Monthly Archives: March 2018
It’s time for a Just Transition in the UK, moving to a modern low carbon economy in such a way as to protect workers’ livelihoods, create new industries and deliver a fairer society in all regions and devolved nations. The need for action to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Change Agreement to keep global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees, is urgent if we are to avert the environmental and economic costs of climate change.
We share a concern that the Government’s Industrial and Clean Growth strategies fail to reference the need for a Just Transition. This embodies the principles of consultation between all sections of society; investment in skills and jobs; the creation of decent work; and social protection for individuals and communities, particularly those reliant on fossil fuels. It is necessary to confront the danger facing our industries and power system as employment in traditional sectors declines. Workers, if losing their job in these sectors, should be able to retrain and redeploy to a new job on equivalent terms and conditions, covered by collective agreements, and fully supported in their housing and income needs through transition.
Government must take a decisive lead with plans to transform key sectors, through publicly and community owned energy supply, transport infrastructure, investing in energy efficiency and sustainable heating in our homes and in industry. The speed and scale of Government action must be increased, as advised by the Committee on Climate Change. Where necessary to secure change at sufficient pace and scale, options for public and community ownership or partial stakes in flagship energy projects and enterprises should be pursued.
Employment and social benefits for communities most affected by industrial change should be secured through local investment in new jobs and skills, the creation of local supply chains, and ‘community benefit’ clauses in public contracts and local ownership. The principles of social justice and equity must be adopted to ensure no-one is left behind in the transition to economic and environmental sustainability.
Meanwhile, internationally, the government should support the strengthening of workers’ rights and environmental standards in the global supply chains for low carbon industries, such as solar panel and battery production.
We believe that all key stakeholders should be represented on consultation and implementation bodies linked to the industrial, skills and climate change strategies. This should include proposed industrial and sector bodies at national, regional and local levels
We therefore call on the UK government to:
- incorpo rate Just Transition principles within the UK’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement, including the UK’s Industrial and Clean Growth strategies.
- legislate for the right to appoint workplace environment representatives to help ensure workers’ views are fairly represented at local level. At company and sector level unions need the right to a voice in the economic restructuring decisions that will take place.
- establish a Just Transition Commission to develop a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead, along the lines of the welcome initiative of the Scottish Government to establish such a body.
sponsoring organisations so far which include NEU. PCS AND NUS
DEEDS NOT WORDS was a most appropriate slogan chosen by the Suffragette movement in and after 1918 to epitomise their campaign for women to get the vote in Great Britain. Their epic and heroic campaign, which included breaking unjust laws, was eventually successful.
The motto has resounded down the years and is and has been as relevant to subsequent activists as it was in 1918. In 1963 the annual CND Easter march from Aldermaston to London inctuded members of the committee of 100, among them Bertrand Russeil who, unafraid and favouring direct action, inspired peace demonstrators by distributing a “spies for Peace” leaflet and leaving the march to expose the secret details and whereabouts of Regional Seats of Government bunkers at a Berkshire RSG. Russell was among those arrested by the police for his beliefs.
On Maunday Thursday 5 April 2O12, coincidentalty also at Easter, Barnet Council without notice closed Friern Barnet library, despite a vigorous local campaign to save it from closure. Five months later on 5 September 2012, a small group of squatters from Camden led by Peter Phoenix walked through an open window, reopened the library and invited the community to join them in restocking its shetves with donated books and reopening the library to the public. After a Crown Court case the squatters were evicted, but the magistrate allowed a stay of execution for Barnet Council to negotiate a lease with the local community to run the library. Six years later in 2018 they continue to perform this function.
Please join us to protest UCU HQ tomorrow where the Higher Education Committee meets to discuss the deal. As UCU members we urge the HEC to reject the terms offered: https://www.ucu.org.uk/