Who are Workers’ Climate Action?

Submitted by Newcastle on 30 July, 2009 - 5:56 Author: Bob Sutton

Workers Climate Action is a network of socialists, anarchists, environmentalists and trade unionists seeking to build a mass working-class response to climate change.

We don’t believe that climate change can be averted by a bit of green consumerism, whether that is individuals buying organic veg or multinationals buying “carbon credits”. We respect, but see the inadequacy, of the direct action environmentalists, like Greenpeace — elitist bands of brave individuals pulling off media stunts.

Climate change requires an urgent and appropriate response — we believe the working-class needs to stand united against the bosses, struggle for control of production and run the economy for human need. Leaving the decisions about what we produce and how we produce them in the hands of the profit-hungry capitalist class is no solution to climate change.

We direct our energy at the workplace, going to the factory gates and agitating for struggle against the bosses, for the environment. We argue for a “worker-led just transition”, with production placed under democratic control of the workforce. In polluting inductries, the skills of the workforce and the resources of the community should be put to use creating a sustainable alternatives.

We studied working-class history and found examples of workers’ struggles that have raised environmental demands. For instance, the first ever hybrid car was produced in the Lucas factory in the, 1970s when it was taken under workers control. They also drew up plans to harness the tidal energy on the Severn Estuary. The Builders Labourers Federation in Australia saved many acres of natural wilderness and became champions of the oppressed with their incredibly militant rank-and-file led union.

With these examples and more, we argued outside Kingsnorth power station that the workers take control of their plant and make a just transition, using their skills for socially useful work. We argued at Heathrow that the workers should join the protests against the Third Runway in solidarity with the international working class.

We gave our solidarity to the carworkers and engineering construction workers fighting for jobs, on the basis that any strengthening of working-class confidence, any esculation in the struggle, is a step forward. And in the last few weeks, we camped on the Isle of Wight and agitated day and night for the workers meet and discuss action.

The Vestas occupation shows the necessity of this work and should give us confidence in the possibility of building a working-class fight against the bosses to save the planet. As the economic crisis deepens we need to be at every workplace under threat of closure and job cuts, at the steelworks, the car factories, on public transport and at the airports.

We need to reclaim the universities, push out the multinationals and direct our intellectual resources towards developing green technologies. We need the workers’ movement to take up the cause of ecology and do what is necessary. To help build this movement, get in touch.

http://workersclimateaction.wordpress.com

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