United to stop environmental racism

 

‘In Unity, Strength’ is the foundational belief of the labour movement, but what does unity look like? – Christopher Wilson, CBTU

Over 150 Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) delegates from across Canada and the United States came together to stop environmental racism by participating In the Green Is Not White workshop designed to expose the disproportionate impact of climate change upon racialized and Indigenous communities.

Christopher Wilson’s recent article in Our Times magazine takes the reader inside the room: “ ‘In Unity, Strength’ is the foundational belief of the labour movement, but what does unity look like?” Wilson is 1st Vice-President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Ontario, Canada Chapter; and project lead with the ACW’s (Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change) Environmental Racism Research Project. He is also the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s Ontario Region coordinator.

 

Read the article on Ourtimes.ca

 

The workshop, delivered at the CBTU Region 1 Conference, opened with a Territorial Acknowledgement that drew linkages to the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples both north and south of the border with a call to action to Trade Unionists to engage in a process of decolonization across Turtle Island.

 

Read Territory Acknowledgement – Environmental Racism (PDF)

 

Credit to Denise Hampden, Regional Education Officer Public Service Alliance of Canada

 

 

Just Transition and Beyond Just Transition: Canada in Action

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Roundtable Summary Report
August 27, 2018, Ottawa

Prepared by C.M. Flynn

Background

Just Transition is an elusive concept. First developed by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) at the turn of the 21st century, it has suffered from neglect for much of the last 20 years. Workshops, symposia and half-day conferences proliferated in the EU and other countries, but the meetings have duplicated each other’s work, and to date there had been no common definition or sharing of information about what works and what has not worked in just transition experiences.

With this in mind, and mindful of Canada’s historic leadership, the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change project (ACW) brought together 6 groups active in the field to form an organizing committee. The committee invited the broadest range of Canadian groups involved in Just Transition to a daylong roundtable with three main goals:

1. Share experiences among Canadian groups about the work each is doing to transition to a low carbon economy: what has worked, what has failed, and why?
2. Think forward about how we can broaden Just Transition beyond its current focus.
3. Share next steps that each group will be taking.

 

Download the Full Report (PDF)

 

Labour Leader to Urge Students to Combat Climate Change in the Workplace

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Donald Lafleur

 

He has been an organic farmer, postal worker and union leader, and was named Labour Environmentalist of the Year. Before the Canadian unions became leaders in the struggle to slow climate change, Donald Lafleur, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress, was training unionists about climate bargaining and green plans, and working with postal sorting stations, factories and offices to adapt the way they work in order to slow the climate warming that is threatening life as we know it.

Lafleur’s linking of work with climate change is opening a whole new path of study and research. He will speak to students enrolled in Social Sciences 1510, “The Future of Work,” taught by David Langille on Friday, March 15 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., in Room 102 Accolade East Building, (Price Family Theatre) at the Keele Campus. The lecture is open to the public.

 

Read more on Yfile.Yorku.ca

 

Book Launch: The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied

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Friday, November 9th 2018,
5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Refreshments and no-host bar

The Garage, Centre for Social Innovation – CSI Annex
720 Bathurst St. | Map
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4
Bathurst TTC Station

FREE ADMISSION

 

“The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied” with author Bruce Campbell

“Much more than a research report, the book is a dramatic read, with no letup in the action from start to finish.” – Harry Gow, President Emeritus of Transport Action Canada and Chair of the Board of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre

The July 6, 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster is a tragedy unparalleled in Canadian history. It resulted in major loss of life, massive environmental destruction and the evisceration of a small Quebec town. Blame landed squarely on the shoulders of three front-line employees of the Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic Railway Company. But a jury acquitted them.

Lac-Mégantic is the story of a rail industry writing its own rules, a booming US oil industry based on fracking, fighting any obstacles to selling their dangerous product, and a rogue US railway operator cutting corners to make his fortune. At another level the story is about a federal government blinded by its own free market ideology, fixated on making Canada an energy superpower, and compliant bureaucrats failing to protect the public interest.

