Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The government run Australian Broadcasting Corporation has cited examples of workers striking because
they wanted to go down the beach they were suffering the effects of climate change, and urged others to follow their lead.
Workers are on the frontline of the climate crisis, but they have the power to fight back
By Elizabeth Humphrys, Freya Newman, and Natasha Heenan
While the impacts of climate change have long been felt by frontline communities battling unprecedented drought, our major cities are no longer insulated from the effects.
You can see it, you can smell it, and you can feel it in your lungs — and emergency services have warned that the worst of this fire season is still ahead of us.
Outdoor workers, especially those engaged in heavy labour, are particularly vulnerable to the health risks from smoke and particulate levels in the air.
These workers are on the frontline of the impacts of the climate crisis, which also include growing risks from heat stress.
There is hope, however.
Internationally, we see citizens and workers coming together to fight for a better world, led in particular by the vibrant student climate strikes.
A mass movement capable of building effective collective action and a democratic response to climate change is our best hope of addressing both a warming world and access to decent, stable work.
And unions need to play a central role.
…Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-19/unions-need-to-be-part-of-solution-climate-change-sydney-smoke/11802438
Sorry to break it to you Elizabeth, Freya and Natasha, but outside the public sector the age of large scale industrial action is over.
These days if a union calls a major strike, there is a bottomless supply of workers from overseas begging for a chance to take the jobs of the strikers, using easy access work visas created by your friends in Congress or parliament.
But please don’t let me discourage you from trying. Climate strikes and blockades do more damage to your cause than anything I have ever written or done – as a group of extinction rebellion hippies discovered to their cost, when they tried to stop ordinary folk going about their business in Canning Town.