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Vineyard Wind signs labor agreement; secures 500 union jobs

Offshore wind farm Vineyard wind

Vineyard Wind and a regional union organization signed a project labor agreement this Friday that will guarantee at least 500 union jobs for the project’s construction; which is set to be one of America’s largest offshore wind projects.

Firstly, Lars T. Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind, and David Araujo, president of the Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council; signed the agreement at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal.

Secondly, the jobs secured through the agreement will go to residents of the area; they will get jobs both on land and off the coasts of Martha’s Vineyard for the construction of the project itself. Workers will come out of 20 local union affiliates of the regional building trades council.

Thirdly, the terms of the agreement intend to ensure that all the workforce will come from local communities; specifically, Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, and Dukes counties. It also sets hiring targets for women and people of color; according to the report by South Coast today.

Moreover, about the agreement, Massachusetts Building Trades Council President Frank Callahan, said. “There’s been this false choice, this uneasy tension at best and conflict at worst; between organized labor and the environmental community, and the push for renewable energy. It has always been presented that in order to convert to a renewable energy economy, we have to sacrifice good union jobs.”

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Vineyard Wind to create opportunities in education for workers

He also remarked. “With this project, we’re showing that that’s been a false choice. We can do both, we can have both and we’re going to have both here off the coast of Massachusetts with Vineyard Wind.”

In addition, Lisa Lemieux, president of the Southeastern Massachusetts Central Labor Council, said the project will give the workers good wages; also, education and training that they look forward to building on.

“We know that not all unions are in it, but it’s been a long time coming for building trades. We’re super excited about a new beginning for New Bedford and a lot more jobs for a lot of people.”

Finally, she remarked. “The Massachusetts Building Trades Council and its Southeastern counterpart both did a wonderful job at facilitating this agreement; and we’re super proud of the work they did and think it will benefit lots of local workers for years to come.”

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