LABOR & CLIMATE NEWS
As the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS) bids farewell to our outstanding outgoing Executive Director, we are excited to be underway with the recruitment of a new Executive Director who will join and lead our dedicated and talented team into the future. These are big shoes to fill, and we have high expectations.
Several LNS staff recently attended the 2022 Labor Notes Conference in Chicago, IL. It was the largest ever held, and by many accounts, the most inspiring and energizing to date. Between the numerous panels, workshops, and meetings covering all facets of building a strong and democratic labor movement, there were six devoted to discussing and teaching about the intersection of work, unions, and climate change.
At the 2023 Labor Notes Conference (see previous piece), one of LNS’s main goals was to build support and strategic outreach for its upcoming Young Worker (YW) Convergence in Los Angeles, where young union members and climate activists will meet to strategize around how young workers can move forward a just transition with an urgency commensurate with the climate emergency. There was great enthusiasm for the project from young union members across a vast range of occupations, from tradespeople and longshore workers to teachers and transit workers. Staff will be following up on all the connections that were forged during the weekend and help ensure that these crucial young union voices are represented at the YW Convergence.
The Young Worker Climate Convergence at the IBEW Local 11 office in Los Angeles, California from September 15th-18th will bring together young workers (18-35) who believe unions and union members have a crucial role to play in responding to the climate crisis. Through discussions, workshops and panels around place-based and sectoral challenges and opportunities in labor-climate organizing, we hope to create a space for young workers to gain a deeper understanding of where they are in the labor-climate landscape, who is around them, and how they can learn from each others’ efforts, laying the groundwork for sustained collaboration between young workers at the intersection of economic and environmental justice.
On the 5 year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people, the Clean Up Kingspan campaign held a vigil in Downtown Los Angeles at a Capitol Group HQ building– one of Kingspan’s largest outside stakeholders. An ongoing UK government Inquiry revealed that for over 14 years, Kingspan’s UK insulation division misrepresented fire safety issues with Kooltherm K15, one of the products used in the Grenfell Tower. The vigil was attended by SMART members, clergy, environmentalists, and local activists.
On June 6, President Joe Biden issued a “Presidential Determination” under Section 303 of the Defense Production Act to expand US production of heat pumps, declaring it a matter of national security. “Ensuring a robust, resilient, and sustainable domestic industrial base to meet the requirements of the clean energy economy is essential to our national security, a resilient energy sector, and the preservation of domestic critical infrastructure.” The Determination found…