September 17, 2014

The forecast: unions join thousands taking on climate change

Author: Liza Frenette
Source: NYSUT Communications
People's Climate March

This Sunday, the weather report matters in a very big way:  The People's Climate March is being held in New York City, beginning at 11:30 a.m., to demand action on climate change. Unionists from AFT, NYSUT, UUP and PSC will be among the marchers, after meeting at 10 a.m. for a labor rally with unions from New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. They will join the march as a labor contingent.

"The People's Climate March is labor's Climate March," proclaims the union flier circulating across the country. "A healthy planet equals good jobs." The economic crisis and the climate intersect in many vital areas.

The date for the march was chosen because this month, world leaders are in New York City for what is being called a landmark United Nations summit on the climate crisis. People's Climate reports that UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon will be urging governments to get on board with a global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.

Building action in addition to the march, solidarity events will also be held around the world.

The mission statement for the Sept. 23 Climate Summit is spelled out by the United Nations. Leaders are being asked to bring "Bold announcements and actions…that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.

The UN proclaims that  "Climate change is happening now and is having very real consequences on people's lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow."

To participate as a unionist, go to peoplesclimate.org/organizedlabor or follow on Twitter at  #climatemarch #1U.

The labor rally at the People's Climate March will meet at Broadway and 59th Street, near Columbus Circle, at 10 a.m.

To sign up for the march itself, go to peoplesclimate.org/march. There is also a tab on the website to sign up for transportation on the buses being sent into the city.

United University Professions President Fred Kowal and Professional Staff Congress President Barbara Bowen will be motivating the crowd from the labor stage on Sunday. UUP is sending a bus from Long Island to the rally for its many members in that area. For more information, contact elandy@uupmail.org or call UUP at 800-342-4206. 

"PSC faculty, staff and students will be there in force," the PSC has pledged. Sign up on their site at www.psc-cuny.org/calendar/peoples-climate-march.

At the labor rally, AFT staff will be giving out T-shirts and rally signs at 56th and Broadway beginning 8 a.m. Sunday.