Climate Campaign Tipping Point? Unions Get on Board

Source: Jenny Brown, Labor Notes, July 21, 2014

A major climate change march in New York September 21 may be a tipping point for labor movement participation in global warming activism. Climate initiatives are still controversial in the labor movement. But dozens of unions in New York, jarred by memories of Superstorm Sandy, have lined up to join the People’s Climate March, planned to coincide with a United Nations summit that will draw world leaders to the city. … With 400,000 members and 85,000 retirees, 1199 is among the biggest unions to sign up so far. Others are AFSCME’s District Council 37 and the New York State Nurses Association….

…To engage members, he said, NYSNA has been holding lunch and dinner meetings at hospitals, with the goal of hitting the dozen city hospitals it represents. … People trust nurses. That and the resources their unions can deploy are two reasons they’re well positioned to help create pressure to change climate policy. National Nurses United has made climate change a signature issue, framing it as a public health responsibility. The NYSNA sessions pair information about climate change generally with testimony from members who have done relief work or can talk about the health impacts….