PSI: Unions need to engage on climate crisis


PSI offers its support to students and activists who are calling for two Fridays of global climate mobilisation: 20 and 27 September 2019.

For PSI, the climate problem is essentially political. Corporations have succeeded in their decades-long efforts to capture governments and ensure that few policies are enacted, and few regulations implemented that threaten their profits. This is especially true of the giant fossil-fuel and agro-business corporations, as well as the finance companies that underwrite and profit from these industries. Hence, we have toothless climate agreements that will see species fry, but corporate profits and prerogatives remain untouched!

We suggest that unions take all measures possible to educate and mobilise your membership about the threats of climate chaos. Some unions will take strike action, others are negotiating with employers for liberal leave policies to allow workers to join the demonstrations. Unions are organising training sessions for their members, and will meet with the students to share perspectives. However, it is likely that workers will have to ‘down tools in order to bring the level of pressure needed to change the behaviour of the business community.

The student strike on 20 September, part of the Fridays For Future movement, is to pressure the heads of state at the UN General Assembly to take radical action to deal with the growing climate chaos. The UN Climate Summit on 23 September will attempt, yet again, to convince government leaders to act. PSI supported the first global call of the students, in March 2019.

The Earth Strike on the 27th is being called by a coalition of progressive organisations and activists to push back against corporate power, its short-sighted pursuit of profit at the expense of people and the planet, and the corporate capture of our governments.

Unions need to engage actively and urgently in the climate crisis.

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