Here’s a brief clip of the Edinburgh march moving down the Royal Mile – 20,000 marched form the Meadows to Holyrood Park
The Trades Union Congress meeting today has supported the 20th September action – we reproduce a statement from the Campaign Against Climate Change here:
TUC conference has today unanimously passed a motion to support the school student Global Climate Strike on 20th September and has called on TUC affiliate Unions to organise a 30 minute work day campaign action to coincide with the school students strike on 20th September.
We congratulate the delegates at TUC who have voted to recognise the significance of the Global School Students strikes, initiated by Greta Thunberg and the need for adults and especially the Trade Union movement to stand alongside young people, to ensure they do not stand alone in fighting for the urgent action needed to tackle climate change and ecological crisis and to deliver Climate Justice.
We ask all Trade Unions to now turn words into action and get organised to build on the fantastic examples of Trade Union solidarity action already in place for 20th September.
The 20th September is already set to be the biggest turnout of working people many organised through their Trade Unions in the UK uniting in solidarity with young people. But it can be even bigger and we still have two weeks to deliver solidarity action to put hundreds of thousands of Trade Unionist onto the streets.
We would like to salute the young people who have led the action and also the UCU NEC members who put forward the motion to TUC conference calling for a 30 minute stoppage. They have been bold enough to recognise the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for Trade Unionists to not only respond to the call for Trade Unions to join them but to be bold in their actions and demands. The support for the UCU statement with over 2000 Trade Unionists and over 100 organisations backing the call for solidarity and a 30 minute workplace stoppage on 20th has also shown us the appetitive that there is for climate action within the Trade Union movement.
We ask all Trade Unionists to do everything they can to match the boldness required of us by the urgency of the Climate Crisis. We have just under two weeks now to build maximum solidarity on the 20th.
This is just the beginning and we will need to continue the work of building solidarity, fighting to ensure our unions have the most progressive policies which match what the science tells us that we need to do and to continue to demand the Climate Jobs and a Green New Deal which can deliver the Just Transformation that we need.
Thursday 12thSeptember: Support Global action on climate crisis – meeting called by Edinburgh Trades Council at the Quaker, Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace EH1 2JL
Saturday 14thSeptember 11am: Demonstration organised by Fife Trades Council and the STUC – assemble Kirkcaldy Town House –if you are from Edinburgh and could volunteer to take the Scot.E3 banner – please let us know by emailing email@example.com
Friday 20thSeptember:Climate strike – see details at https://scote3.wordpress.com/2019/09/09/climate-strike-20th-september/
Tuesday 24thSeptember: 7pm – 9pm:Stopping North Sea Oil and Gas Extraction – Scot.E3 meeting with speaker from Friends of the Earth Scotland, at the Kinning Park Complex, 43 Cornwall Street, Glasgow G41 1BA
Thursday 16thOctober: 7.30pm:Thinking global, acting local – the politics and practice of just transition – Scot.E3 meeting, part of the Edinburgh World Justice Festival at the Augustine Church, George 4thBridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL
Saturday 16thNovember, 10am – 5pm:2019 Scot.E3 conference – ‘Thinking globally, acting locally – organising for a just transition’ Saturday October 5th at the St. Ninian’s Hall, Charteris Centre, The Pleasance, Edinburgh. Please share the FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1133891030332559/ and the Eventbrite link https://tinyurl.com/y6bt6p5j
It’s just over a week now until the Climate Strike called for September 20th. Check out the Scottish Youth Climate Strike website for a link to details of actions all round Scotland. The Edinburgh Demo starts from the Meadows at 11am.
This video from REEL News gives some updates on solidarity action. You might also like to check out our model resolution and a video guide to raising climate issues in your workplace.
A report from Pete Cannell on a recent ScotE3 workshop.
Back in June I facilitated a ScotE3 workshop on the Monday evening of the Extinction Rebellion Holyrood Rebel Camp. The workshop was titled ‘Climate jobs, just transition and building a movement with social justice at its heart’.
Around 30 of us squashed together under a gazebo on a bright but chilly summer’s evening. There was an excellent discussion looking critically at what we mean by Just Transition and how we can make social justice more than just a distant aspiration. The rest of this post is an attempt to capture some of the content of the workshop.
I framed the discussion by explaining the origins of ScotE3 as a collective of rank and file trade unionists and climate activists in Scotland looking to develop the movement for a just transition. I explained that while ‘just transition’ is a contested term, ScotE3 has taken inspiration from several sources; initially from the campaign for a million climate jobs, from the grassroots campaigns in working class and indigenous communities in the US and from the Lucas plan campaigners; more recently from the BiFab workers, the school student strikes and the urgency injected by XR. We see climate jobs, social justice and grass roots democracy as the key to just transition and also as central to building the social movement we require to avoid catastrophic climate change.
