Actions By International Unions: A Global Campaign for Climate Goals, and Demands for Labour Rights in TIPP Trade Agreement

On May 21, more than 50 unions representing millions of workers joined the Unions4Climate global campaign at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) World Congress in Berlin. The sign-up launches the mobilisation campaign for industrial transformation, just transition measures to organise workers in green, decent jobs, and ultimately for a climate agreement in Paris in 2015. Hassan Yussuff, newly-elected President of the Canadian Labour Congress, and Secretary Treasurer Barb Byers attended the Berlin meeting, though the CLC is not named in the press release as one of the signatories.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has released a detailed position statement regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, currently under discussion between the EU and the U.S. The ETUC position includes demands for consideration of the environmental impact of tar sands and shale gas, and for protection of labour rights on both sides of the Atlantic. On May 15, 240 unionists and activists were arrested in Brussels in protest against budget austerity and the trade agreement.

LINKS

The Unions4Climate Action website, including a sign-up form for individuals, is at: http://act.equaltimes.org/unions4climate; the full Statement, Climate Change is a Trade Union Issue, is at: http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/en_unions4climate.pdf. The website for the 3rd Congress is at: http://congress2014.ituc-csi.org/, and includes a press release about the campaign.

“ETUC position on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” statement from the European Trade Union Confederation is available at: http://www.etuc.org/documents/etuc-position-transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership#.UxX0sYW7Tm4. See also “What does the TTIP really mean for workers?” (March 10) from ETUC’s Equal Times at: http://www.equaltimes.org/what-does-the-ttip-really-mean-for?lang=en.

Sierra Club and Power Shift TTIP analysis: Energy Trade in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Endangering Action on Climate Change is available at: http://sierraclub.typepad.com/compass/2014/05/exposed-transatlantic-trade-pact-endangers-action-on-climate–1.html.

“Hundreds of Protesters Arrested In Brussels as Business Leaders Debate ‘Maintaining Citizen’s Trust'” at: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/european-business-summit-2014/hundreds-protesters-arrested-brussels-business-leaders-debate.

The Importance of New Skills Training for Construction, Managers and all Occupations, in a Low Carbon Europe

Greener Skills and Jobs, a joint publication of the the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), was released at the 2nd Green Skills Forum in Paris in mid-February.

The publication consists of papers presented by policy makers, researchers, experts from international ogreener-skills-and-jobs_9789264208704-enrganisations and academics at the first forum in 2012. With a focus on European experience, the papers are organized into three sections: Gearing up Education for Training and Growth; Enterprise Approaches For a Workforce Fit For a Green Economy; and Integrating Skills Into Local Development Strategies For Green Job Creation.

Beyond the expected overview of the quantity and quality of green jobs in the EU countries and the arguments for the need for labour market flexibility and retraining, the 228-page document also offers detailed and specific chapters, including: “Licensing and certification to increase skills provision and utilisation amongst low-carbon small and medium-sized enterprises in the United Kingdom” (a study of construction trades and the emerging energy efficiency jobs), and “Managerial skills in the green corporation”, which used case study interviews to confirm the importance of three competencies for middle and top managers: change management leadership, collaborative openness, and eco-innovative mindset.
The overall message is that green skills will be needed “in all sectors and at all levels in the workforce as emerging economic activities create new (or renewed) occupations”.

LINKS

Greener Skills and Jobs is available at: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/industry-and-services/greener-skills-and-jobs_9789264208704-en (read-only, or download with OECD credentials). It is not yet available in French. Links to all the OECD Green Growth Studies are available at: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/fr/environment/oecd-green-growth-studies_22229523

Meeting skill needs for green jobs: Policy recommendations (November 2013) is a related document published by the International Labour Organization, which describes the complex international policy environment related to green vocational education. It was prepared for the G20 Working Group relating to Human Resources Development. It is available at: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_emp/—ifp_skills/documents/publication/wcms_234463.pdf