In October this year, California Labor for Climate Jobs (CLCJ) launched as a new, state-wide coalition of fourteen California labor unions with express intent to promote a worker-led transition to a just and climate-safe economy. As a coalition of unions, CLCJ is uniquely pro-worker and pro-climate, and represents teachers, oil workers, utility workers, domestic workers, healthcare workers, city, county and state employees, farmworkers, janitors, autoworkers and more. CLCJ unions include a broad array of workers who are experiencing the impact of climate change.
“As a home childcare provider in Fairfield, I have worked through power outages, extreme heat, and hazardous smoke that endangered me and the kids I care for,” said Allison Davis, a member of United Domestic Workers. “We are calling for strong smoke and heat standards, disaster insurance and rights for workers in disaster zones so that these conditions don’t become the new normal for workers.”
Climate also impacts airport workers, for example, who clean airplane cabins between flights, toiling in tight spaces with no air conditioning, which increases their vulnerability to illness and death in extreme heat. And at the same time, oil workers face job loss as climate policies move to phase out the fossil fuel sector and shift to renewable energy. With 2023 as the hottest summer on record, the region’s first-ever National Weather Service tropical storm watch, and billions of dollars lost annually to floods and wildfires, more action is needed in Sacramento to reach the state’s climate goals and protect workers.
This fall, CLCJ released the California Worker Climate Bill of Rights, calling on legislators to enact policy solutions that will protect workers from climate hazards such as extreme heat, fires, smoke and floods that have endangered the livelihood and health of a broad cross section of California workers. Members in the coalition have pledged to stand in solidarity with each other as they fight for a worker-led transition to be able to make a living on a healthy, living planet.
LA Times Coverage by Sammy Roth: https://calaborforclimatejobs.org/boiling-point-can-climate-activists-and-labor-unions-find-common-ground/
For more on California Labor for Climate Jobs: https://calaborforclimatejobs.org/
For the California Worker Climate Bill of Rights: California Worker Climate Bill of Rights