Mass union support for climate action

Italian poster

Trade unions across Europe have been launching action this month to support climate change campaigners.

The Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL),  Confédération générale du travail (CGT) in France, Nordic unions and the British TUC are among the many organisations supporting the global climate action.

“Climate is not just a priority for environmentalists,” explained CGIL General Secretary Maurizio Landini. “The fight for climate justice is also a political struggle because global warming has serious consequences for human rights, social justice, and equity within and between countries, between generations and at work. This is a battle for participation, democracy and full employment.”

Trade unions have been planning a series of activities. In the UK, representatives of the TUC’s 5.6 million members voted for a 30-minute workday campaign action on 20 September. In Italy, an event takes place on 21 September as part of the 2019 ‘Giornate del lavoro’ (Labour Days) in Lecce. Workplace assemblies are being convened to discuss the climate emergency. According to CGIL, these will be opportunities to raise awareness of climate change among workers, of the dramatic consequences for our planet and the need to act quickly and radically.

“In France, we are working for a day of action in September which could also be part of two very important days, 20 and 27 September, around the climate emergency,” announced Phillipe Martinez, CGT Secretary General. “For us, social emergency and climate emergency are interlinked. The CGT will work with youth organisations on several initiatives.”

Swedish unions met representatives of the Fridays for Future movement in August. “An important part of our discussion was that the costs of climate change must be distributed fairly. Young people should not pay with their future. Ordinary people should not pay with their jobs,” said LO-Sweden President Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson.

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