Students around the world are taking bold action to protect the planet, holding climate strikes every Friday, pushing for urgent and ambitious climate action to limit global warming.
The strikes were started in August of 2018 by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. These #FridaysForFuture student strikes now take place in communities all over the world, including across Canada.
Students are asking Canada’s unions to stand with them for a Global Climate Strike, starting on Friday, September 20, and culminating with a global day of action on Friday, September 27, to coincide with the UN Secretary General’s climate summit, convening Monday, September 23.
The CLC stands in support of this important call to action.
“This climate strike marks a crucial moment,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “It is amazing to witness courageous young people across the world taking action for their own futures. Canada’s unions call on governments to commit to fighting climate change with urgency and ambition. The youth of today deserve a tomorrow.”
The global week of action marks a crucial moment, both in terms of public attention and of policy decisions.
“Unions know the only way to achieve a successful and lasting transition to environmental sustainability is to ensure that workers are part of the local, industry-wide and national plans,” said Yussuff. “With the right investments we don’t have to choose between a strong economy that works for people and a healthy planet. Canadians must tell politicians seeking our votes in October that we won’t accept anything less.”
Unions have been reaching out to policy-makers with Just Transition proposals, including Canada’s Just Transition Task Force for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities.
Actions will be taking place in communities across the country, in collaboration with youth, environmental and other groups. You can find an event in your area here. Greta Thunberg, the original #FridaysForFuture student striker, will join the rally in Montreal on September 27.
Not all workers will be able to join the marches and rallies in person, but there are many ways to demonstrate solidarity and support for this critical call to action, including showing solidarity on social media, participating in actions on your lunch break, starting a conversation about reducing emissions in your own workplace, or raising climate action with your local candidates in the federal election.
Those who do join the strikes should first speak with their union and consult relevant legislation to understand the legal implications of their actions.
There is more work to be done.