"As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day this year, I am reminded of how far our union has come over the last decade since first forging our alliance with our partners in the environmental movement.
"It was in 2001 that our two groups first joined together during the 'Battle for Seattle' to demonstrate against the WTO. The Teamsters and environmentalists understood that members of a society cannot survive when you allow the deregulation of trade and the destruction of the environment. That path would only lead to the exploitation of both the environment and workers.
"While the blue-green movement was born in Seattle, we have continued to stand with our brothers and sisters in the environmental movement. Together we have fought to create a sustainable supply chain that not only provides good-paying jobs with benefits but ensures that companies safeguard the environment and the health and safety of our communities.
"For example, in Los Angeles, the Teamsters and our environmental allies like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council along with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy have been fighting to raise standards for drivers in the port and for workers in the solid waste and recycling industry. Through the Clean Truck Program and the Don't Waste L.A. campaigns, we are well on our way to making a real difference for workers who have been exploited by these industries for too long.
"The Teamsters, along with the support of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, have reduced the deadly diesel pollution in the port through the Clean Trucks Program. And in a historic vote, port drivers employed by Australian company Toll voted to join the Teamsters. Their brave stand in the face of a vicious anti-union campaign will pave the way for their brothers and sisters across the country to join them in seeking justice on the job and fundamentally change the way the port industry treats their drivers.
"If we can build upon these victories and continue to turn green jobs into good jobs, we can improve the lives of thousands of working families across the country and help them achieve the American dream."
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TeamsterPower.