The Workers’ Climate Action network is meeting for its second conference on 10 October 2009 in London. Over the last year, we have been active in the environmental and labour movements advocating class struggle activism as the key battleground in the fight against ecological destruction.
Our involvement has meant the Climate Camp has given its solidarity to the London Underground tubeworkers in their dispute over pay, conditions and jobs. Their solidarity in turn has raised the question of free (or very cheap) public transport as a necessary step towards an ecological future. We have spoken to the RMT young members’ conference, building an awareness of working-class environmentalism and the need for fighting rank-and-file trade unionism.
Most significantly, we have played a key role in agitating for and helping the factory occupation and picket of the Vestas wind turbine factory at St Cross near Newport on the Isle of Wight. This dispute has shown very clearly the contradiction between a capitalist-run economy and our efforts to prevent ecological destruction. It shows the explosive potential for a class struggle environmental movement, to take on the bosses and save the planet.
This conference will be an opportunity to share the skills and the lessons learnt over the last year, especially at Vestas. We are inviting trade union activists from public transport, aviation, energy, construction, car and higher education industries to discuss the issues in their industrial sectors, how they are responding to the economic crisis and how we can build a platform for the ideas of “worker-led just transition”. We also invite activists from the environmental movement to come and discuss how to translate their skills and approaches into a struggle rooted in the terrain of working-class organisation.
The experience at Vestas must be built upon and replicated again and again in order build a mass working-class ecological movement.
Check out the website for model motions for union branches and for the latest details of the conference. Creche available.