At the heart of it all is a small, tight-knit community torn apart and struggling to recover. There is unimaginable loss, broken lives and families, and individual and collective trauma. But there is also healing, solidarity, commemoration, remembrance, and the determination to rebuild and transcend.

This book uncovers the truth about Lac-Mégantic. It includes first person interviews with many of the key players, analysis of the corporate executives and the companies involved, an examination of the complex world of transport safety regulation in Canada, and an account of the trials of the three accused.

 

BRUCE CAMPBELL is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of Canada’s leading independent think tanks. For his work on Lac-Mégantic, Bruce was awarded a Law Foundation of Ontario Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship and spent 2016 as a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. Bruce is currently Adjunct Professor, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, and co-investigator with the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change research project, based at York University. He lives in Ottawa.

 

Carla Lipsig-Mummé to discuss “Work in a Warming World” at Ottawa event

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Work in a Warming World

Carla Lipsig-Mummé, Professor, Work and Labour Studies, York University
October 3, 2018

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has partnered with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to offer you this special Big Thinking event in celebration of their 40th anniversary.

With Centre Block undergoing renovations, this event will take place at the John A. Macdonald Building on Wellington Street, Room 200, right across from Parliament Hill. Registration coming soon.

 

Learn more at www.ideas-idees.ca

 

Workshop asks “What kind of Green and Just Transition?”

ProBE CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, WBS – WESTMINSTER BUSINESS SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER, in collaboration with fABE – FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, proudly announce this timely workshop:

WHAT KIND OF GREEN AND JUST TRANSITION?

WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

DATE: Thursday 12 July 2018, 12 noon-18.00pm

VENUE: Room CG28, University of Westminster Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (opposite Madame Tussaud and diagonal from Baker Street tube station)

There is much discussion as well as divergent approaches to the question of a just transition to a low carbon economy, revolving around what is achievable by the market or by ecological modernisation and whether instead a much more radical transformation is necessary. This workshop addresses this debate and is concerned in particular with the active role of workers and the trade unions in this transition, including examples from the built environment of successful intervention.

Many researchers who are part of the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change: Canada in International Perspective (ACW) research project will be participating in the workshop.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Peter Bonfield (tbc), Vice-Chancellor University of Westminster
  • Linda Clarke, ProBE/University of Westminster, ACW Associate Director
  • Béla Galgóczi, European Trade Union Institute, ACW Co-Investigator
  • Colin Gleeson, ProBE/University of Westminster, ACW Co-Investigator
  • Professor Malcolm Kirkup (tbc), Dean, Westminster Business School
  • Mercedes Landolfi (Fillea CGIL, Italy)
  • Carla Lipsig-Mummé, York University, ACW Principal Investigator
  • Sam Mason, Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union
  • Philip Pearson (GJA)
  • Vivian Price (US)
  • Melahat Sahin-Dikmen, ProBE/University of Westminster
  • Lisa Schulte, Middlesex University
  • Dimitris Stevis, Colorado State University, ACW Co-Investigator
  • Fred Steward, University of Westminster, ACW Co-Investigator

and others.

A complete agenda, speakers, and biographies are available here.

To reserve a place and for further information, contact, Melahat Sahin-Dikmen at M.Sahindikmen@westminster.ac.uk or Linda Clarke at clarkel@westminster.ac.uk

Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé wins 2018 Sefton-Williams Award for Contributions to Labour Relations

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York University Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé has been named the 2018 winner of the Sefton-Williams Award for Contributions to Labour Relations. It honours those who have made a significant contribution to the field of labour relations and human rights.

The Sefton-Williams award is presented by the University of Toronto’s Woodsworth College and the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources. Both practitioners in labour relations as well as academics have received this award.

“Professor Lipsig-Mummé’s research and activism in the labour relations field, most recently and innovatively exploring the link between climate change and the world of work, has bridged the gap between practitioner and scholar,” said Professor Rafael Gomez, Director of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources. “The Sefton-Williams committee chose to honour these achievements.”

