Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner called on trade unions to back the school climate change strikes on 20 September at the TUC congress in Brighton today (Tuesday 10 September).

Moving motion 2 on climate change and a just transition he also demanded that workers are up-skilled or re-skilled with no loss of pay or undermining of terms and conditions in the transition to a green economy.

Addressing congress Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner said: “As trade unionists we’re at the centre of the debate on just transitioning energy generation, our auto industry from the combustion engine to hybrid, full battery and hydrogen, and our ceramics, steel and construction industries from heavy pollutants to sustainable long-term low carbon producers.

“And in that debate we’ll ensure our members are up-skilled or re-skilled and transitioned to new, sustainable, local jobs with no loss of pay or undermining of terms and conditions. Supporting them, their families and wider communities.

“Congress, how proud can we be of our children, knowing it’s their future at stake – taking to the streets, just as they did in 2010 in the fight against austerity, to demand the urgent action that is desperately needed.

“And as trade unionists, as socialists seeking that better, fairer world, it’s our duty to stand proudly alongside them in this fight.

“That is why this composite includes the demand that we take whatever solidarity action we can on 20 September, the day of their next school strike.

“If we don’t, we’ll be seen as irrelevant – not as allies in their fight and not an integral part of their future.

“Because Congress, let’s make no mistake - the stakes are high.

“Our country is facing a choice that – in this and so many areas – will have global ramifications.

“It was Jeremy Corbyn who moved in parliament that we recognise we are living in a climate emergency and it’s the election of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister that represents our best chance at securing the industrial and political transformation we need with the collective voice of working people at its heart.

“The alternative is too dire to think about.”

For more information journalists only please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 07967 665869 [email protected]

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.