A side event at the ICCM4 presented the Trade Unions campaign, their experiences around SAICM implementation and workers priorities towards 2020. It also linked to the stories shared in the Special Rapporteur Report.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 20th 2015.
Trade unions in Argentina discussed and arrived at 14 joint commitments regarding the fight against climate change. Argentine unions are deeply committed to a sustainable future which includes reducing emissions, improving efficiency and guaranteeing the protection of workers. Sustainlabour was in attendance to contribute and participate in the discussion.
On August 27 in Lima Peru the three major unions CATP, CUT and CGTP met to agree on a message for climate action and reducing emissions. On emissions reductions, efficiency improvements and protection of workers, Peruvian trade union organizations show their strong commitment towards a sustainable future.
Sustainlabour was founded to help the international trade union movement build sustainable development proposals and, especially, to defend the environment. Understanding the need for environmental sustainability and its consequences for workers and their communities is one of the major challenges for the trade union movement. The work carried out by Sustainlabour marked a turning point on the one hand in trade union positions around the issue and, on the other, in many other actors' understanding, such as NGOs, environmental activists and governments, of the need to align labour and environmental objectives.
Sustainlabour represented a space where unions could talk over policies focused on improving social-working conditions and the environment, where experiences and best practices could be shared, and where unions could learn from each other and agree on global proposals.
During its time, Sustainlabour witnessed the creation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and it worked with them so that environmental issues were included in their proposals.
Sustainlabour organised the first international meeting of trade unions on environmental challenges. The First Trade Union Assembly on Labour and the Environment in the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) headquarters. In this meeting, and for the first time, unions supported the Kyoto Protocol.
In partnership with the BlueGreen Alliance (an alliance that unites the largest union and environmental organizations), the USW launched a campaign to Put Breast Cancer Out of Work. Through this initiative they aim to prevent breast cancer and other chronic diseases by promoting safer alternatives to the current use of dangerous chemicals.