In this video, workers and unions members share why they are joining the Global Climate Walkout on September 20th.
Many of the students who sparked the climate walkouts around the world were inspired by the powerful history of workers striking in the labor movement.
For September 20th to be a turning point in the fight for a livable future, millions of people ― with all different kinds of jobs ― will hopefully walk out of work for some or all of the day. Here are some resources to help support workers during the walkout.
Workers and Unions: See you on September 20th!
Things to Remember:
- Connecting with unions and workers’ centers is key: Some people work in organized workplaces — i.e. they belong to a union or a worker center, and some people work in settings without such structures and support. Understanding this context is critical for successful workplace organizing.
- Workplace organizing can create unique opportunities: Our organizing around climate chaos and for a better future will continue beyond the days of action in September. Building stronger relationships with workers and their organizations is one way to set the stage for more successful coalitions in the future.
- Workplace organizing can pose unique challenges and risks: People may have faced backlash from employers, judgement from their fellow workers and have even lost their jobs as a result of organizing in their workplace.
For these reasons, workplace organizing needs to be done with care, skill and sensitivity. Check out this toolkit from our partners at the Labor Network for Sustainability on how workers can safely participate in the climate walkouts.
Here are some ways to start worksite organizing:
- Research where people in your group of core organizers work and if any of them belong to unions/ worker centers/ other workplace organizations.
- Find out it people have considered organizing in their workplaces around the walkout. If they belong to worker organizations, ask them to set up meetings with the worker organizations’ leadership to discuss the climate walkouts.
- For people interested in organizing in worksites without unions/worker organizations, ask people to identify point people who are interested in organizing at their worksites around the climate walkouts.
- Review the toolkit above and share ideas for how you each might organize with your co-workers, given your varied contexts. Set specific goals and ways to support each other.
Regardless of where people in your group work, see if there’s interest in talking with others in your area around workplace organizing and the climate walkouts. This might include reaching out to worker organizations/labor councils/individual unions & worker centers, etc.
We hope that workplace organizing & labor/ climate coalitions in your community continue to build through the September walkouts and beyond.