Webinars: climate change, services trade unions & the Just Transition

Wednesday 2 December 2020

UNI Europa is putting together two consecutive webinars on 8-9 December 2020 from 15:00-18:00 for its affiliates on the Just Transition in the services sectors.

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. The European Commission’s ‘Green Deal’ and the discussions on ‘just transition’, ‘farm to fork-strategy’ and other policy measures are associated with ‘transitions’ in heavy-polluting, extractive and manufacturing industries. Many services sectors are inextricably linked with the development of other industrial sectors which will undergo transition as part of the societal shift to a carbon-neutral society. Such ‘transitions’ will disproportionately affect women workers.

At the same time, some services multinationals take steps to decarbonise their own processes or have signed up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In Media and Entertainments, the industry is making a concerted effort to ‘green production’. In Post and Logistics, e-vehicles are being introduced with the goal of reducing carbon emissions. Other companies in the Commerce, Property Services or Finance sectors have also taken initiatives. Yet, we do not have a comprehensive overview of the extent to which unions have been consulted, involved or even have pushed for these measures to be introduced.

A number of UNI Europa affiliates have engaged in valuable work that both addresses the inequities at work and the climate crisis. In Belgium, SETCa-BBTK and the local works council of Ageas Insurance Group have convinced management to consider the works council’s roadmap to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030 and zero emission by 2050. Others such as the German IG BAU and Austrian trade unions GPA-djp and Vida have engaged in coalition-building with environmental and social movements with the goal of sensitising the environmental movement to workers’ demands. In Italy, union leaders have notably been in dialogue with Fridays for Future.

These two webinars will give UNI Europa affiliates the opportunity to learn about the EU’s climate initiatives and the role for trade unions, services unions’ policy responses to climate change, how trade unions are organising and bargaining for a Just Transition in the services sectors, and how unions are engaging on green issues and coalition-building and recruiting new members to our unions in the process.

To register, please send us an e-mail and indicate whether you will participate in both webinars or just one.

These webinars are financed by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – Brussels Office.