In the group we discussed the difference between ‘climate jobs’ and ‘green jobs’. Climate jobs are jobs that lead directly to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. So for example, workers building and maintaining offshore wind farms replace power stations that burn coal, oil or gas; bus drivers reduce the amount of oil burnt in cars.
We also discussed what is meant by just transition. It can be a slippery concept because governments, unions and climate activists all use it. I argued that its value comes from the way it has been used by working class climate rebels who have made it much more than just a vague aspiration. So to be useful just transition and social justice need to inform the demands we make, the priorities we organise for and the nature of the social movement we build. It is about protecting the individuals and communities whose livelihoods currently depend on the carbon economy. But it’s not just a conservative demand; it’s also about ensuring that the new sustainable economy is egalitarian, democratic and reflects the diversity of Scotland in the twenty first century.
Thanks to all the participants in the workshop for their contributions and questions.
Image – Pete Cannell Flickr CC0
As workers at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard fight to save their jobs, demanding nationalisation as the employer goes into administration, Brian Parkin from ScotE3 reports on the response from the UK Construction Rank and File group, argues for solidarity and highlights links with action to tackle the climate emergency. This article was first published on http://www.rs21.org.uk
The mighty shipyard of Harland and Wolff, whose enormous cranes, Samson and Goliath, dominate the Belfast skyline, is now facing the final phase of closure. Most famed for being the shipyard that built the ill-fated Titanic, these yards and their local supply companies employed up to 30,000 workers at their peak. Now, after repeated capacity and job-sheddings, only 121 workers remain.
The remaining workers have been given redundancy notices, but have said no to the supposed inevitability of market forces and the whims of hedge-fund capital. In a bid to save their jobs, they have mounted a workplace occupation. These men and women of the Unite and GMB unions are not looking back to the days of mighty ocean liners and battleships. Instead, they have evaluated the productive assets of the yards and have seen them as part of the vital industrial capacity that can begin to turn the tide in the battle against climate change. They have combined their technical skills with their knowledge of the Harland and Wolff production potential with a vision of how they can fabricate the structures and internals of wave, wind and tidal units that can harness the vast renewable resources that can provide clean, affordable and abundant energy.
All too aware of empty promises and crocodile tears of politicians and would-be investors, the workforce have played their ultimate hand: they have occupied and taken over the means of production in order to prevent asset strippers and bailiffs moving in and destroying further the productive potential of their sole means of production – and with it the hope of clean energy technologies so badly needed as climate change accelerates.
But these workers cannot fight alone. So far their unions have promised official support. But that support will be conditional – until a prospective bidder comes along with the any rescue bid inevitably demanding further flexibility and productivity promises of the workforce. Which is why the example of the UK Construction Rank and File in promising solidarity is so important. And now, within weeks of the global climate strikes and protests on 20 September, the climate change movement has a concrete example to put workers’ action centre stage.
Harland and Wolff and an emerging campaign of former BiFab workers in Fife are at last bringing together the issues of jobs worth having within a campaign for a planet capable of being saved.
The UK Construction Rank and File passed the following motion at its annual general meeting on Saturday 3 August:
- The Annual General Meeting of the UK Construction workers rank and File note the heroic factory occupation of the Harland and Wolff plant in Belfast in their bid to save jobs.
- We further note their demand that the present plant and jobs therein be turned over to the production of renewable energy technologies that will not only meet the growing demand for clean renewable sources of energy, but will also make a vital contribution to the fight against impending and potentially catastrophic climate change.
- In their present struggle the H&W workers are showing the way by which in the fight for jobs, the conversion of employment and means of production can be redeployed into both socially and environmentally dedicated ends.
- We commend the leadership on Unite for the official support that they are extending to the H&W occupation and call upon the wider labour movement to take up the fight for jobs, communities and the energy needs and environmental responsibilities of future generations.
- Furthermore, we urge all workers to support next month’s climate strikes and protests, both as a show of solidarity with H&W, but as a sign of the commitment to the working class’s vital role in the fight against climate change and our planets environment and eco-systems.
Photo: Unite construction branch on twitter
The UCU (the union that represents University Lecturers across the UK and College Lecturers in England and Wales say “Greta Thunberg’s call for a climate strike and for adults, workers and trade unionists to join the global school students’ strike on 20 September 2019 is one that trade unionists from all unions must take seriously.” UCU are bringing a motion to the TUC Congress (8-11 September) for the TUC to call a 30 minute workplace stoppage on the day of the strikes. Full text below and here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10181/30-minute-solidarity-climate-stoppage
This would be the first time in over 30 years that the TUC has issued such a call on any issue. To get this motion passed, UCU will need to demonstrate how widespread the support for it is. Please sign and share, whether you are a trade union member or not.
Sign up here to support the call for a 30-minute workday stoppage in solidarity with the global school student strike on 20 September 2019: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10202/Support-the-30-minute-solidarity-climate-stoppage
This is a really useful guide to raising climate issues and climate action in your workplace – see also the draft motion on this blog: