The following statement was published by School Strike 4 Climate on September 18.
Ahead of this Friday’s huge global climate strikes, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has released a statement (see below) of support for school students striking from school for climate action, joining over 30 other Australian unions who have endorsed the School Strike for Climate movement.
Responding to the statement, School Strike 4 Climate organisers said: “We thank the union movement for its solidarity. The economic transformation ahead of us will not be easy, but the costs of inaction are too great not to start now. As young people, we seek to work in solidarity with workers and unionists. Our fights are one and the same.
“Tackling the climate crisis requires us to rapidly transition beyond coal, oil and gas to 100% renewable energy, and to provide the workers and communities affected most by this transition with the support they deserve in the process.
“We see that there are enormous opportunities to create good, safe and secure jobs in response to the climate crisis, for governments to invest in sustainable infrastructure, to properly support communities and to transform our economy in a way that leaves no one behind.
“By taking 'strike' action, we are also seeking to highlight the unjust laws in Australia that make it extremely difficult for workers to exercise the right to strike - an internationally recognised human right. Workers deserve more rights not fewer.
"The efforts of Scott Morrison’s government to erode workers' rights, through measures like the Ensuring Integrity Bill, are deplorable, just like their climate policies.
“We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the union movement and their members beyond this Friday to take on these massive challenges together.
"The stakes are too high not to.”
ACTU Statement on Climate Change Strike
Action to address the climate crisis is urgent and essential. Climate change is a workers' issue. It affects every industry and every sector.
It is working people and the poor, our families, communities and especially future generations who will bear the brunt of the inaction of our current Federal Government.
The Morrison government is captured by vested interests. They are refusing to act to support the development of new jobs and industries which are good for the planet and could be providing good, secure and safe jobs for the next generation.
They are also refusing to take responsibility to support workers and communities already bearing the brunt of a changing climate and a diversifying energy sector.
They are refusing to face up to the responsibility of our rapidly warming planet and all the subsequent effects on our country and our people.
One of the fundamentals of unionism is the power of people joining together to stand up for justice. We have and must take a stand for our future when our government will not.
It follows that we support children, young people and workers being part of Australia’s proud tradition of protest, taking collective action and calling our government to account.
[The full ACTU Congress policy can be found here.]