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Dozens of labour leaders from the Canadian, US, and Mexican energy sectors, along with allies from civil society, will gather in New Orleans on Sunday, April 20th for the 2nd meeting of North American energy sector organizations. In addition to developing a common vision for solidarity on energy-related issues, they will emphasize energy as a human right and the need to address environmental challenges in the energy sector.

On the morning of April 21st, union and NGO representatives will announce their conclusions at a press conference along with their response to the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) “ – the aggressive neo-liberal integration project of Harper, Bush, and Calderón that will be discussed at that time in New Orleans.

While the heads of state discuss a project made to order for corporate USA, the labour leaders will lay the groundwork for integration of a more human kind – affirming peoples’ right to energy and energy sovereignty. Labour/civil society discussions will focus on the challenges of moving towards renewable energy and energy efficiency while heads of state keep their heads buried in the sand on environmental challenges.

Energy sector representatives will also participate in the New Orleans People’s Summit until April 23rd and will be available for interviews accordingly.

Labour leaders from the Canadian, US, and Mexican energy sectors;
Allied representatives from civil society groups
(see list of spokespeople below)

Press conference –
2nd meeting of North American energy sector organizations

Monday, April 21st, 2008, 8:00 am

IH Conference Center, 220 Camp Street
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

– 30 –

For further information or interviews:
Blair Redlin, Canadian Union of Public Employees, 778-228-4538 (cell.)
Pierre-Yves Serinet, Quebec Network on Continental Integration, 514-217-6529 (cell.)

Spokespeople present at the press conference – Canada:
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE): Claude Généreux
Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP): Dave Coles
United Steelworkers / Canada: Ken Neumann
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 258 (B.C. Hydro): Michelle Laurie
Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378 (B.C. Hydro): Andy Ross
Council of Canadians: Maude Barlow
Common Frontiers Canada: Rick Arnold

United States:
United Steelworkers of America (USW): Gary Beevers, International Vice-President
Alliance for Responsible Trade (ART-US): Tom Loudon, Jessica Walker-Beaumont

Mexican Union of Electricity Workers (SME): Martín Esparza Flores, General Secretary
Democratic National Alliance of Oil Workers (ANDTP): Juan Carlos Chávez

International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM): Joe Drexler