Trumka Says Climate Change Battle Must Include Workers (1)

From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...

By Gayle Cinquegrani

The labor movement must be included in initiatives to fight climate change, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Sept. 12.

Workers are prepared to sacrifice, “but we will not bear the cost of climate change alone,” Trumka said at a conference at the University of California at Berkeley Labor Center. “The most equitable way to address climate change is for labor to be at the center of the solution.”

“Carbon emissions threaten to destabilize the ecosystems and civilization itself,” Trumka said. “For millions of workers in the U.S.,” especially those in the fossil fuel industry, livelihoods “are at stake.” Therefore, workers whose jobs, communities, and pensions are at risk must be part of the “dialogue,” he said.

The AFL-CIO adopted a climate change resolution in October. It advocated reduced carbon emissions while at the same time supporting the maintenance of employment, pensions, and health-care benefits for workers affected by changes in the energy market.

“We have the technology to take on climate change,” Trumka said. The problem is in implementing the battle against climate change are “economic and political,” he said.

A spokesperson at the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Request Labor & Employment on Bloomberg Law