Motion no: 9


Awareness of the scale and urgency of the climate crisis and the wider environmental threats faced as a result of unsustainable capitalist economics is growing among all sections of the community, most especially the young.

Trade unionists have joined and been inspired by the vigorous approach adopted by young Climate Strike protesters. The role of the trade union movement in securing real movement by governments both domestically and globally is a vital one.

Workers need to be empowered in the process of change that is needed to transition to a sustainable, post-carbon economy. There are huge opportunities – in terms of jobs and skills from such a transition – but there are also huge risks and threats.

The recent struggles by workers in Harland & Wolff and Wrightbus demonstrated the way in which the fight for jobs, skills and investment is increasingly tied to the demand for a sustainable economy that meets the needs of working-class people. Workers cannot be side-lined from shaping the economic transition, instead they must play a central and deciding role. It is vital that the trade union movement, in particular those representing the trade unions representing workers in industries which will face the greatest change, is centrally involved in securing a truly Just Transition.

Workers cannot and will not bear the cost of climate change or regressive taxes which are driven in the interests of the few but justified on their environmental necessity. Real environmental and economic change must start with a recognition of the role of the rapacious and inherently chaotic capitalist economy on a global scale as a driver of unsustainable exploitation of both nature and workers.

Conference mandates the incoming NI committee to bring forward a #JustTransition campaign to engage politicians, academics and decision-makers at all levels to demand a seat for workers and their trade unions at every table where decisions are being made affecting workers or delivering the new economy.