Unite, the UK’s leading union, today (Tuesday 18 October) placed the requirement for a just transition at the heart of the union movement’s climate change policies as the UK moves towards net zero.

The motion, which was debated at the Trades Union Congress in Brighton, highlighted how a successful just transition is not achievable without “adequate state intervention, investment and support to protect jobs, incomes, skills and communities.”

Clear demands needed

Addressing TUC Congress, Gail Cartmail, Unite’s executive head of operations, said: “Just transition must be a phrase not only for the conference floor, but for the shop floor. That means putting clear demands on employers through the power of collective bargaining.

“In industries where transition is urgently needed – from steel to energy, automotive and transport – each step must be negotiated on the principle of ‘nothing about us without us'.

 “Likewise we demand commitments to upskilling, for education and training to be provided by employers and government. Up and down supply chains – from transport to raw materials – we must defend jobs while we raise pay and conditions.

“And politically we must demand a comprehensive climate strategy – from retrofitting homes to taking energy back into public hands, properly funding public services and building a green manufacturing sector.”

New Strategy

The motion committed the TUC General Council to producing a just transition strategy that is endorsed by the trade union movement. This strategy should also produce a realistic estimate of the number of green jobs required, their quality and a timeline of when they will be needed. An assessment of the skills and training needed for workers to fulfil those jobs will also be needed along with education.

In addition, Unite is calling for the TUC to put in place measures to ensure that in the move to a just transition and green jobs, union agreements and organised workplaces are protected.


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.