A joint statement initiated by Earth Strike: Empower the Unions and Free Our Unions. Please add your or your organisation’s name!

On 24 September, young people around the world struck for the climate. The youth climate strikes are vibrant and inspiring. They are also powerful: because they are defiant, because they are disruptive, because they are young people leveraging their collective power. Most of the strikers are too young to vote or hold political office, but by striking they are exercising power.

We want workers of all ages to follow the youth strikers’ lead. Workers have huge power, we need to use it! We need workers’ action to defend ourselves against the environmental dangers and deteriorating conditions brought about by the climate crisis. We need action to challenge and confront bosses and governments who care far more about profit than the planet and its people. It is time to revive the proud history of industrial struggles over social and political issues, including environmental ones – from the New South Wales building labourers’ “Green Bans” to the Lucas Plan.

For decades workers in the UK have been fenced in by multiple laws which make quick and effective strike action difficult, and action over political issues like climate change more difficult still. Workers do and will continue to defy the anti-union laws; but these laws have helped weaken the culture of organisation, direct action and solidarity.

We call on all organisations who seriously want to fight climate change to fight and vocally demand the abolition of all anti-union laws, and their replacement with strong legal rights for workers and unions – including rights to strike freely at will, in solidarity with others and for political demands, and to picket freely.

We call on the whole labour movement to support the youth climate strikers in any way it can.

This statement was launched by the Earth Strike: Empower the Unions and Free Our Unions campaigns. Follow this link to support our statement and add yourself or your organisation to the list of supporters: https://bit.ly/climatestrike1

Supported by

Earth Strike: Empower the Unions earth-strike.co.uk/campaigns/empower-the-unions-2
Free Our Unions freeourunions.org
Green Party Trade Union Group gptu.greenparty.org.uk
Labour for a Green New Deal labourgnd.uk
Green Left greenleftblog.blogspot.com
Scot.E3 (employment, energy and environment) scote3.net
Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group cacctu.org.uk
Greener Jobs Alliance greenerjobsalliance.co.uk

