Orsted, a Danish firm that operates the wind farm off Rhode Island and has other leases along the coast as far south as Maryland, signed an agreement in November with North America’s Building Trades Unions to hire some of its workers. And it has been providing funding to the training school for the International Organization Masters, Mates, & Pilots Maritime Union, which is part of the AFL-CIO.
Donald Marcus, president of the maritime union, said Orsted’s support for the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies in Linthicum Heights, Md., could help produce workers who can build turbines in the ocean.
“Generally speaking, vessel personnel make good family wages if they’re union jobs,” Marcus said. “That’s the case in large sectors of our industry. But not, I add, in the oil patch down in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Offshore oil extraction in the gulf, which is near anti-union, conservative states, typically does not employ union workers.