Working on change
|16 September 2009|
Working on change provides a fascinating glimpse into the opportunity that climate change provides for modern trade unionism, and the prize that lies within all of our reach. The contributions to this pamphlet by Jack Dromey (Unite) and Sally Hunt (UCU), by Paul Noon (Prospect) and by John Sauven (Greenpeace) all tackle this head on. They highlight the scale of the manufacturing and employment opportunities in the transition to the low carbon economy but also focus on the pressing need to ensure that we realise these opportunities.
The contribution by Keith Sonnet (Unison) and Dan Shears (GMB) demonstrates that there is also a significant agenda here for public sector unions and employees. They highlight the opportunity to use community and public solutions in areas like renewable energy and energy efficiency to deliver public benefit and public support for the low carbon transition. And Paul Hampton (LRD) makes the case for tapping the significant potential of union representatives in workplaces across the economy to be green champions and lead change in their organisation and among their fellow employees.
Ann Pettifor of the green new deal and John Sauven bring an outsiders perspective to this pamphlet and challenge the union movement to broaden and deepen their engagement with this agenda and to continuously raise their level of ambition in line with the challenges we face.
The most uplifting contribution to this pamphlet comes from Bob Baugh, executive director of the American AFL-CIOI Industrial Union Council, with an inspiring story from across the Atlantic. The Blue-Green coalition in the US has united over six million workers and many of the key environmental groups in the US in the fight for the tremendous manufacturing and employment opportunities of the transition to a low carbon economy.
We are excited by the growing engagement and commitment of trade unions to the opportunities presented by action on climate change and see this pamphlet as an important step in our effort to build broader and more diverse alliances to help us achieve action on climate change.