The attack that drove “green jobs czar” Van Jones from the White House this week is an attack on labor and on workers’ best hope for good jobs. If labor wants to promote green jobs, labor should embrace Van Jones - publicly, loudly, and fast - at the upcoming AFL-CIO Convention.
Van Jones is a proven friend of labor, who has fought to see that green jobs are good jobs with labor rights and fair labor standards. If ever there was a time for that old labor slogan “An injury to one is an injury to all” it is the injury that has been done to Van Jones. For it is an injury to every American worker who hopes that the crisis in our economy can be addressed by putting people to work building a new green economy.
As founder of Green for All and author of the best-seller The Green Collar Economy, Van Jones put the issue of green jobs on the political map. Eager to catch the green jobs wave, the Obama administration brought Van Jones in as “special advisor for green jobs” at the Council on Environmental Quality. But last month Glenn Beck’s Fox News’ show began dredging up calumnies from Jones’s past - all information which admittedly had long been publicly available on the web. (Yes, that’s the Glenn Beck who said “This president has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people.”) This Sunday Jones self-sacrificingly resigned to avoid becoming a distraction for the Obama administration.
The campaign against Jones is the tip of the wedge for a far broader campaign against organized labor, protection of the environment, and green jobs.
Credit for starting the campaign that drove Van Jones from office is claimed by Phil Kerpen, Policy Director of Americans for Prosperity. What’s their agenda?