Award announcement

Dr. Lipsig-Mummé joins the ranks of eminent Canadians who have been honoured with the Sefton-Williams award, including former President of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Canadian Labour Congress Bob White, feminist labour activist and Professor Emeritus of Women’s Studies at York University Linda Briskin, and former Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada Ed Broadbent.

Carla Lipsig-Mummé is Professor of Work and Labour Studies at York University, and is currently Principal Investigator of the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change (ACW) research project, which brings together 56 individual researchers and 25 partner organizations in seven countries. Its ground-breaking work has been recognized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Sefton-Williams Award for Contributions to Labour Relations is named in honour of Mr. Larry Sefton and Mr. Lynn Williams, two accomplished leaders of the United Steelworkers of America. The award ceremony and memorial lecture will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2018 from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM in the Kruger Hall Commons, Woodsworth College, 119 St. George St., Toronto. Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston College, will deliver the memorial lecture entitled, “Dependence and Precarity in the ‘Sharing’ Economy.”

For more information or to register to attend the ceremony, visit the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources’ website at http://www.cirhr.utoronto.ca/about-cirhr/sefton-memorial-lecture/

Book Launch: Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries

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Friday, November 10th 2017
5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.

Noah Meltz Reading Room
CIRHR Library
University of Toronto
121 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 2E8

ATTENDANCE IS FREE

RSVP to acwinfo@yorku.ca

 

Climate change is at the forefront of ideas about public policy, the economy and labour issues. However, the gendered dimensions of climate change and the public policy issues associated with it in wealthy nations
are much less understood.

Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries covers a wide range of issues dealing with work and working life. The book demonstrates the gendered distinctions in both experiences of climate change and the ways that public policy deals with it. The book draws on case studies from the UK, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Spain and the US to address key issues such as: how gendered distinctions affect the most vulnerable; paid and unpaid work; and activism on climate change. It is argued that including gender as part of the analysis will lead to more equitable and stronger societies as solutions to climate change advance.

This volume will be of great relevance to students, scholars, trade unionists and international organisations with an interest in climate change, gender, public policy and environmental studies.

Introduction
CARLA LIPSIG-MUMMÉ, Project Lead, Work in a Warming World (W3) and Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW) research programmes.

Speakers
MARJORIE GRIFFIN COHEN, Simon Fraser University
Editor

ELLIE PERKINS, York University
Canadian Indigenous Female Leadership and Political Agency on Climate Change

KENDRA COULTER, Brock University
Towards Humane Jobs: Recognizing Gendered, Multispecies Intersections and Possibilities

LINDA CLARKE, University of Westminster
Women and Low Energy Construction in Europe: A New Opportunity?

BIPASHA BARUAH, Western University
Renewable Inequity? Women’s Employment in Clean Energy in Industrialized, Emerging and Developing Economies

Video: Darker Politics: Democracies, Labour Rights and Climate Change

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Friday, May 26, 2017
Toronto, Ontario

An Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces Outreach Event

 

Speakers:

Larry Brown, National Union of Public and General Employees, moderator | Starts 4:01

Tony Burman, Ryerson University and Toronto Star, “Democracy Under Threat” | Starts 14:34

Dr. Elaine Bernard, Harvard University, “Trump’s War on Workers and the Environment” | Starts 40:33

Jim Chorostecki, British Columbia Federation of Labour, “The Softwood Lumber Dispute is the Hatfields vs. McCoys Feud Without the Guns, So Far.” | Starts 1:12:30

 

Download the Pamphlet (PDF)

 

Larry Brown

Larry Brown, National Union of Public and General Employees, moderator | Starts 4:01

With degrees in political science and law, Larry, President of Canada’s second largest union, has a wide range of experience in government, pension fund management, public administration, labour relations, teaching and legal issues. He has written and spoken extensively about public finances, debt and deficit issues, the changes in federal provincial financing, public sector restructuring and the resulting changes in the economic and political structures of Canada that have occurred in the last decade. As an elected Officer of the National Union of Public and General Employees for over 25 years, Larry has extensive experience overseeing NUPGE’s policy on environmental issues. Larry is the Interim Leader of ACW’s Environmental Law and Labour Law research group.

