On 13 January 2007 the Workers’ Climate Action network had its first meeting. The initiative is about working for national unity between the labour movement and activists from the environmental milieu, to change current trade union policy, and create just transition plans for a future of sustainable industry.
We are in the process of building a website which will serve as an educational resource.
Our aims: To function as a grassroots campaign, joining picket lines rather than simply lobbying trade union or government hierarchy. Workers are demonised by some in the environmental movement as a cog in the machine of a “bad” industry, and environmental concerns are neglected by trade unions where an expansion of (often unsustainable) jobs seems incompatible with the need for changes to industry. Lots more jobs would result from environmentally aware expansion, for instance a free and integrated transport system.
To help rank and file trade unionists make transitional demands in their workplaces, for “greener”, sustainable workplaces, and so on.
To emphasise the idea of workers' control in industry, as part of the solution to tackle rapid climate change.
To advocate direct action movement be employed by the trade union movement.
Work out how environmental direct action would fit into industrial stuggles, and having an awareness of its impact on workers.
To consistently highlight capitalism as a root cause of environmental damage.
To be a decentralised network, using the internet for ideas sharing, struggles currently happening and central educational facilities. This will also allow us to engage with current workers' struggles and existing campaigns.
Next meeting: Sunday 24 February at Sheffield University Student Union. All welcome. Website soon at: