UK Unions to Vote on Public Ownership of Energy

September 10th, 2017 - by admin

The Campaign Against Climate Change & Trade Unions for Energy Democracy – 2017-09-10 23:35:23

Another World is Possible: Jobs and a Safe Climate
The Campaign Against Climate Change

As the impacts of climate change are increasingly felt, urgent action is needed. Yet UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s weak and divided government puts deregulation first. And Donald Trump’s outright climate denial protects the interests of fossil fuel oligarchs behind false promises of jobs for workers.

But the Campaign Against Climate Change believes that another world is possible, with workers leading the transition to a low carbon economy. So how can we ensure trade unions move beyond false divisions of jobs versus the environment? And how do we take a proactive role in creating new climate jobs and prioritizing the needs and rights of workers in the transition?

UK Unions to Vote on Public Ownership of Energy, Climate Crisis
Trade Unions for Energy Democracy

BRIGHTON (August 25, 2017) — The annual conference of the 5.7 million member TUC will take place on September 10-13, 2017 in Brighton. The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has submitted a resolution that calls on the TUC to “work with the Labour Party and others that advocate for an end to the UK’s rigged energy system to bring it back into public ownership and democratic control.”

Amendments to the resolution have been submitted by the Communication Workers Union, Fire Brigades Union, the train drivers union ASLEF, and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association.

A composite version of this resolution is scheduled to be debated on Tuesday, September 12, in the afternoon, following Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to Congress.

Resolution 10
Congress notes the irrefutable evidence that dangerous climate change is driving unprecedented changes to our environment such as the devastating flooding witnessed in the UK in 2004.

Congress further notes the risk to meeting the challenge of climate change with the announcement of Donald Trump to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. Similarly, Brexit negotiations and incoherent UK government policy risk undermining measures to achieve the UK carbon reduction targets.

Congress welcomes the report by the Transnational Institute Reclaiming Public Services: how cities and citizens are turning back privatization, which details the global trend to remunicipalise public services including energy.

Congress believes that to combat climate change effectively and move towards a low-carbon economy we cannot leave this to the markets and therefore need a strong role for the public sector in driving the measures needed to undertake this transition.

To this end, Congress calls on the TUC to:
1. work with the Labour Party and others that advocate for an end to the UK’s rigged energy system to bring it back into public ownership and democratic control

2. advocate for a mass programme of retrofit and insulation of Britain’s homes and public bui

3. lobby to demand rights for workplace environmental reps

4. lobby for the establishment of a Just Transition strategy and practical steps needed to achieve this as integral to industrial strategy.

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union

CWU — Add sub-paragraphs v. and vi. at end: “v. consult with all affiliates to seek input into the development of a cross-sector industrial strategy that works towards delivering internationally agreed carbon emission reduction targets “vi. develop a “just transition” programme for those workers affected by the industrial changes necessary to develop a more environmentally sustainable future for all.” Communication Workers Union

FBU — Add at end of paragraph 4: “Congress supports efforts by unions internationally to raise issues such as public ownership and democratic control as part of solutions to climate change.” Fire Brigades Union

ASLEF — At end of paragraph 3, add new sentence: “Congress notes that transport is responsible for a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and believes that a reduction in carbon dioxide levels must be the basis of the UK’s future transport policy in addition to building public transport capacity and moving more freight from road to rail.” ASLEF

TSSA — Insert new paragraph 5: “Congress agrees that immediate action has to be taken to shift from fossil fuel energy to renewables and notes that pension schemes invest billions of pounds into fossil fuel corporations.” • Add at end of motion sub-paragraph v.: “v. investigate the long-term risks for pension funds investing in fossil fuels, promote divestment, and alternative reinvestment in the sustainable economy.”

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