 

Tony-Burman-June-8-2015-debate

Tony Burman, Ryerson University and Toronto Star, “Democracy Under Threat” | Starts 14:34

Tony is world affairs columnist with the Toronto Star. He is former head of CBC News in Canada and of Al Jazeera English in Qatar – responsible for their TV, radio and online journalism. For more than 30 years, he was an award-winning news and documentary producer at the CBC, including seven years as its Editor-in-Chief. He was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at Ryerson University between 2010-16.

 

Elaine Bernard

Dr. Elaine Bernard, Harvard University, “Trump’s War on Workers and the Environment” | Starts 40:33

Elaine is a Senior Research Associate at the Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School, and previously served as its Executive Director. Elaine works with unions and labour federations around the globe, and has conducted courses on a wide variety of topics for unions, community groups, universities and government departments. Her current research and teaching interests are in the areas of international comparative labor movements and the role of unions in promoting civil society, democracy and sustainable development. Within ACW Elaine plays a pivotal role in developing the Green Workplaces training. As well, she is a member of the Manufacturing, Services and International Policy working groups, and she is a member of the steering committee.

 

Jim Chorostecki

Jim Chorostecki, British Columbia Federation of Labour, “The Softwood Lumber Dispute is the Hatfields vs. McCoys Feud Without the Guns, So Far.” | Starts 1:12:30 

Jim has been the Executive Director at B.C. Federation of Labour since 2010. In this role Jim has been responsible for initiating and overseeing a number of important projects that have been attempting to bring together various stakeholders to work together to solve the climate change crisis. Prior to this, he held positions at the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Union of Postal Communication Employees and within the Canadian federal government. Jim is a former board member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in BC and is currently an advisor on the CCPA Good Economy Project. Within the ACW grant Jim is the Co-lead for the Manufacturing working group and a member of the steering committee.

 

 

Darker Politics Panel was organized by Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change, a research programme of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Organisational members of ACW include York University, the Canadian Labour Congress, and 22 organisations in Canada, US, UK, EU. www.adaptingcanadianwork.ca.

 

 

Toronto: “Darker Politics: Democracies, Labour Rights and Climate Change in 2017”

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Register on Eventbrite or send an email to acwinfo@yorku.ca

Poster

Download poster (PDF)

 

In October 2015 Canadians swept the climate-hostile Harper government from office, replacing it with a Liberal government promising creativity and ambition, real action to slow global warming and the inclusion of the labour movement in green transitions. In December, the Paris Agreement and its burst of optimism promised global collaboration to slow global warming. Between October and December 2015 the international spread of environmental legal activism–begun in the Netherlands, spreading to Belgium, Norway, Pakistan and the US—triggered a Canadian discussion. ACW’s Public Panel brought Roger Cox, the Dutch lawyer who led the successful court case forcing the Dutch government to speed up its GHG reduction, to Toronto where he spoke to a diverse audience of more than 100. In discussions following the Panel, Canadian union leaders, labour and human rights lawyers and environmental groups explored with Cox the role for unions in leading environmental legal activism. 2015 and early 2016 was a springtime of Canadian creativity and confidence.

What a difference a year makes! The world is turning darker. From the shock of Brexit to the American election and Trump’s alt-right political choices in his first 100 days, racist nationalism is spreading, fostering the growth of extreme-right political parties and private militias, legitimating attacks on women, refugees, minorities, and gay men—and on democracies. Russia, flexing its revanchist muscles, dismisses global warming, hacks French, German, American political parties, invests in false news, undermines the EU, renders the Syrian tragedy unsolvable. Whatever you call it, racist nationalism is spreading inTurkey, Russia, Poland, Hungary, France, parts of Germany, the UK and the US.

