We cannot develop an ecologically-responsible and just economy without considering the consequences for work and employment. But what is the meaning of 'green work' in capitalist societies of endless production and consumption for the purposes of profits?
If we scale back on tar sands, fracking, and other dirty energy projects, as we must, workers who lose their jobs will need retraining, temporary income support, and a green energy infrastructure to work in. This will require a whole range of collective investments and decisions.
What issues do we need to raise as workers in our workplaces and unions? How do we link the struggle for green jobs to precarious work, which is often not only unstable but also ecologically damaging? What should we push for and build in society generally?
We could demand of a just transition that it extend beyond retraining and replacement wages for workers in polluting industries that get shut down. Rather than shutting down polluting industries according to market logic, we could insist that workers’ rights be extended to include being actively and democratically involved in decisions around industrial and plant conversion to low-carbon, low-waste production, and in decision-making in society as a whole.
•Steven Tufts, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, York University
•Nigel Barriffe, Community Organizer, Elementary Teacher with the TDSB, and a member of the Green Economy working group of the Good Jobs For All Coalition
The event is free. The space is accessible by mobile ramp upon request in advance. Washrooms are downstairs and not accessible, unfortunately.
Sponsored by: Centre for Social Justice, Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly, Socialist Project
This is the third talk in the series: Capitalism vs. Ecology: We Need to Change Everything!
Discussion series on ecology, economy, and social justice
For future talks, please check our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Centre-for-Social-Justice/127402100676085 or the event section of our website: http://www.socialjustice.org/community/?f_cat=2c
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.