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington
Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East
Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion
Apsana Begum, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse
Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East
Riccardo la Torre, Fire Brigades Union National Officer
Sarah Woolley, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union General Secretary, Wakefield
Vicky Blake, University and College Union President, Leeds
Ben Selby, FBU Vice President
Matthew Hull, Chair of Green Party Trade Union Group, London
Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison branch secretary
Hannah Taylor, Edinburgh Central Constituency Labour Party (CLP)
Abel Harvie-Clark, Newcastle East CLP, SOAS Justice for Workers
Catherine Rowett, Green Party of England and Wales National Spokesperson for Work, Employment and Social Security, and former MEP
Daniel Randall, Assistant Chair, RMT Bakerloo line branch
Benedict Flexen, Earth Strike UK, Huddersfield
Sacha Ismail, Unite LE524 member, Workers’ Liberty
Eleanor Woolstencroft, Newcastle Central CLP
Fliss Premru, TUC London East & South East EC member, Sustainability and Just Transition Network, CACCTU
Ian Hodson, President, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union
Jane Baston, University of York Unison Young Members Rep, Co-Chair of the Young Greens of England and Wales
John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary
Amit Malde, FBU London
Janet Newsham, Coordinator Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, Coordinator and Chair UK Hazards Campaign
Tahir Latif, Greener Jobs Alliance, Portsmouth
Magid Magid, Union of Justice, Sheffield
Kefentse Dennis, NEU, Norwich
Alena Ivanova, Another Europe is Possible, IWGB
Mary Kaldor, AEIP, Brighton Labour
Hattie Craig, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Edd Mustill, GMB rep, Sheffield
Janine Booth, RMT; Lewes CLP; Neurodivergent Labour
Laura Parizotto, Migrants 4 Labour
Marzena Zukowska, Migrants 4 Labour
Vijay Jackson, PCS workplace rep, Political Education Officer, Edinburgh Central CLP
Zack Muddle, Ashley Labour (Bristol) Trade Union Liaison Officer, IWGB
Sab Cat, IWW Environmental Secretary
Paul Crook
Matt Shannon, Nottingham East CLP
Munya Rai, Regularise
Dan Davison, UCU, Mole Valley CLP
Josh Kaldor-Robinson
A Douglas, Wycombe CLP
Pamela Trevithick, Bristol West CLP
Alex Howard, Oxford NUJ branch, Oxford East CLP
Henry Holborn, Lancaster & Fleetwood CLP
Councillor A Bulat, Cambridgeshire County Council
Stephen Wood, RMT
Cyara Buchuck-Wilsench, Oxford Labour
Bertie Knight, Sheffield Central CLP, Socialist Appeal
Zephanie Marten, Tonbridge & Malling CLP
Sacha Marten, Tonbridge & Malling CLP Vice Chair and LGBTQ Officer
Mick Duncan, Unite organiser, Brighton Kemptown CLP Campaigns Officer
Anna Rose, LP Branch women’s officer
Mark Jones, Aldershot CLP Exec, Unite Member
Eleanor Clarke, PCS
Ali Crabtree, UCU
George Wheeler, Unite
Andrew Peak, Vauxhall CLP
Dan Jeffery, Lambeth UNISON vice chair
Vicki Morris, Chair, University of Nottingham Unison branch
John McGrath, Lewisham Deptford CLP, Democratic Socialists of America
Councillor Mike Rowley, Oxford East CLP
Bill Harrop, Unite
Roxana Fraser, Winchester CLP, GMB
Alison Brown, Sheffield Heeley CLP
Declan Owens, Ecojustice Legal Action Centre, London
Ross Quinn, Wallasey CLP
Jenny Cooper, NEU, Brent
Alexandria Hassett, Greenwich and Bexley TUC Chair, Unite Community GLAB LGBT officer, Erith and Thamesmead CLP LGBT Officer and Assistant Organiser
Leila Mimmack, Equity union, London
Bill Wright, Unite, London
Paul Valentine, Equity for a Green New Deal, London
Ben Foley, Green Councillor, Bedford Borough Council
Cllr Joe Lever, Green Party Isle of Wight, Prospect member
Jim Ritchie, GMB, RS21, Kilmarnock
Chris Nicholson, GMB member, Glasgow
Stephen Beggs, Extinction Rebellion, Belfast
Jess McCourt, Bangor, Co. Down
Jacinta Hamley, Climate Craic, Founder, Belfast
Beccy Sawbridge, Green Party Trade Union Group – Unite Community, Dover
Paulette Romain, PCS London & SE Region Chair
Josh Chown, PCS Home Office HQ
Martin Francis, Green Left, London
Steph Mok, Glasgow
Ian Allinson, Manchester TUC exec member
Derek Fraser, NEU School Rep, Manchester
John Burgess, Barnet UNISON, London
Eva Martin, Belfast
Isla Scott, Glasgow
Lucie Scott, Hackney North CLP, NEU
Sym Saggar, student at Queen Mary University of London
John Ingleson, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Unison – Branch Chair
Ian Crawford, Socialist Environment and Resources Association Devon Chair
Julie Hope, Chair, New Forest East Labour CLP
Philip Lewis, Chair, London Hazards Trust
Mike Dixon, Environmental Representative, UNISON Sussex Community Health branch
Eleni Loukopoulou, UCU Croydon green rep
Stuart Melvin, Unite The Union, Rep, Yate
Samantha Mason, GMB / Walthamstow South branch Labour Party TULO
Andy Warren, Lewisham Deptford Labour, FBU
Jay Ginn, Unite RM Croydon , Green Party
Ellen Robottom, Leeds CLP Environment and Sustainability Officer
Steve Skinner, UCU Union Rep, Bradford College, Chair of Little London Tenants and Residents Association