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The previous Commentaries in this series have examined many aspects of the Green New Deal that is emerging from below. This Commentary tells how the Green New Deal at the local state, and regional levels is transforming the limits of what people believe to be possible. The next several Commentaries will provide an overview of the programs, organizations, and politics that have made this transformation possible.
In September 2023, the United Auto Workers union (UAW) went on strike against the Big Three automakers — Ford, GM, and Stellantis. After more than a month of picket lines and bold strike tactics, the union has ratified contracts with the Big Three.
Almost by definition Green New Deal projects simultaneously address climate protection, worker empowerment, and justice. This Commentary will look at Green New Deal projects and networks that emerged from discriminated-against communities and put issues of justice front and center.
In the on-going strike by UAW auto workers against the auto industry Big Three, one of the central objectives is to win a just transition to climate safe vehicle production for auto workers. At press time the strike continues, but the union has already won significant concessions that will contribute to a just transition.
The strike by the UAW against the Big Three auto companies has brought together autoworkers and climate advocates around the demand for a just transition to a climate-safe auto industry. But what is a just transition? Why is a just transition necessary? And how could a just transition for auto workers be achieved?
Picket lines are an essential way that workers show their determination and collective power. And they are a key way that others can show their support. Environmental, environmental justice, community, and other supporters have been joining picket lines at auto plants around the country to show their solidarity with striking auto workers.
On October 3 the Executive Council of the American Federation of Teachers passed a resolution “Declaring a Climate Emergency and Developing Climate Action and Healthy Building Plans.”
On October 24 a new labor union coalition released the California Worker Climate Bill of Rights calling on legislators to take urgent action to support workers through the economic upheaval and hazardous conditions wrought by a rapidly changing climate.
On October 4 Americans for Democratic Action presented LNS co-founder and president with the Winn Newman Lifetime Achievement Award. In his acceptance speech, Joe said in part…