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Environmental Labour Studies: tackling the job-environment, north-south contradictions

Rathzel, N and Uzzell, D (2011) Environmental Labour Studies: tackling the job-environment, north-south contradictions In: International Labour Process Conference, 2011-04-07 - 2011-04-09, University of Leeds.

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Environmental degradation and Climate change is rarely a subject of labour studies. Likewise, environmental studies limit themselves mostly to CSR and to changing consumption, without taking the work process and workers’ rights into account. Our research project conducts an investigation of the relationship between labour and the environment and environmental policies in a north-south perspective. The proposed paper presents first results from an investigation of the ways in which trade unions in the Global North and South are developing policies towards environmental degradation and Climate Change. The paper will focus on what we see as the two main contradictions facing trade union policies globally: 1. The way in which workers of the South and the North are set against each other as competitors for jobs through the relocation processes of Transnational Corporations, 2. The apparent contradiction between protecting jobs and protecting the environment with which trade unions are confronted when environmental measures are not accompanied by social measures. We will discuss the barriers unions face in overcoming these contradictions and analyse the policies they are developing to combine social and environmental sustainability: ‘Green Jobs’ and ‘Just Transition’. The empirical bases are 32 semi-structured interviews with unionists in international, regional, national and local trade unions from Sweden, the UK, Brazil, South Africa, and Malaysia, participant observation in several Trade Union conferences and policy documents of unions internationally and nationally.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Rathzel, N
Uzzell, D
Date : 2011
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:06

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