Class campaigns needed

Issue section: 

The summer floods in Britain were the latest example of weather patterns becoming more extreme due to the effects of global warming.

Chris Harman's article on climate change (Feature, Socialist Review, July/August 2007) quite rightly pointed out the ineffectiveness of individuals changing lifestyles to solve global warming.

The question is then raised, "What can we do about it?" We do not simply have to wait for a socialist revolution before real change on our carbon-consuming society can be achieved. We should raise such demands as part and parcel of other issues. For example, in Sandwell Council Unison, GMB and Unite-T&G have requested action from the Labour council to reduce carbon emissions from the workplace.

The trade union movement needs to incorporate campaigning against carbon emissions as part of its historic mission of improving the environment of work. If superstore workers took action against their high energy using practices, wouldn't this hit the superstores harder than half a dozen "green" protesters outside a store on a Saturday morning?

Unison nationally is beginning to take this issue seriously and is asking for facility time for "green" representatives. Reducing carbon emissions should form a part of all our other political campaigning that seeks to establish a world that does indeed put the interests of people before profit.

Tony Barnsley
Joint Assistant Branch Secretary (pc)
Sandwell Unison General Branch