Saturday, 28 March 2015

Climate Change, Work, Labour and Trade Unions

Central London BUIRA Seminar:
Climate Change, Work, Labour and Trade Unions, with Professor Fred Steward (Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster) on Labour and the Green Economy and Dr Paul Hampton (Fire Brigades Union) on Trade unions and climate change in the UK: prisoners of neoliberalism or swords of climate justice?

Followed by round table discussion on what trade unions can do with Sarah Pearce (Unison), Graham Petersen (UCU), Igor Diaz and Jairo Quiroz from the Columbian coal miners’ union SINTRACARBON, and Christine Haigh from Global Justice

Friday 24 April 2015, 10.30am – 13.00pm, followed by buffet lunch
University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS
(opposite Madame Tussauds and nearly opposite Baker Street tube)
Room M205
(lunch M206)

For further details and to reserve a place, please contact Linda Clarke (

This regular monthly seminar is about the implications of climate change for work, labour and the trade unions. Fred Steward from the Policy Studies Institute will set a framework for addressing the green economy, labour and governance issues, including the benefits for workers and workplaces of the green policy shift. Paul Hampton from the Fire Brigades Union will examine the response by trade unions in the UK to climate change for over 25 years and the debates, conflicts and contradictions existing between competing union views, including on coal and aviation. He will question how unions frame climate politics, how far they have really engaged with (or accommodated to) the dominant climate politics and to what extent they have articulated their own independent and innovative conception.

The presentations from Fred and Paul will be followed by a panel discussion, including:
·         Graham Petersen, the Environment Co-ordinator of UCU which works closely with the NUS and People & Planet on campaigns in the education sector e.g. on  divestment from fossil fuels as part of an alternative energy strategy’
·         Sarah Pearce from UNISON, who was the TUC’s Green Workplaces Project Leader from 2008 – 2011, supporting union branches to organise and negotiate on environmental issues in the workplace, and is now editor of the TUC’s Green Workplaces Newsletter and setting up a European Green Workplaces Network;
·         Igor Diaz and Jairo Quiroz, officials from the Columbian coal miners’ union Sintracarbon, which organises miners at the Cerrejon coal mine, is working in solidarity with local communities near the mine to resist its expansion, and is starting to engage with issues of climate change.
·         Christine Haigh from Global Justice which links up with unions championing energy democracy.

This seminar is an opportunity to air and discuss these issues in an open forum and consider their implications for industrial relations. Anyone interested is welcome to attend this event. These meetings can be full though so, if you would like to attend and to help forecast catering provision, please Contact: Professor Linda Clarke, or 020350 66528

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