Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Sydney Branch secretary Paul McAleer sent the following message to the Western Sydney climate emergency rally in Parramatta on February 25.
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I am sorry I have been held up with lawyers regarding a dispute, where wharfies stopped work on an unsafe vessel and were docked [pay] and disciplined for fighting for their rights for a safe workplace.
The MUA Sydney Branch supports all organisations and workers that seek to combat the disastrous consequences of climate change on the working class and the ecology that sustains us.
Climate change is the most significant issue we are facing on Earth: it impacts not only humanity, but all other life forms on this planet.
We have an obligation to protect the environment, to invest in future generations and to ensure that we do not forsake our children’s opportunities through our own greed and short sightedness.
To fight for clean air and water is a revolutionary act in a world that rewards the destruction of nature for profit.
Indigenous and First Nations peoples have been at the forefront of this fight since imperialism and colonialism forced them off their lands through violence and occupation.
We have a responsibility to listen to our First Nations comrades and gain an insight into the sacred, so that we may have air to breathe, water to drink and land to nourish to us.
This is the number one issue for workers: no workers should be blamed for the decisions and legislation that politicians have voted in, or bosses have implemented, to extract every ounce of exploitation out of our natural world.
All workers in energy-intensive industries should be given new, clean jobs with similar union-negotiated outcomes to ensure they are not disadvantaged as a consequence of saving our collective futures.
Zero emissions now will give hope to future generations.
There are no jobs on a dead planet.
The MUA Sydney Branch congratulates all workers who demand trade unions fight and strike for our climate. We will continue to support and endorse all activities associated with a just transition to a sustainable environment that gives us the opportunity to reach our humanitarian potential.
This movement is building and it will succeed: there is no alternative.