Labor must lead on climate
The climate crisis is forcing a massive restructuring of our economy. While transition is inevitable, economic and racial justice are not. The California Labor for Climate Jobs (CLCJ) coalition is uniting the labor movement, so our communities can seize the opportunities – thousands of new jobs, massive federal and state investment, unprecedented public will to fight climate disaster – and usher in an equitable, worker-friendly and climate-safe economy.
California Workers speak out on Climate
VP of United Steelworkers 675, Refinery Operator at Marathon refinery for 24 years
“We urgently need a safety net for oil and gas workers, our families, our communities that rely on those tax dollars and all those who will be negatively impacted as fossil fuel use declines…”
President AFSCME 3299, Lead Gardener UC Berkeley since 1999
“The labor movement has a huge opportunity to ensure that the transition to a green economy centers racial justice and good, unionized, low-carbon-high-wage jobs that support our families and futures…”
Vice President of CWA District 9, System Technician with AT&T since 1983
“Climate change is catalyzing the biggest restructuring of our economy since WW2. Massive investments by the state and federal governments into our infrastructure means a million new jobs in California alone…”
president of United Educators of San Francisco, Middle School ELA Teacher since 2011
“Schools should be the safest places in our communities. But as a teacher, I have had to crouch on the floor with my students on smoke days because of inadequate HVAC systems…”
TREASURER OF PG&E UNIT BOARD ESC LOCAL 20, PG&E Principal Mapping Technician of Gas Operations since 2012
“I’m fighting for a worker-led transition because as union workers at California’s biggest utility company, we have a huge stake in this – from using our expertise, to ensuring a good transition for our talented workforce from our gas infrastructure to new electric systems…”
Director, UAW REGION 6
“We don’t have to compromise between good jobs and a safe climate. The UAW has fought for millions of workers to have union jobs that provide a good life for their families. I am excited to support the rise of EV manufacturing in California…”
UDW Legislative Committee member, Family Child care Provider Since 2010
“I’m asking our politicians to step up and protect California workers and our communities with strong smoke and heat standards, and clear rights for workers in disaster zones so that we can keep ourselves and the children we care for safe…”
Seiu USWW member, Customer Service Agent at LAX Since 2013
“All the planes park next to where we work. The air quality is really bad. After years of working at the airport, I got diagnosed with COPD. Airport workers are acting now to fight for strong environmental protections for our health and our community…”
CLCJ Coalition Member Unions
California Workers’ Climate Bill of Rights: State Policy Platform
Winning a worker-led transition to a just and climate-safe economy
In the midst of a rapidly changing economy and climate, we are putting forward a vision to expand union careers, build worker power, and protect workers on the job and in the communities where they live.
Master Plan for Healthy, Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Schools
We are fighting for the first ever schools master plan so that we can have safe learning and working conditions for students and school staff, meet our state’s GHG reduction targets, and advance equity and good jobs.
Workers in the New Economy
Rebuild the Golden State
Massive investments by the state and federal governments into our infrastructure means a million new jobs in California alone – for electricians, pipefitters, communication installers, carpenters, agricultural workers, public sector workers and more.
California’s public infrastructure needs an overhaul to support a transition and meet emission reduction targets. Investments include expanding universal broadband access; expansion and upgrading of public buildings, including schools and university campuses; water management; repairing leaky gas pipelines; closing orphaned oil and gas wells; organic and regenerative agriculture; farmland conservation and resources for marginalized farmers.
Clean Energy Transition
Expanding our clean energy sector is at the heart of a worker-led transition. Investments will dramatically improve energy efficiency standards in California’s buildings, automobiles and public transportation systems, and industrial production processes. Investments will also substantially expand the supply of clean renewable energy sources—including solar, wind, low-emissions bioenergy, geothermal, and small-scale hydro power.
Expand the Public Sector to Ensure Provision of Critical Services
The climate crisis is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow our public sector and expand the public services and infrastructure that all Californians rely on – water, public transportation, public education, healthcare, energy, and more. Expanding public services is the best and most cost-effective way to provide our communities with the services they need to cope with extreme weather and climate disasters, and doing so will create jobs for public sector workers, nurses, care workers and more.
Universal Healthcare & the Caring Economy
Access to quality healthcare is a right, and will become even more essential for working people and environmental justice communities as our changing climate increases the incidences of extreme weather events and related health conditions such as asthma. California must provide universal, single-payer health care and an expansion of the care sector, including home care work and childcare, to ensure the wellbeing of all residents. Expanding access to healthcare will create thousands of jobs in heavily unionized professions. Decoupling healthcare and work will also make it easier for workers to transition to new jobs and new sectors.
Reliable & Accessible Public Transportation
Ensuring reliable, safe and accessible public transportation must be a core component of California’s climate strategy. Expanding public transportation routes will increase convenience and ridership, create good jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Expanded Public Education & Job Training
A successful transition requires investing in public education from K-12 and beyond, and robust training programs for workers entering jobs in the expanding clean energy and service sectors. California’s community college system can be the training ground for the jobs of the future. By increasing offerings for academic and vocational programs, we can create thousands of new jobs for teachers to teach climate-literacy to the next generation, and to train workers for the new green industries of the future.
We can create climate-resistant schools by investing in school infrastructure: installing solar panels, updating HVAC systems, electrifying bus fleets, and creating green spaces on campuses. Climate-resistant schools will provide better working conditions for teachers, better learning conditions for students and act as resiliency centers for communities in times of crisis.