the world. ”
— Elsa Guaman, SEIU Local 26 janitor speaking at a press conference to release our joint report “Sky High Pollution” calling on Minnesota corporations to take responsibility for their impact on our climate and communities.
“One of the most powerful parts of the evening was hearing each speaker talk about both workers rights and climate justice. One speaker talked about being united across ethnicity and immigration status by class. That we are all fighting corporate greed for a better life, and that means both demanding living wages, and protecting the health of our bodies and our planet.”
— Andy Pearson, MN350
In February MN350 also attended actions by St Paul teachers and nurses, asking for adequate mental health support for students and patients. In addition to trauma from climate related disasters, climate related anxiety about the future is on the rise.
“The day before this action I was talking to my son about why he hasn’t been turning in his homework. He said he felt so much pressure, that the future was so uncertain. He broke down crying. It really brought home to me how these issues are connected.”
— Ulla Nilsen, MN350
At the nurses march and picket we learned that M Health Fairview is planning to close a facility with mental health beds, without any plans for those patients.
“The company says that St. Joes is a big loser. Meaning they are losing money. As a nurse, I didn’t go into healthcare because I was worried about making money. None of us did. We’re here because we care about taking care of patients. You can’t claim to be a company that puts patients first when you’re going to abandon them as soon as they are not making a profit.”
— Mary Turner, President of the Minnesota Nurses Association
“Coming from New York I am really inspired to see unions and climate justice groups working together. I am amazed how Minnesotans are able to have cross movement solidarity and have an entire week of action. I am excited to bring this home and see how we can replicate this model.”
— Dominique Thomas, 350.org regional organizer who came out for the #bettertomorrow Week of Action and Leadership School
If you are interested in getting involved to promote the Green New Deal and build relationships with unions and community partners, join us! In addition to partnering with unions, we’re doing education and organizing in the community.
Our team meets every other Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. Find our next meeting on our events page and sign up for location and more info.