The winds of the 1930s are stirring again. For Canada in 2017, this poses three sets of challenges:

  • How do we protect Canadian democracy in the Trump era? What can we learn from history and other countries? How better can Canada respond to the refugee crisis?
  • We are committed to reducing the GHGs we produce. In the face of Trump’s destruction of climate strategy how do we fulfill our promise? What alliances for Canadian and American unions, in their internal and external struggles to play a significant role in slowing climate warming?
  • Trump promises to bring the jobs back home. But whose jobs is he bringing back to the US? At what social and economic cost to Canada? What options and actions for labour unions to avoid competitive isolation while protecting their members? The Trump ascendancy is committed to a race to the bottom. Will shredding labour rights and climate strategies spread to other countries?

The three speakers on the 2017 Darker Politics panel will take up the questions of democratic options in a volatile world; labour and climate change: the impact of Trump’s America; and softwood lumber, Canada and trade.

Carla Lipsig-Mummé, Principal Investigator, ACW.

 

Speakers

Tony-Burman-June-8-2015-debate

Tony Burman, Ryerson University and Toronto Star, “Democracy Under Threat” 

Tony is world affairs columnist with the Toronto Star. He is former head of CBC News in Canada and of Al Jazeera English in Qatar – responsible for their TV, radio and online journalism. For more than 30 years, he was an award-winning news and documentary producer at the CBC, including seven years as its Editor-in-Chief. He was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at Ryerson University between 2010-16.

 

Elaine Bernard

Dr. Elaine Bernard, Harvard University, “Trump’s War on Workers and the Environment”

Elaine is a Senior Research Associate at the Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School, and previously served as its Executive Director. Elaine works with unions and labour federations around the globe, and has conducted courses on a wide variety of topics for unions, community groups, universities and government departments. Her current research and teaching interests are in the areas of international comparative labor movements and the role of unions in promoting civil society, democracy and sustainable development. Within ACW Elaine plays a pivotal role in developing the Green Workplaces training. As well, she is a member of the Manufacturing, Services and International Policy working groups, and she is a member of the steering committee.

 

Jim Chorostecki

Jim Chorostecki, British Columbia Federation of Labour, “The Softwood Lumber Dispute is the Hatfields vs. McCoys Feud Without the Guns, So Far.” 

Jim has been the Executive Director at B.C. Federation of Labour since 2010. In this role Jim has been responsible for initiating and overseeing a number of important projects that have been attempting to bring together various stakeholders to work together to solve the climate change crisis. Prior to this, he held positions at the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Union of Postal Communication Employees and within the Canadian federal government. Jim is a former board member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in BC and is currently an advisor on the CCPA Good Economy Project. Within the ACW grant Jim is the Co-lead for the Manufacturing working group and a member of the steering committee.

 

Larry Brown

Larry Brown, National Union of Public and General Employees, moderator

With degrees in political science and law, Larry, President of Canada’s second largest union, has a wide range of experience in government, pension fund management, public administration, labour relations, teaching and legal issues. He has written and spoken extensively about public finances, debt and deficit issues, the changes in federal provincial financing, public sector restructuring and the resulting changes in the economic and political structures of Canada that have occurred in the last decade. As an elected Officer of the National Union of Public and General Employees for over 25 years, Larry has extensive experience overseeing NUPGE’s policy on environmental issues. Larry is the Interim Leader of ACW’s Environmental Law and Labour Law research group.

 

“Darker Politics: Democracies, Labour Rights and Climate Change”
Friday, 26 May 2017
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Innis Town Hall Theatre
2 Sussex Avenue
Toronto, ON  M5S 1J5

Free admission

Register on Eventbrite or send an email to acwinfo@yorku.ca

 

Darker Politics Panel is organized by Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change, a research programme of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Organisational members of ACW include York University, the Canadian Labour Congress, and 22 organisations in Canada, US, UK, EU. www.adaptingcanadianwork.ca.

