TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The United Auto Workers union started pushing the idea of government incentives to support U.S. production of green technology in 2003, and a bill passed in 2007 is having the desired effect of adding employment in the U.S., the union says.

The law authorizing loans to encourage tooling and engineering for green technology already accounts for 30,000 jobs at Ford Motor Co., which was approved for $5.9 billion covering 13 projects.

Another loan to Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. also is resulting in American jobs, says Brad Markell, the UAW research department’s international representative.

“Successful business cases mean jobs,” he says. “The 21st century UAW is a force for innovation and modernization in the U.S. auto industry.” Fuel-saving technologies create jobs because hybrids and diesels have additional content, which take more people to engineer and produce.

Even the non-union jobs at Nissan help the UAW, he says, because the workers there know they are employed, in part, thanks to UAW lobbying Congress to approve the program.

“Nissan is a non-union company, but we are happy about the jobs being in the United States,” says Markell. “Doing right for our members helps all auto workers.”

He says the UAW will continue pushing for more government investment.

“The U.S. is finally getting smart, doing what other countries have done for a long time: We are encouraging manufacturing in this country,” Markell says. “It is not based on where the capital is based. It is about these companies being here and employing Americans.”