The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) branch at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has called a trade union bloc for the next youth climate strike, on 14 February. (Facebook event here.)
BEIS is a key department in terms of climate change policy, and is also the government department developing proposed new legislation restricting strikes in the transport industry. It has also recently been a site of intense class struggle, with outsourced workers launching all-out, indefinite strikes to win living wages, union recognition, and greater equality with directly-employed staff.
The Free Our Unions campaign, which has collaborated with the UK Student Climate Network on joint statements around previous climate strikes, is also supporting the bloc.
The bloc assembles from 11:00 outside BEIS (1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET) for a demonstration, before marching to join the main climate strike mobilisation. The text of the callout for the bloc is below.
On Friday 14 February members of the BEIS London and South PCS Union, Defra PCS Union, Culture Sector, RMT and other Trade Unionists will rally outside the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the banner “The Climate Emergency is a Workers Emergency”. School student climate strikers have appealed to unions and the labour movement to join them in taking action to confront climate change. We are organising in our workplaces and unions to ensure our movement meets that challenge.
The Trade Unions are calling on BEIS to act not only on the climate emergency but also to recognise and act on the lack of a just transition for workers, including draconian restrictions on the rights of workers to organise. Members will be calling on BEIS to withdraw their plans for new legislation to ban all-out strikes by transport workers. We stand against all anti-union laws, both existing and proposed, and believe that free unions and a full right to strike, including over political issues, are essential for confronting the climate crisis.
From Chile to France it is clear that only with the consent and involvement of the people will we truly be able to tackle the huge challenges the human race face from the threat of global warming. A threat that is real for millions of low paid, migrant workers and indigenous peoples all over the world now. Workers are at the heart of the solution; only workers have the skills, knowledge, and potential power to reorganise our industries and our economy to transition away from fossil fuels. BEIS’s continual attacks against workers, in the favour of bosses (who caused and profit from the climate crisis), alongside a lack of policies to address it progressively, only contribute to the emergency.
The Unions are calling on their members and supporters to join them on Friday 14 February outside BEIS at 11am for a rally and demonstration, before Trade Unionists will then join the main climate strikers.