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A Collective Response to Climate Change: the Role of Trade Unions

Räthzel, N and Uzzell, D (2009) A Collective Response to Climate Change: the Role of Trade Unions In: 8th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, 2009-09-06 - 2009-09-09, Zurich.

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The emphasis by governments - in both research and policies - on arresting climate change and encouraging sustainable consumption has largely focussed on individual consumers who are seen to be responsible for the insatiable growth in demand for carbon generating consumer goods and services. In contrast to producers (e.g., individual companies to global corporations), consumers are fragmented and disorganised as a group; there is no consumer voice to counter the power of corporations that drive rather than respond to the market. Consumer associations are usually interested only in the quality, prices and variety of goods, not their sustainability. Trade union members are one collectivity that are consumers, but also part of the production process. They are highly organised, have a local, national and international presence, are integrated into the social fabric of societies and may be the only collectivity that have the resources and power to challenge corporations. This paper will report on interviews with senior trade union officials at national and international levels concerning their policies in respect of working conditions and environmental issues in the context of globalisation where corporations relocate work to the countries of the South because they can profit from lower wages, poorer working conditions and unregulated environmental degradation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Räthzel, N
Uzzell, D
Date : 7 September 2009
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID Science Publishers,
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 24 Feb 2017 17:03
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:06

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