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Celebrating workers building clean energy solutions

Labor unions ensure workers' voices are heard. They’re organized groups of workers, often from the same profession, that come together to advocate and collectively bargain for rights such as fair wages, safe conditions and reasonable hours.  

Holidays like Labor Day and International Workers’ Day recognize the achievements and contributions of workers and the labor movement in shaping our society and economy. Most of the workers’ rights we have today are thanks to unions. The labor movement brought us the eight-hour workday, overtime pay, sick leave, social security, paid vacations, pension benefits, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and even the weekend. 

In celebration of Labor Day, let’s explore some of the ways labor unions continue to play a big role shaping today's work environment and growing local economies.  

Many labor unions have programs to develop workers’ skills and grow local workforces. Union apprenticeship and training programs give workers the opportunity to learn new skills and start new careers.  

Unions also support career development by partnering with colleges and universities to bring students to tour job sites. Alliant Energy actively takes part in such tours to introduce students to topics like renewable energy construction and project development.  

Renewable projects also offer opportunities for unions to host career fairs for local residents interested in renewable energy. Fairs are often held in partnership with other local organizations such as the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Workforce Development job centers.  

The culture of workplace safety is another key right labor unions protect. Highly trained, local workers complete projects safely, on time and on budget, ultimately bringing the best value to the table for the communities they serve.  

Alliant Energy has strong partnerships with the Carpenters and Wisconsin Building Trades unions, and we contract with union labor for all our utility-scale solar projects in Wisconsin. Utilizing union labor strengthens the local workforce, keeps project dollars in the community and boosts our economy.  
Grant Barton is a Communications Partner with a passion for sustainability and eco-friendly city planning. He has a diverse background in engineering, politics and international communications and hopes to apply this experience when writing and breaking down complex topics related to Alliant Energy's Clean Energy Future plans.

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