For Immediate Release:

Toronto – Workers and environmentalists today welcomed the latest evidence that good jobs and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

Melitron Corporation announced it’s bringing 80 new jobs to Guelph, where they will build modules for solar power. Modules are the technical name for what’s commonly called a solar panel.

It’s believed about 300 indirect jobs will be created, too. The jobs are in addition to about 500 solar power jobs also being created in Guelph, through Canadian Solar.

The news was hailed by the Blue-Green Canada alliance of the United Steelworkers union and Environmental Defence. The organizations joined forces in 2008 to show how working people can benefit from environmental progress.

“Today’s announcement is doubly good news,” said Ken Neumann, Canadian national director of the Steelworkers. “More new jobs in Ontario are just what working families need. And helping build a cleaner tomorrow is just what workers want for their kids, too.”

Mr. Neumann said clean energy is playing an important role in the economic recovery world-wide. He pointed to countries from China, the United States, Mexico and Australia making it an important part of their recent economic stimulus packages.

“From Steelworkers making wind turbines to electricians installing solar panels, workers can support their families by working in clean energy,” he said. “Workers in other countries know this is the economy of tomorrow. More Ontario workers know clean energy will power our economy, too.”

Dr. Rick Smith, executive director, of Environmental Defence said the job news is more evidence that Ontario’s Green Energy Act is working. This month, more coal plants were closed, a new wind power installation opened and construction on another began.

“More clean energy jobs in Ontario isn’t just good news for workers,” he said. “It’s good news for everyone who wants cleaner air and lower emissions. Across this province, we’re creating jobs and replacing old, polluting energy like coal with clean, modern energy like wind and solar.”

Dr. Smith said it’s incumbent on opponents of renewable energy to be honest about what’s at stake.

“People who want to go backwards and use less renewable energy need to be honest. They’re not just fighting wind turbines. They’re fighting job creation. Energy companies are hiring people in Ontario as a direct result of Ontario embracing clean energy.”

For more information:

Denis St. Pierre, United Steelworkers, Office 416.544.5900; Mobile 647.522.1630
Erin Charter, Environmental Defence, Office 416.323.9521; Mobile 647.210.7888


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