Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/520/3766

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 February 2008

Campaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

Around 500 trade unionists gathered on 9 February for a conference called by the Campaign Against Climate Change. This conference, the first of its kind, came about to address the imminent and serious threat that climate change poses to our world and to begin to develop a strategy to build a mass movement around the issue through the trade unions.

Tracy Edwards, PCS

Political and trade union speakers including Frances O'Grady TUC, Caroline Lucas Green Party, Matt Wrack FBU, Chris Baugh PCS, Linda Newman UCU, Christine Blowers NUT and Michael Meacher MP opened the first plenary session.

All the speakers identified climate change as the biggest threat we face in society. They recognised that it is no longer adequate to blame and put pressure on individuals, by initiating measures for us to all make changes in our lives, whilst big business and governments continue to get out of taking any responsibility.

Public services

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, made the clear connection with the attacks on our public services. More working class people are suffering from flooding etc whilst cuts are made in the resources firefighters need. He said that climate change was the most visible example of our market going mad under capitalism.

Chris Baugh said that PCS are committed to promoting a green agenda in the workplace. The government and employer will say a lot about the issue but it is down to the trade unions to enforce changes.

The plenary session finished with Michael Meacher MP reiterating the point that it is the poorest and most vulnerable in society who are suffering from climate change.

He said that massive investment is needed to deliver more sustainable energy. Pressure has to be put to replace short flights with funding for high-speed trains. We should begin to embarrass big business and have a more ambitious climate change bill.

Most of the speakers correctly said that it is the system which needs to change and public ownership of transport and energy needs to be a priority. But there was still an element of tackling climate change through reform and demand.

It is correct for campaigns such as this to give a lead on the urgency of the situation and to act as a uniting organisation to build a mass movement. But serious discussion and involvement from trade union members from the bottom up is needed if we are to attract the majority of working-class people towards this campaign.

Tony Kearns from CWU said that trade unions who are not on board now will have to be in the future and that the debate around jobs and the environment has to stop - you can have as many causes as you want but they will mean nothing if the environment is crumbling.

I wouldn't agree that it is this simple - most people who enter trade union activity will have various questions on different subjects. We should answer those questions in a clear way whilst making the connection to climate change. Placing demands on trade union members and activists without direction will turn away many, including many young people who will be politicised around this issue.

The closing plenary agreed a resolution for trade unions to fully endorse the aims of the Campaign Against Climate Change and to develop a trade union response.

This was the first conference of this kind. There were many good speakers and the majority of trade unions were represented.

But despite an anti-capitalist theme from the main speakers, there was hardly any discussion around the real tasks we need to tackle climate change. We must campaign for the public running of society and for the main means of production to be put in the hands of the majority.

  • CCC national meeting, 23 February 11.45am, Mechanics Centre, 103 Princess Road, Manchester.
  • Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


    In The Socialist 13 February 2008:

    Stop NHS privatisation now!


    Local Government workers

    Birmingham council workers' biggest strike for decades

    'Single status' in the West Midlands

    Bosses prepare to force through more cuts

    Newham workers angry at councillors


    Socialist Students

    Uni Fees must be fought!

    Feature: The great university swindle


    War and terrorism

    War and occupation in Iraq


    Socialist Party news and analysis

    Defend abortion rights

    Millionaire welcomes economic recession!

    Northern Rock

    Liverpool's tale of two cities

    Cardiff marches to save schools

    100 people pack London world economy meeting


    Transport

    Cuts and backlogs cause delays

    Tangled web at Metronet


    International socialist news and analysis

    Polish miners gain strike victory due to iron determination

    Chad conflict - part of a wider power struggle


    Interview

    Prison officers: Fighting for trade union rights

    Building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


    Comment

    Comment: Opportunist blunder further splits Church of England


    Workplace news and analysis

    Land Registry staff vote for action

    London Underground: Strike ballot in safety row

    Campaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

    Organise and fight back!

    Shelter staff ballot for action


     

    Home   |   The Socialist 13 February 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

    Subscribe   |   Donate  




    Related links:

    Climate change:

    triangleMovement growing against fracking giant Ineos

    triangleCarbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

    triangleProfit-driven pesticide use now threatens life

    triangleExtreme weather events and global warming

    Climate:

    triangleChange the system! not the climate

    Trade unions:

    triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

    triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

    triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

    PCS:

    triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

    triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

    Green:

    triangleEqual sick pay rights for staff at Charlton Park Academy

    FBU:

    triangleFire service victory

    Environment:

    triangleOpposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

    Energy:

    triangleCourt maintains injunction against fracking protesters

    Reports and campaigns

    Reports and campaigns

    22/1/18

    Sudan

    Sudan: Free Mohamed Satti

    22/1/18

    London

    Women rally defiantly

    22/1/18

    Obituary

    Red Mary - a Force of Nature

    17/1/18

    Women

    Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

    17/1/18

    Newham

    Packed Newham meeting against academies

    17/1/18

    Liverpool

    Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

    17/1/18

    Barking

    Heating scandal on east London estate

    17/1/18

    Policing

    Undercover policing legal challenge

    17/1/18

    Woolwich

    No to the Woolwich monster block

    17/1/18

    Union

    Workplace news in brief

    17/1/18

    Union

    PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

    17/1/18

    Hackney

    Hackney school cleaners strike

    17/1/18

    RMT

    RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

    17/1/18

    Yorkshire

    Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

    17/1/18

    Cuts

    We must fight all council cuts!

    triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


    Join the Socialist Party
    Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
    Donate to the Socialist Party

    triangle22 Jan Women rally defiantly

    triangle22 Jan Red Mary - a Force of Nature

    triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

    triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

    triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

    triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

    triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

    More ...

    triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

    triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

    triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

    triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

    More ...

    Socialist Party Facebook page
    Socialist Party on Twitter
    Visit us on Youtube

    Archive

    Archives:

    January 2018

    2017

    2016

    2015

    2014

    2013

    2012

    2011

    2010

    2009

    2008

    2007

    2006

    2005

    2004

    2003

    2002

    2001

    2000

    1999

    Legal

    SP RSS feed RSS

    Platform setting: = No platform choice

    V2