On June 16-19, GWA joined over 4,000 other labor activists in Chicago at the largest Labor Notes conference to date. Dalia Bonilla, a solar worker from Texas and GWA spokesperson, said, “I've never been to anything like this in my life. I'm excited to take what I learn back to my solar family. After this, we are starting a job in Oklahoma with another temp agency so Lord knows we need this.” Dalia rode on a plane for the first time in 45 years to attend the conference!
While at Labor Notes, Dalia and organizer Nico Ries met up with three other GWA members at different workshops (and of course over pizza). When asked what was the most meaningful workshop, Dalia said, “ Definitely for me, the Organize the South workshop proved why we need to build unions, especially for us green workers because most of the big jobs are in Right-to-Work states, like my home in Texas."
Being able to build community with other building trades union activists and leadership especially around climate change issues and a just transition off of fossil fuels was very powerful and just what was needed to energize GWA leadership to double down on organizing in this sector. “I see GWA as crucial to the puzzle along with more traditional building trades unions to solve the issues around organizing the emerging and rapidly growing renewable energy field,” Nico said after a workshop on Solidarity along Supply Chains.
Several of our members who were unable to attend in person attended the main livestreamed sessions once they were off of work.