Students strike now for the jobs of tomorrow

The ITUC is standing behind the global student strike, taking place on 15th March. More than 700 actions in 72 countries will take place. Unions in Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, the UK and elsewhere are taking part and many others are active in mobilising their members.

Young people are taking the demand for urgent action on climate to political leaders around the world, proving that the power of democratic voice is alive and well.

“The students are taking responsibility where leaders have failed. We have to thank them for their bravery in confronting the climate crisis. Their courage deserves our support,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

Climate scientists have given the world until 2030 to stablise the planet with a maximum a 1.5 degree temperature rise. More than 83 million climate refugees are now on record as fleeing from disaster or loss of livelihoods.

“Climate change unchecked is the crisis that threatens everyone and will leave whole regions uninhabitable. We are already witnessing extreme weather events with destruction and lasting devastation for too many of our people. Governments are not taking responsibility for the high ambition that is vital.

“Every Government must raise their ambition and determine national development plans including Just Transition measures to protect workers, their families and their communities. All employers must have a plan for climate proofing their industries and workplaces and Just Transition measures must be at the heart of these plans,” said Burrow.

Taking inspiration from young people, union representatives in workplaces will, in the last week of June, invite employers to sit down with the workers in workplaces to discuss plans to reduce emissions and climate proof workplaces.

“Unions must be engaged in dialogue at all levels to ensure that the Just Transitions measures agreed are adequate to build people’s trust in a process that the overwhelming majority understand is urgent. Without Just Transition the critical ambition we all seek will be blocked by fear and in too many cases fear that is fueled by the corporate greed of global CEOs still putting profit above everything else,” said Burrow.