Saturday 11th February
10:00 – 12:00 INQUIRIES ON THE PRESENT PART I – WORKSHOPS 1-3
One of the main axes along which TSS has formed its interest in the climate crisis, and on which it has built the CCC group, is that of the dynamics between working classes and climate change, and most often between workers and measures to address climate change.
New and growing tensions are emerging between labour and capital along the entire chain of extraction, production, distribution and consumption – tensions conditioned by the inherently unfairly distributed burden of the green transition and capital’s desire to keep it ever so unfair. The Yellow Vests in France have been one of the most striking examples in recent years, demonstrating how climate justice left in the hands of capital conflicts with the social and socio-economic security of workers. The closure of coal plants as part of the Green Pact across Europe is causing legitimate discontent among trade unions, and Brussels hopes the so-called “Just Transition Mechanism” will extinguish dissent – so far unsuccessfully. Germany is a particularly interesting example of a country where there is both a strong trade union movement and strong green policies, as well as significant coal production – think of Lützerath for instance. On the other hand, there are also inspiring examples of action where workers are proactively advocating for both better working conditions and more adequate climate action – say, the workers at Amazon three years ago.
In this workshop, we invite you to explore together, through our own experience and knowledge, this complex dynamic underlying so-called climate-class conflict. What are the different responses of different workers groups and movements to different climate measures, and what can we learn from them? What examples do we know of ‘reconciliation’ or rather effective complementarity between class and climate struggles? What concrete steps can we take to promote more and more bridging between these struggles?