 

 

ACW leads conference stream on climate change and labour

 

4-6 April 2017, Sheffield, UK

At the 35th International Labour Process Conference, held in Sheffield, UK, ACW ran a special stream titled “A Volatile Political Economy: Work, Climate Change and Labour: Labour Process Perspectives”. This was for the second year running, last year’s theme at the ILPC conference in Berlin being Labour, Work and Climate Change: a labour process perspective. The stream this year was led by Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé of York University, Toronto, Canada and Professor Linda Clarke of the University of Westminster, UK, together with Donald Lafleur, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Labour Congress and Dr. Elaine Bernard, Director of Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School, US.

The stream addressed the problematic issue that, though work, worksites and production supply chains are major polluters, the new retreat into defensive nationalism adds to the difficulties of combatting at an international level the global danger we confront. It is vital to re-connect work and political economy, so that the transition to a low carbon economy becomes an international driver for transforming the labour process to the benefit of workers. Bringing workers and unions and work itself ‘in’ to the struggle to slow global warming entails rethinking the labour process through a green lens, and adapting key steps in the chain of production to mitigate greenhouse gases. It entails reconsidering the legal, political and economic contexts that hinder or facilitate workplace low-carbon adaptation, bringing labour and environment law together, criticising work design and current business models for their carbon excesses, and rediscovering the influential roles that workers, their unions and professional associations can play in adapting and improving the labour process. And, finally, it means understanding the ways in which political economies and responses to climate change affect not only the labour process, but union goals, alliances, modes of action, organisation of young workers, political strength and strategic creativity.

Within this framework, papers were presented in four separate sessions over two days by ACW researchers, academics from universities in the UK and further afield, and those from trade union organisations.

The contributions within each themed session included:

Just Transition
• Slow Greening: Climate Literacy and the Labour Movement: Carla Lipsig-Mummé, York University, Canada
• Just Transition in a Neoliberal Context: the contradictions of labour-market policy in post-petro-state Canada: Donald Lafleur and Chris Roberts, Canadian Labour Congress
• Contesting Just Transition: a sufficient challenge to capitalist labour processes? (Ewan Kerr, University of Glasgow)

Energy Provision
• Romance or Chimaera? Industry Policy and Job Quality in European Offshore Wind Turbine Manufacturing: Lisa Shulte, Middlesex University, UK
• Decarbonising the Electricity Grid: the implications for organised labour: Colin Patrick Gleeson, University of Westminster, UK

VET for low energy construction
• Promoting Climate Literacy in British Columbia’s Apprenticeship System: evaluating one union’s efforts to overcome barriers to low carbon construction: John Calvert, Simon Fraser University, Canada
• The Role of Labour and VET in meeting Low Energy Construction Targets, Linda Clarke and Melahat Sahin-Dikmen, University of Westminster

Green Employment
• More and Better Jobs in a Low Carbon Future: provocations and possibilities: Steven Shelley, University of Hertfordshire, UK
• Gamification as Employment Strategy for Greening the Labour Process: Dean Stroud and Claire Evans, Cardiff University, UK
• The Role of Trade Unions in the Transformation towards a Low Carbon Economy: Bela Galgoczi, European Trade Union Institute, Belgium

Lively discussions followed the presentations, highlighting the significance of agency and vision in influencing the nature of the response to climate change and the critical necessity of bringing a labour perspective to bear on green transition approaches and policies by government and non-government organisations and agencies. Presentations were also informative about regional green transition initiatives involving trade unions, with discussions focusing particularly on British Columbia, Canada, the Ruhr region in Germany and Yorkshire and Humberside in the UK. Insights into the practical implementation, consequences and implications of green transitions were given in discussions about work and employment conditions in wind turbine manufacturing, training and skill needs in construction, and energy efficiency regulations in energy-intensive industries.

On the third day, the stream concluded with a panel discussion on ‘Green labour in dark times’, facilitated by responses to an imaginary scenario from 2035, when two major forces co-exist, digitalisation and climate change: can they combine or are they on a collision course? With examples of green transition initiatives from across a number of countries and regions, the possibility and need to allow for different green transitions pathways also came to the fore in the final debate. Above all, the fundamental role trade unions play in representing the interests of labour in what is a hugely complex, uneven and long transition to a green economy was reinforced.

