ORLANDO—”Millions more are about to join the fight to guarantee all Americans a place to hunt and fish,” said Matthew B. Connolly Jr., President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), announcing the launch of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA).
The TRCP, a coalition of hunting, fishing and conservation organizations, and its 20 affiliated AFL-CIO labor union partners collaborated to provide more than 3.2 million union workers across the U.S. and Canada who hunt, fish and recreate in the outdoors their own dues-based, union-dedicated sporting club.
The USA will recruit and engage tens of thousands of union sportsmen and women, adding strength and influence to the TRCP’s efforts to guarantee access for hunters and anglers, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and increase funding for conservation.
“Quality places to hunt and fish are disappearing-threatening America’s sporting heritage,” said Tom Buffenbarger, President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and TRCP board member. “The USA will help turn the tide by unifying union sportsmen and women across the country to form a strong voice of influence.”
An independent, scientific opinion survey of TRCP’s 20 labor union partners revealed that 70 percent of their members, or approximately 3.2 million, hunt and fish. And 71 percent of those 3.2 million union workers represented do not belong to any hunting, fishing or conservation organization. This indicates that the USA program offers an unparalleled opportunity to reach a significantly unaffiliated market of sportsmen and women.
“For many of our members, hunting and fishing isn’t just what they do in their free time, they’re part of who they are. We’re proud to offer a program to help our hardworking men and women enjoy the activities they’re passionate about,” said Harold Schaitberger, General President of International Association of Fire Fighters.
According to Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, “When union workers get on a job, they get it done right, so bringing them together in this new way promises to dramatically advance the effort to better conserve our natural resources.”