UNISON says workers must be protected in climate change talks through ‘Just Transition’ agreement

UNISON has today (Friday) taken to the international stage to make the case that workers whose jobs are affected by climate change must have protection that is legally binding in the final agreement.

The talks in Paris are aimed at getting agreement on limiting temperature rises to less than two degrees celcius but UNISON believes the rights of workers are key to the successful outcome of the talks.

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “It is essential that workers are front and centre of discussions on climate change with the inclusion of a ‘Just Transition’ agreement.

“We are putting pressure on the European Union to take workers rights seriously and to ensure that when they face changes in their industries they should not be thrown onto the scrapheap but supported to transit into future sustainable and decent work.

“There should be an agreement on retraining, transferring to alternative jobs in the green sector, or support made available to move workers homes and families.

“It is vital that workers rights are legally protected. It is not enough to mention them in passing in an appendix that no one reads or cares about.”

A ‘Just Transition’ agreement will ensure that the people who work in the polluting industries get the chance to continue working and not be thrown out of work with no future prospects.

Notes to Editors
The 2015 Paris climate conference aims for the first time to set legally binding and universal agreement on climate with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees celcius.

UNISON media contacts:

Alan Weaver: T: 0207 121 5555 M: 07939 143310

E: a.weaver@unison.co.uk

Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175

E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk

Fatima Ayad T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07508 080383

E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk