An Open Letter from Coal Communities In Support of Buffalo’s Tesla Workers:

An Open Letter from Coal Communities In Support of Buffalo’s Tesla Workers:

We represent organizations from West Virginia to Montana, Pennsylvania to Kentucky, who live, work, and organize in coal communities. For more than a century, our communities have been instrumental in powering the national economy, and have made heavy sacrifices to provide cheap electricity for the nation.

Our country’s energy economy is changing. For decades we have experienced the closing of coal mines in our communities followed by the retirement and decommissioning of power plants. This shift has resulted in massive job loss and the loss of revenue that has left many of our local economies struggling.

We support workers who are organizing a union at the Tesla Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York. We see the unionization of Tesla, and of the renewable sector, as a strategy to build a just and equitable renewable energy economy, an economy that provides generational sustaining careers as our energy system transitions.

When workers join together to unionize they build the power to transform jobs into careers, earn the ability to support their families, and guarantee safer working conditions. We’ve witnessed the opposite in “right to work” states, where wages and working conditions have deteriorated, while income inequality has soared. We see the unionization of Tesla as an opportunity to create quality careers, careers with job security, and where workers have a say in their own working environment.

We know that an energy transition is inevitable, while a just energy transition is not. We call on our fellow environmental, community, and climate organizations to show real solidarity to union and worker justice fights, and support Tesla workers.

In Solidarity,

To Nizhoni Ani, Arizona

Western Colorado Alliance, Colorado

Appalachian Citizens Law Center, Kentucky

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky

Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), Kentucky

Ohio Citizen Action, Ohio

Center for Coalfield Justice, Pennsylvania

Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Pennsylvania                   

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia 

West Virginia Working Families Party, West Virginia                                           

Western Organization of Resource Councils, Western Region of the United States

Northern Plains Resource Council, Montana                                                                            

Alliance for a Better Utah, Utah

Appalachian Voices, Virginia 

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