It is intended that some of the contributions given at Sheffield and at last year’s Berlin conference will, together with contributions from ACW and other international researchers be included in two books and a special journal.

Linda Clarke, Carla Lipsig-Mummé and Melahat Sahin-Dikmen
June 2017

SoGES GCRT Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene to host symposium

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The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) Global Challenges Research Team (GCRT) Environmental Justice and Sustainability in the Anthropoceneis hosting a two day symposium April 24-25, 2017 in the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. Registration is free and open to the campus and broader community, however, the deadline to register is March 24, 2017 or until space fills up, so register early!

 

This symposium brings together over 100 academics and practitioners from more than 30 countries. Environmental Justice (EJ) is a central component of sustainability politics during the Anthropocene – the current geological age when human activity is the dominant influence on climate and environment. The overarching goal is to build on several decades of EJ research and practice to address the seemingly intractable environmental and ecological problems of the unfolding in this era. How can we explore EJ amongst humans and between nature and humans, within and across generations, in an age when humans dominate the landscape? How can we better understand collective human dominance without obscuring continuing power differentials and inequities within and between human societies? What institutional and governance innovations can we adopt to address existing challenges and to promote just transitions and futures?

 

From its origins as a US movement against environmental racism and other inequities in the early 1980s the scope of EJ, as a field of research and as a movement, has broadened enormously. Global EJ activism and research, in fact, is moving beyond demanding equity in the distribution of environmental harms and benefits to a call for the structural transformation of the economy and our relationship with nature as a means to address social, political, economic and environmental crises. The symposium will explore these transformations with a focus on multidisciplinary approaches for just transitions and other important directions of future EJ research.

 

The SoGES Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene GCRT (formerly EJCSU) consists of a multidisciplinary team spanning five departments: Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Engineering, Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Political Science, and Sociology. Principal investigators include: Neil Grigg, Melinda Laituri, Sheryl Magzaman, Stephanie Malin, Stacia Ryder and Dimitris Stevis. Megan Demasters and Kathryn Powlen serve as graduate student coordinators. Together the team works on various multiscalar issues of EJ in the U.S. and abroad. The Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene GCRT is committed to rigorous research and public engagement.

 

To register, please visit http://environmentaljustice.colostate.edu/conference/registration. For more information, contact environmentaljusticeCSU@gmail.com or visit http://environmentaljustice.colostate.edu/conference/information

Climate change and work: international perspectives

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Workshop

hosted by Sheffield Climate Alliance, Sheffield Trade Union Council
and international trade unionists and researchers

Tuesday 4th April, 6.30pm to 9pm
Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James’ St, Sheffield S1 2EW

Free event with buffet supper – please book on Eventbrite by 30 Mar:
www.eventbrite.com/e/climate-change-and-work-international-perspectivestickets-32880462348

At the beginning of April, academic researchers and trade unionists from various countries
will be in Sheffield to participate in the Climate Change and Work stream of the 32nd
International Labour Process Conference at the University of Sheffield.

The Adapting Canadian Workplaces programme (www.adaptingcanadianwork.ca/), led by
Professor Carla Lipsig Mummé will be strongly represented. ACW partners include many
Canadian trade unions, including the Postal Workers, Union of Public Employees, United
Steelworkers, and British Columbian Building Trades, as well as the Labor Network for
Sustainability. The project has been building databases of collective agreement clauses and
training programmes on climate change.

