Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Sisters and brothers,

We want to announce a new group with the aim of increasing the participation of workers and trade unions in ongoing struggles for an environmentally sustainable and socially just world.  WORKERS 4 THE PLANET believes that workers are the natural allies of all peoples defending their livelihoods and lands from attack, those who fight for climate action, and generally everyone desiring safer and healthier communities!

WORKERS 4 THE PLANET currently has participants from several trade union backgrounds, including the BCGEU, BCNU, CEP, CUPE, ETEA, Unifor, STA, and TSSU.  We believe that our current economic system robs workers and simultaneously devastates the environment.  Scientific studies prove how any growth in our economy requires increasing the processing of nature into various commodities and axing jobs.  In this respect, our group is against any 'greening of capitalism' that merely involves acclimatising people to poverty.

As most of us are Lower Mainland residents, WORKERS 4 THE PLANET is especially concerned to organise against the proposed Kinder Morgan expansion.  Research suggests that the risks of the project grossly outweigh the touted benefits for BC.  Alarming is how this project and others appear to be 'already approved', with democratic accountability being swept aside and Bill C-51 potentially criminalising any form of 'economic disruption'.

WORKERS 4 THE PLANET is concerned too about the false divisions erected between some workers and communities opposing mega-projects on ecological grounds.  Elites need us to think that 'eco-terrorists' are the biggest threat to jobs – rather than the current economic set-up itself.  For the basic sake of having clean and safe places to return home to, we believe that workers and trade unions must play a leading role in our province's broader democratic struggles.  In return, we badly need reciprocal solidarity to resist the onslaught on our existing collective agreements and rights.

Unlike other initiatives, WORKERS 4 THE PLANET is not a 'committee'.  Our group explicitly seeks to combine executive and practical skills, mental and manual labours.  It also only seeks assistance from citizens or unions – no foundation funds from the ultra-rich, thank you!  We depend only upon union or volunteer labour.

NO PIPELINES: WE REFUSE TO BE DIVIDED AND RULED

WORKERS 4 THE PLANET is opposed to the Kinder Morgan expansion for many reasons.  Several of us live or work near the terminal site/pipeline route, and are concerned about health and safety risks, especially in regard to spills or fires.  Others recognise the blow that major sectors of the economy will suffer in such circumstances, or are worried about the Canadian economy's Third World character and trajectory.  Many workers are concerned about the impacts on already under-pressure ecosystems and wildlife too, invaluable for our quality of life, and make the connection to climate change at the global scale.

The wider importance that WORKERS 4 THE PLANET attach to developing the capacity of ordinary people to resist this mega-project relates to how our struggle throws some general problems into sharp relief.  For example, an inability to trust politicians or corporates with basic facts, especially around jobs.  Independent studies suggest grossly inflated possible employment figures.  Ignored by pipeline champions is how few permanent jobs would result – only 40-50 – and that most construction work is unskilled and only lasts for a few weeks.  As a group, we are concerned also that a relatively small number of workers are being styled as 'the voice of labour', demanding a project that not only undermines BC's economy – but risks lives to boot.  We believe that a majority of working people do not support this project, a disaster waiting to happen.  Furthermore, we are concerned about how draconian legislation, threatens any civil disobedience.  As voting does not protect our interests, and the law is both unaffordable and only considers lost profits, we are in bad times.

WORKERS 4 THE PLANET thus seeks to plan solutions for how to politically and technically transition toward a greener and socially more just economy, in ways that ensure people have good jobs.  It is us, as workers, who extract, transform, and distribute nature's bounty.  We are at the heart of all environmental/political issues today – because we possess the knowledge and skills.  As workers, we must decide whether to remain following the orders of an elite . . . or if we will shape our future according to our own wisdom.  If you feel strongly about this all-important choice, then we urge you to join with us.  It is OUR LABOUR, OUR WEALTH, OUR PLANET.

In solidarity,

 

 

 
Conversation opened. 1 read message.