Labor coalition calls for State support to protect 28,000 Illinois jobs, secure $125 million in funding for local schools, emergency services
Over 500 union workers gather at State Capitol to fight for their jobs
**Livestream footage available**
Springfield, Ill. — Labor coalition Climate Jobs Illinois (CJI) today hosted a rally outside the State Capitol to call on legislators to support sufficient state funding for Illinois’ nuclear plants to save thousands of union jobs employed by the facilities that produce 90% of the state’s current clean energy.
Illinois legislators who spoke out in support of sufficient subsidies to operate the nuclear fleet included Sen. Michael Hastings, Sen. Sue Rezin, Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr., House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, Rep. David Welter and Sen. Neil Anderson. They were joined by over 500 union workers who called on the state to reach a deal to appropriately subsidize its nuclear fleet. Representatives from FAIRCOM, which represents local communities reliant on nuclear facilities to fund critical public services, also participated.
CJI’s provision to preserve the state’s nuclear fleet would save the jobs of 28,000 workers directly and indirectly employed by the state’s nuclear plants and secure over $125 million in tax revenue to the state along with critical funds for municipal governments that support schools and emergency services and keep property tax rates stable.
CJI’s Climate Union Jobs Act includes a 10-year bridge contract provision that is the state’s most prudent plan to reach zero emissions while protecting working people. The provision is a sort of “insurance policy” to protect consumers from paying inflated costs for nuclear plants receiving subsidies. If market prices increase (providing higher payment for power generated), the bill includes a mechanism that would dynamically respond, lowering the credit value offered to the nuclear plants to protect consumers from paying more than necessary to operate them. CJI’s bill, in fact, is the only proposal under consideration in Springfield that would return such credits to customers, whereas other measures fail to include this refund mechanism.
Climate Jobs Illinois represents the hundreds of thousands of Illinois’ working men and women who are best equipped to build Illinois’ new clean-energy economy from the ground up. Executive Committee members of Climate Jobs Illinois are: Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, 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 State Council and United Auto Workers Region 4.
Climate Jobs Illinois is a state affiliate of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. CJI has partnered with The Project for Middle Class Renewal at UIUC, Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Cornell University Worker Institute.
To learn more, visit https://www.climatejobsillinois.org, and follow CJI at @ClimateJobsIL on Twitter or join its Facebook page.