Ørsted has reached what it described as a landmark agreement with the North America Building Trades Union (NABTU), a labour organisation representing more than 3M workers
The agreement is designed to help construction workers to make the transition into the offshore wind industry in collaboration with 14 NABTU affiliates and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
The framework agreement sets a model for labour management co-operation and workforce development in the offshore wind industry. There are currently 15 active commercial leases for offshore wind development in the US. According to a report released by the American Wind Energy Association, if fully built, these leases would support up to 30 GW of offshore wind capacity and an estimated 83,000 jobs.
Ørsted has the largest footprint of any offshore wind developer in the US, having been awarded 2.9 GW of contracts up and down the eastern seaboard from Rhode Island to Maryland.
NABTU president Sean McGarvey said the agreement would expand career pathways and opportunities for the union’s members to participate in the transition to green energy. Mr McGarvey said it would enable workers to gain experience in offshore work.
The agreement is based on a model developed by the Rhode Island Building Trades for the Block Island windfarm.
Ørsted Offshore North America chief executive David Hardy said, “Ørsted believes the best workers are always the best-trained workers, and we are proud to have earned a strong record of working with skilled union labour to build the first offshore windfarm in the US, Block Island.
“We appreciate NABTU’s co-operation and the collaborative approach our union partners have brought to this endeavour and look forward to learning from and working with them.”
As part of a national framework established by Ørsted and NABTU, the partners will work together with unions to identify the skills necessary to accelerate development of an offshore wind workforce.
Ørsted and NABTU, along with their affiliates and state and local councils, have agreed to work together on long-term plans for the development of Ørsted’s offshore wind projects.