A Statement from Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan
Climate change is the single most pressing issue we face. Students across the globe are taking inspiration from Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s one-person protest, and are taking action with the Global Climate Strike. They are asking unions to stand in solidarity with them.
The Alberta Federation of Labour stands in support of this call to action. I encourage all unions and working people to join in the Global Day of Action this Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Workers need to show up and demonstrate that we won’t be divided in meeting the challenge of climate change.
Canada won’t have successful climate policies if workers aren’t on board. If working people don’t realize the importance of climate policies, they will vote down governments who support taking action on climate change – which we have already seen happening here in Canada.
The Alberta labour movement has long called for action on climate change which includes a strong focus on justice; a just transition that places the interests of affected workers, their families and communities as its highest priority in developing climate policy.
Supporting a just transition means recognizing that climate change is a societal problem and society should work together to solve it – workers in certain industries or jobs shouldn’t be punished for the work they do. We all need to do our part.
The just transition work that has been done for coal workers here in Alberta is truly ground breaking. Many lessons have been learned through this long and bumpy process, which can improve the results for workers and communities in future transitions.
The world is changing. As we continue the move away from a carbon heavy economy, this just transition work will become more crucial for successfully tackling climate change and seizing the opportunity for new good jobs, especially here in Alberta.
This Friday, youth-led actions will be taking place in communities across Alberta. I will be participating in the Edmonton Global Strike for Climate Action and encourage everyone to find an event in their community to join in.
Together, we can tackle the most pressing issue of our time.
Alberta Federation of Labour
Links to some Alberta Day of Action events:
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