Unions call for a just transition

workers at a recycling plant in San Francisco


Justin Sullivan
A greener economy can be a fairer economy too, says the Trades Union Congress.


The TUC has published A just transition to a greener, fairer economy – a roadmap to meeting the needs of working people in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The launch event included speakers such as the Shadow Environment Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey and Deputy Chair of the Committee on Climate Change Baroness Brown.

The roadmap sets out proposals for a Just Transition Commission, a cross-party national commission including business, consumers and unions to plan a clear and funded path to a low-carbon economy.

Industrial change

The roadmap also sets out Workplace Transition Agreements, to put workers’ voices at the heart of transition plans in every workplace where change is required; the need for Transition Skills Funding, so that every worker has access to training in the new skills needed for a low carbon economy, and guaranteed pathways to new work; and employment standard protections, to ensure new jobs in the low carbon economy are not of lower quality than jobs that are changed or superseded.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Trade unions are committed to addressing the climate emergency. A greener economy can be a fairer economy too, with new work and better jobs right across Britain.

“It’s vital to avoid the mistakes of the 1980s, when industrial change devastated communities because workers had no say. This time we need a plan that everyone can get behind, with workers’ voices at the heart of it.

“That’s why we’re calling for politicians, businesses, consumers and unions to make those plans together, through a Just Transition Commission.”

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Marianne Brooker is The Ecologist's content editor. This article is based on a press release from the TUC.

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