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School strikers for climate ‘deserve union solidarity’

A CALL for trade union solidarity with a global strike by school students over climate change will be made at a lobby of the TUC in Brighton on Sunday.

School student activists and their supporters are campaigning for unions to back the walkout at schools worldwide on Friday September 20.

The lobby has been organised by the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) and starts at 3pm, an hour before the Congress opens.

It is linked to a motion to Congress submitted by the University and College Union (UCU) calling on trade unionists to support the school students’ efforts and to show solidarity with them by staging a 30-minute walkout on September 20.

The motion is to be heard on Tuesday, when University and College Union general secretary Jo Grady will say that climate change is “the most important issue the planet faces.”

Jake Woodier of the UKSCN said: “In the context of the ever-worsening climate crisis, it’s essential that workers are at the forefront of fighting for a just transition.”

The school climate strikes movement was started in Sweden by 16-year-old student Greta Thunberg, who is currently on a speaking tour of the United States.

Ms Grady said: “The work done by Greta Thunberg and school students around the world has been inspirational. Now it’s time for the rest of us to catch up.

“As trade unionists, it is important that we raise awareness of the impact of climate change, and we hope delegates in Brighton will back our motion.

“If workers don’t take a stand against climate change and speak with a united voice on the importance of a just transition, then multinational corporations and anti-worker governments will simply take decisions without us.”

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