This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
CLIMATE change must be a treated as a working-class issue, trade unionists insisted today.
GMB delegates meeting at the union’s annual conference in Brighton backed a call to push for “practical steps” against rising global temperatures and their effect on workers in various industries.
The union voted to campaign for local authorities to adopt a heat action plan modelled on that drawn up in the Canadian city of Montreal.
After six Montreal residents died in a heatwave last summer, the city developed the plan involving the distribution of millions of gallons of water and firefighters making regular visits to vulnerable people.
Delegates said that the plan must be fought for to protect workers in sectors such as construction, who are at risk from rising global temperatures.
London delegate Mark Watson said: “We call on local authorities across the United Kingdom to put in a heat action plan as part of a campaign calling for practical steps intending to mitigate and minimise the adverse effects of global warming on GMB members and all working people.
“The advice we have is good, but it does not go far enough and it doesn’t reach everyone.
“Our cities are old fashioned and are not built for heat.”
London ambulance delegate Esme Choonara argued that extreme weather events and climatic changes impact disproportionately on the poorest in society.
She argued that “climate change is a trade union issue” that “affects all of us, but not all equally.
“The World Health Organisation claims that in Europe, the number of deaths during a heatwave can rise by up to 33 per cent.
“This disproportionately affects not just the elderly and the poor but also our workers who are affected by rising temperatures.
“It is entirely predictable and much of it is preventable, but we live in a system which puts profit before people.
“It has been inspiring to see young people marching out of their schools to demand change.
“We need plans like these to mitigate the affects of climate change on the poorest people in our society.”
The demand coincided with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May announcing plans for Britain to stop fuelling climate change by 2050.
Speaking in the Commons, she outlined plans for legislation to cut emissions to “net zero” by the middle of the century, replacing the existing target of an 80 per cent reduction.
However, her announcement received a lukewarm response. Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion branded it a “death sentence” because people are already dying and need action now.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.