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Following support at the annual trade unions Congress, South West TUC is recommending ways in which trade unions and workers can show support to the young climate strikers this Friday, despite restrictive trade union laws.

The show of solidarity comes off the back of a new report from the federation of unions, “A Just Transition”, that calls for:

  1. A clear and funded path to a low-carbon economy
  2. Workers to be at the heart of delivering these plans,
  3. Every worker to have access to funding that improves skills for the future.
  4. Every new, greener job created to be of a good quality with trade union recognition, decent pay, terms and conditions, high standards of health and safety, and a fair pension.

Nigel Costley, regional secretary of the TUC in the South West said:

“We’re calling on the trade union movement to show solidarity, in any way they can, to the younger generation who are leading the charge on the climate emergency.”

“Restrictive, anti-union, anti-worker laws can prevent many people from using their voices at work. But there are many ways in which the union movement can show we stand with the younger generation, and let them know they don’t fight alone.” 

Trade unions have always fought for better jobs, stronger rights and pay, and an economy that delivers decent, fairer and greener work for all.”

“This Friday we will stand proudly alongside the climate strikers as we call on government and decision-makers to do more to save our communities and our planet.”

Some of the ways in which you can take part in the climate actions are:

  • Joining an action near you

Working people can join in strike actions taking place in many towns and cities. In the South West alone, 26 strikes are being organised.

The TUC recommends asking your union rep to help you negotiate time-off to participate with your employer.

For workplaces where there are stricter rules, taking advantage of flexible time allowances, annual leave, or joining in during lunchtimes and breaks, workers can still show up in force to these events.

A full list of actions is available on the UK Student Climate network website

  • Organise a workplace event or meeting 

There are many opportunities available to people in work who want to raise awareness of the climate emergency amongst colleagues, despite restrictive laws or the types of jobs they do.

Showing support can be as easy as putting posters up on noticeboards, hosting discussions and training days on the climate emergency, or even inviting managers and bosses to sit down and discuss what the organisation can do to improve its green credentials.

Many unions are organising their own activities with members and in workplaces. Get in touch with your workplace’s union representative or local union branch. They can let you know what plans they have for this Friday, as well as what they intend to negotiate with employers going forward.

 

  • Become a green workplace rep

For years, trade unions have been negotiating with employers to introduce greener workplace initiatives. On top of this, many industries are at risk of job losses unless there is a just and fair transition within carbon-heavy industries.  This is a project that will require change right across our economy, and workplace reps are key to ensuring employers climate-proof jobs and workplaces.

From recycling to wider strategic decision-making, workers must be involved in ensuring that our work, workplaces and communities become greener.

TUC South West will be launching a practical "Going Green at Work" event for union reps on 12 November in Bristol City Hall to take the street actions into positive outcomes in workplaces.

 

  • Show support on social media.

Being stuck at work doesn’t mean you can’t get involved on Friday. Why not take a photo and share on social media using #ClimateStrike.

The global strikes network has created lots of templates that can be used by workers.

The union movement will stand with the younger generation, and let them know they don’t fight alone.

Editors note

Below is a list of  the climate strikes taking place across the South West. 

Gloucestershire

  • Cheltenham, Francis Close Hall, 12noon
  • Gloucester, City Council, 11am
  • Lydney, Lydney Cross, High Street, 12:30pm
  • Stroud, Wallbridge Lock, 11am
  • Tewkesbury, Memorial, 9am

 

Cornwall

  • Bude, Cornwall, The Triangle, 9am
  • Penzance, Top of Causeway Head, 11:30am
  • Truro, Lemon Quay, 10:30am

 

Devon

  • Barnstaple, North Devon Leisure Centre, 10am
  • Bideford, The Quay 11am
  • Exeter, Bedford Square, 11am
  • Plymouth, Drakes Circus, 12noon
  • Tiverton, Lowman Green Clock Tower, 10:30am

Bristol, Bath & Somerset

  • Bath, Guildhall, 11am
  • Bristol, College Green 11am
  • Taunton, High Street, 11am
  • Yeovil, Middle Street, 11am
  • Wells, Town Hall, Market Place, 11am
  • Weston Super Mare, Town Hall, 9am

 

Wiltshire

  • Salisbury, Market Place, 12noon
  • Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Square, 11am
  • Stourbridge, Foster Street East, 7am
  • Swindon, Regent’s Circus, Victoria Road, 12:30  

Dorset

  • Bournemouth, The Square, 11am
  • Poole, Civic Centre, 12noon
  • Portland, Green near Victoria Square, 7am

- The motion calling on unions to support the global climate strike, that was passed by Congress last week, can be read here