Labour and the Forces of Nature: Prospects, Paradoxes and Perspectives
Language: Spanish and English
Environmental degradation affects workers, communities, women, immigrants, indigenous peoples, farmers and industrial workers globally but in different ways. The global scope of environmental degradation and climate change has enabled unions to develop broad environmental policies, a process forcefully led by the International Trades Union Confederation. It has also enabled the creation of alliances between trades unions and environmental movements globally and locally in a number of countries of the global South and North. We have also seen alliances between unions, farmers and indigenous movements.
However, these policies and alliances are not uncontested, neither by environmentalists, indigenous groups nor within unions themselves. This session aims to discuss the different dimensions of trade unions policies, alliances and forms of cooperation:
How do environmental politics affect unions in the global north and the global south? What will be the impacts on capital and labour intensive sectors? What are the challenges concerning the preparation of workers for green transitions in terms of skills and agency? How does work need to change, and with it workers’ capabilities and positions at the workplace, in order to reconcile work and nature? How can unions contribute to making green transitions also just transitions in order to transcend conflicting interests?
What kind of coalitions across countries and social actors (i.e. industrial workers, farm workers, indigenous movements, communities, environmentalists, women, migrants) have been built? What have been the successes, problematics, conflicts of such coalitions? What can be learned from them?
We invite theoretical and empirical papers on these subjects.