We are offering the chance to meet and exchange ideas about what is being done locally in
the Sheffield area and in other parts of the globe.
International participants include:

  • Donald Lafleur, Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress
  • Bela Galgoczi from the European Trade Union Institute
  • Carla Lipsig Mummé, of York University, Toronto
  • John Calvert, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia

 

And from the UK:

  • Graham Petersen, UCU and Greener Jobs Alliance (www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/)
  • Dean Stroud and Claire Evans of Cardiff University
  • Linda Clarke and Colin Gleeson, ProBE, University of Westminster
  • Martin Mayer, Sheffield TUC

 

A buffet supper and coffee/tea will be available and afterwards we will adjourn to a
local pub for drinks and a chance to chat further. Please book on Eventbrite so we
know numbers.

 

Sheffield Climate Alliance: info@sheffieldclimatealliance.net or
Linda Clarke: clarkel@wmin.ac.uk or 07821610665

Dark Politics: Climate Change and Labour Transitions in an Unstable World

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International Panel

Nov 26, 2016
Vancouver, BC

An Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces Outreach Event

 

 

Download the brochure (PDF)

 

Chair
Jim Chorostecki, Executive Director of the BC Federation of Labour

Panelists
Bela Galgoczi, Senior Researcher at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), speaks on “The Rise of Dark Politics in the EU” Starts 4:24 | Slides

Linda Clark, Professor of European Industrial Relations at the University of Westminster, speaks on “Does Brexit blur a low-carbon future?” Starts 27:30 | Slides

Dimitris Stevis, Professor of Politics at Colorado State University, speaks on “Island of Green in a Dark Sea? Climate Politics in Trump’s USA” Starts 45:49| Slides

Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), speaks on “What’s Wrong with Globalization?” Starts 59:26

Discussant
John Calvert, political scientist specializing in public policy. Starts 1:17:35

BC Green Jobs Conference: Nov 24 – 25, 2016

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The Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change (ACW) project invites you to participate in the upcoming “Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow – BC’s Green Jobs Conference” in Vancouver, British Columbia on November 24 and 25, 2016.

Every year, the conference unites people in British Columbia around a shared plan for good, green jobs in the new economy.

Individuals and organizations from diverse professional backgrounds will convene in New Westminster’s Anvil Centre where they connect and learn through cross-sector activities and presentations.

This year’s topics include economic reconciliation, leadership for a Green Economy and advanced technology, and our Low Carbon Future.

Many Participating Researchers from ACW will be presenting at the conference, including:

  • Carla Lipsig-Mummé, Lead Researcher, Adapting Canadian Workplaces, York University
  • Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
  • John Calvert, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences SFU
  • Lee Loftus, President, British Columbia and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council

Keynote speaker Bob McDonald, host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, will be presenting at the conference and speaking of his latest blog post why Canada needs a green industrial revolution.

To register and purchase tickets visit http://www.greenjobsbc.org/register

For more information visit http://www.greenjobsbc.org/

ACW is proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the BC Green Jobs Conference

After Paris: Politics, Climate Change & Labour

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An ACW-W3 International Panel. Toronto, November 13, 2015.

Canada’s surprise election of a majority government promising to return Canada to the world struggle to slow global warming, puts the state front and centre for the first time in years. Elsewhere, the political terrain for slowing global warming is also changing rapidly. Legal activism in the Netherlands and Pakistan challenges states to live up to their responsibility to protect their population from the devastation of global warming. Labour-environmental alliances are linking environment and labour law, and crafting collective bargaining ways to reduce GHGs at work.

Order of Presentations:

  • Welcome, Rafael Gomez, University of Toronto, and Carla Lipsig-Mummé, York University
  • The Urgenda Climate Case and It’s Consequences, Roger Cox, Urgenda
  • State of Federal and Provincial Climate Policy: Prospects for Paris and Beyond, Bruce Campbell, CCPA
  • Characteristics of green jobs related to renewable energy deployment, Warren Mabee, Queen’s University
  • COP 21, Canada’s Climate Commitment & Decarbonization, Josephine Yam, Environmental Law Centre (Alberta)
  • Going Green at Work, Sarah Pearce, UNISON
  • Green Unions at Work, Gordon Laxer, Parkland Institute
  • Labour and Climate Change, Larry Brown, NUPGE
  • Question & Answer – International Panel