‘Climate justice is social justice’ as Greta Thurnberg said. PCS has to be involved in the fight for climate justice as we are embedded in the fight for social justice.
On Saturday 18th September we joined with climate activists in Newcastle to raise awareness of the plight of our planet and the immediate need for action. People came together for a march and rally in the centre of the city to highlight the upcoming COP26 summit in November in Glasgow.
It was an uplifting occasion with a wide range of activists from many areas of expertise. We learned that action needs to be taken now, that unions need to be at the forefront of change and that alliances across unions and pressure groups can get results.
I had a representative from PCS DWP YMAC with me on the speakers platform, it was wonderful to show our unity by collaboration across the ages. This is an issue for all of us, for now and for future. We were proud to represent PCS, to meet sisters from other unions, on a great day for the fight for climate justice.
Below is Bridget’s speech.
I’m here today with Ethan, Georgia and Becca, to represent PCS union, the union for civil servants and commercial sector, affirming our support for climate justice.
We, as a union believe and support the campaign for climate justice because we recognise that it is social justice. We recognise that we need radical action now. The multiple crises we face are not going to be solved with more exploitation of people and the planet.
During the pandemic UK billionaire wealth grew 35%, UK foodbank use grew 33% – this confirms what we know – this is a government presiding over and extending already existing inequalities in our society.
In PCS we know, and our members know, that this government does not value people and the planet – it prefers quick profit, short sighted thinking and bombastic sloganeering.
At this time of ultimate global crisis, we need governments with principles, ethics and action to confront the climate crisis and to implement a radical workers led justice transition. Local and global justice must be at the heart of this transition, through people-owned decentralised energy systems, expansion of care services, locally sourced food and green affordable housing and public housing.
It can be done; but we will have to fight to make it happen. We will have to fight like never before. Unions are important in this fight bringing collective action, solidarity and coordination. If you are not a member of a union – please join. If you are a member – ask what your union is doing to support the COP26 Coalition and get active in your workplace to support climate justice. Join us in November to show our government and the global governments that climate justice matters, and it matters now.