Monday, October 06, 2003

Canadian Workers on the Vanguard of Environmental Protection

Cradle to Grave Product Responsibility

Tired of just tossing your old car into the trash (or junk yard) when you're done with it. The Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) is advocating a better way that will not only protect the environment, but also create new jobs:
The CAW is calling on Canadian governments to apply a policy called "extended producer responsibility" to the auto industry. Also known as take-back legislation, this policy holds manufacturers accountable for the goods that they produce for the product's entire lifetime. This means that owners can return vehicles to the manufacturer at the end of their useful life. Instead of cars winding up in unsightly junkyards, landfills or incinerators, their manufacturers would be obliged to take them back.
So it's good for the enviroment. But it's also good for jobs:
By lobbying for take-back legislation, the CAW is merely demonstrating enlightened self-interest. The CAW envisions a vehicle disassembly plant beside every assembly plant. Even if car sales decline in an environmentally friendly future dominated by public transit, cyclists, pedestrians, and tele-commuting, there would still be jobs for auto workers.