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NUW statement on secure jobs and a safe climate

It’s time for our movement to think big and take the lead.

We need to build a broad social movement to propose solutions that build hope. Solutions that can and will happen if we take action together.

Well paid union jobs with a future rest not on pretending the climate emergency doesn’t exist but in positioning Australia to be a renewable energy superpower exporting clean energy to the world. This new energy infrastructure must also provide workers and their communities an equal share in the prosperity we create, with secure jobs that pay a living wage.

Adani represents a climate change grenade in terms of the greenhouse gas emissions it will create, putting at risk our ability to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. This temperature rise already represents a significant threat to the planet. For NUW workers who pick, pack, store and deliver our fruit and vegetables from the farms to the warehouses in our food supply chain, their jobs are also under threat.

Increased temperatures and droughts place further pressure on tens of thousands of NUW food workers down the production chain who process dairy products, prepare meals and make grocery goods. The climate emergency threatens the security of manufacturing jobs making quality export food products.

Meanwhile, other NUW members have well paid, secure jobs in the oil and gas industry, jobs that will be affected as the world transitions away from fossil fuels. We want our members to be able to proactively participate and lead this transition so that the new energy jobs of the future remain well paying and secure for the next generation of Union members. One consideration for our members is investment in a new generation of renewable hydrogen fuel refining and distribution infrastructure. We want workers and our members to have a plan to work our way out of this climate emergency!

In the face of the biggest questions our world has ever faced, workers in the food supply chain and workers in the Galilee Basin region should not be divided against each other in order to increase the profit of a mere few. Instead, we are calling for a green new deal that includes substantial funding for fossil fuel reliant communities to protect workers’ income and dignity through a transition to a new economic future. We will actively campaign for more bargaining power for workers to create secure and fair paying jobs as well as protecting the natural world for generations to come. We want regional communities to be able to take ownership of their economic future with support for new, high-wage, clean energy jobs and locally-based and worker owned cooperatives.

Don’t lose hope, we can stand together and fight for a better future.