LABOR & CLIMATE NEWS
A just-published article by Todd E. Vachon, “Climate Justice for All: Pursuing a Just Transition in the Education Sector”—published in the American Federation of Teachers journal The American Educator—lays out in detail “what educators can do—and many already are doing—through their unions to promote climate justice and equity in their schools and communities.”
The National Climate Assessment, issued every four years based on the work of scientists and other experts, is generally considered the US’ most authoritative report on how global warming is affecting the country. The recently issued fifth assessment puts environmental justice front and center, emphasizing that low-income families and communities of color have historically borne the brunt of the nation’s environmental harms while benefiting least from environmental regulation.
It’s not every day that workers get to tell representatives of Congress how federal programs affect their work lives. But that’s just what happened when union members working on clean energy projects in Illinois, Maine, and New York spoke about the impact of federal climate investments in their communities to the Clean Energy Workers Roundtable hosted by the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC).
“Bargaining for the Common Good” has become a crucial strategy for organized labor and a key means of forging broad coalitions for mutual support. For the past decade, unions and allies in Minnesota have developed powerful union and community alignments that have won victories at the bargaining table, in the community, and in the legislature.
A January 18 podcast interview with labor historian Jeremy Brecher, editor of LNS’ Making a Living on a Living Planet, delved into strategic issues for the labor and climate movements.
Nayyirah Shariff is a grassroots organizer based in Flint, Michigan and recently joined the LNS Board of Directors! Nayyirah was one of the co-founders of the Flint Democracy Defense League, a grassroots group formed to confront Flint’s emergency manager in 2011.