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Unions prepare for COP27

5 November, 2022This week IndustriALL held three webinars in preparation for COP27 in Egypt next week. The webinars focused on union action around Just Transition throughout supply chains and in the mobility sector.

IndustriALL has developed a series of building blocks to fight inequality, and a Just Transition is one of them. The purpose of the webinars this week is to share IndustriALL’s position on Just Transition and ensure that demands are clear ahead of COP27. 

“COP27 will focus on finance and implementation, we have to make sure that our workers’ voices are reflected in the Just Transition processes,”

said Kan Matsuzaki, IndustriALL assistant general secretary.

The first webinar focused on union demands at COP and the work around the transition, such as the initiative launched by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) , LO Norway and IndustriALL on Just Transition in the energy sector.

Bert De Wel, ITUC policy officer, explained that Just transition is about decent work and quality jobs.

“It is based on social dialogue between workers and their unions, employers, and governments. A plan for Just Transition provides and guarantees better and decent jobs, social protection, more training opportunities, and greater job security for all workers affected by global warming and climate change policies.” 

Link to first webinar:  Just Transition - COP27 and our demands

The second webinar focused on the fight for Just Transition throughout supply chains and in regions.

“What happens in supply chains globally affects all IndustriALL’s unions and workers and is important in the whole scheme of Just Transition,”

said Kemal Ozkan IndustriALL assistant general secretary. 

Today's exploitative business model is unsustainable. Voluntary corporate social responsibility commitments have failed to address abuse and violations, as we see respect for workers' rights in the supply chain decline.

IndustriALL mining director, Glen Mpufane, explained that there is a need for increased supply chain responsibility for companies and governments with accountability, traceability and transparency.

“The green economy fuels new metals and an energy super cycle, where battery production will be one of the fastest growing industrial activities in the years to come. The extraction of raw materials needed like cobalt, lithium, copper and nickel, is often associated with gross human and workers' violations and unacceptable environmental consequences.”

Global unions are calling for a gender transformative and inclusive Just Transition, that will tackle the root causes of inequality. The transition must include decent work for all, formalization of informal work, universal access to social protection and equal pay for equal value.

Link to second webinar: Fight for Just Transition throughout supply chain and in the regions

The last webinar was on Just Transition in the mobility sector – developing cross sector cooperation. The focus was on maritime sectors. "We need to build solidarity among workers and make a plan for a Just Transition,"

says Kan Matsuak,i IndustriALL assistant general secretary.

The requirement to decarbonize shipping by 50 per cent by 2050 will impact the maritime sector, and working together across sectors to ensure just transition for workers is imperative. David Heindel from ITF global union provided an overview on what sustainable shipping is and what is needed for a just transition. “We need strong actions on climate change,” said David.

IndustriALL’s director of shipbuilding and shipbreaking, Walton Pantland, focused on the trends in the sector and what this will mean for workers.

“Shipbreaking is an essential part of the circular economy – but it is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. With the Hong Kong Convention and strong unions in the yards, we can transform the industry and create high quality, unionized recycling jobs,” 

said Walton.

Link to third webinar: Just Transition in mobility sector – developing cross sector cooperation