Free and active unions have a vital part to play in the just transition to a zero-carbon future. The climate crisis will disproportionally impact working-class people and communities, those that trade unions exist to defend and represent. Unlike the rich, we can’t afford to run for higher ground. And as temperatures continue to rise, working conditions continually deteriorate. Unions must be able to act on issues that impact their membership.
Unions are also perfectly placed to lead the way to a just transition. They understand their industries and can formulate new ideas for how to adapt (Lucas plan style). They can challenge employers to make better environmental decisions, but without union freedom, that challenge is little more than a polite request. The anti-union and anti-strike legislation designed to suppress union activity is a direct obstacle to a greener world.
Earth Strike UK: Empower the Unions is a new initiative by Earth Strike UK, supported by the Free Our Unions campaign. Empower the Unions aims to unite environmental activists and trade unionists to resist legislation that restricts our rights to organise and strike and empower unions to take the action necessary to safeguard our future.