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Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change: A Report on ACW Projects
December 2018-July 2020

1. Support for union-led research through social media and databases:

a) A monthly email newsletter, Work and Climate Change Report, has published almost 100 issues, alerting union researchers and members about what is being written about climate change from a unique viewpoint: Canadian information, on topics related to collective bargaining, pension fund investment and divestment, government policy, legal actions, among others.
b) The Work and Climate Change Report and the WCR Blog (https://workandclimatechangereport.org/) which archives it have a global reach – 148 countries , making the broader community aware of Canadian issues and developments. There is a pattern of growing use through internet searches, and driven by a related Twitter feed.
c) An ongoing database of Green Collective Agreements supports union bargaining by providing the full text of 259 clauses from agreements, mostly Canadian but including some U.S., Australia, U.K., and model agreements. This database has been cited by the International Labor Organization, as well as U.S. unions.
d) An international database of Green Initiatives lists 71 examples of actions by unions from U.S. and Europe.
e) A ongoing Digital Library https://www.zotero.org/w3citations/library
lists over 4,000 reports and documents related to the impact and relationship of climate change and the workplace.

2. ACW’s Current Research Projects

ACW has completed over 75 Research Projects. Here are some of the current projects:

a) Bargaining for Climate Change: A project of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. [CAUT Pamela Foster].

b) Climate Change, Workers and the North: Impact and Union Response.[PSAC-YEU Lynne Pajot , PSAC Howie West, and (Independent Researcher Jennifer Eakins].

c) Labour Process and Employment Implications of Low Energy Construction: Greening Buildings and Transforming Social Relations of Building Construction.[University of Westminster UK Linda Clarke], [Simon Fraser University John Calvert] Independent Researcher Lee Loftus].

3. ACW’s Book Publications

Both during the time of W3 and ACW, numerous books, reports, factsheets and journal articles have been produced: https://adaptingcanadianwork.ca/publications/

ACW has written three books, by Routledge and Fernwood Book with international recognition and two national awards.
a). Routledge, Lipsig-Mumme, C. Climate@Work. Fernwood Books.,
b) Routledge., Griffin Cohen, M., Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries:
Work, Public Policy, and Action.
c) Queens Policy Studies, Lipsig-Mumme, C. S.McBride. Work in a Warming World.

4. University students and Eco-Audits

For the last 11 years, students at Glendon College of York University have been able to take a 4th year course titled Work in a Warming World. The students fill out evaluations—Eco-Audits developed by CUPE– evaluating how climate-responsible are their workplaces. Each student evaluates workplace energy conservation, use of bottled water, ways of dispensing garbage, the contents of cleaning products, ways of arriving at the university, etc.

We are finding that the Eco-Audit, greener practices that students
treasure, and class discussions, are now linking student-workers to unions. The
Eco- Audit has clearly had an impact on how young workers now see their jobs.

5. Green Is Not White Environmental Racism Project

Over 3,000 workers, educators, environmental justice activists, students and community members have participated in the ACW-CBTU Green Is Not White Environmental Racism workshop since December 2017.

The project has been covered extensively through publications such as Our Times Labour Magazine, Asparagus Magazine and Rabble Blogs which are all posted online on our project resources weblink https://adaptingcanadianwork.ca/environmental-racism-project-resources/

Project co-investigators are now preparing a second research grant proposal through ACW to focus even more closely upon concrete actions to confront environmental racism and environmental violence which have become even more acutely displayed over the year through the ceaseless murders of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour by the police. The new grant will also focus upon “Training the Trainer” to expand the number and diversity of BIPOC facilitators who are delivering the workshop.

6. What do we need from our partners?

A. Commitment to work with academics to develop and assist union, climate-related research projects;
B. In–kind assistance for staff/members time to work on the overall grant
C. Share and use the information developed in the grant’s work, as well as responding to your union’s climate challenges
D. Provide a letter of commitment as part of the grant application.