An Open Letter from Environmental & Climate Justice Organizations on May Day

An Open Letter from Environmental & Climate Justice Organizations on May Day

Worker power, immigrant rights, and racial justice must be at the heart of environmental and climate movements

As environmental and climate justice organizations, we declare our support for protests planned for International Workers Day (“May Day”), May 1st, 2017 and for workers who choose to participate by honoring the general strike.

International Workers’ Day was first established to commemorate the deaths of workers fighting for the 8-hour work day in Chicago in 1886. It has long been a day to uplift the struggles, honor the sacrifices, and celebrate the triumphs of working people across the world. The day has taken special significance in the U.S. since May 1st, 2006 when 1.5 million immigrants and their allies took to the streets to protest racist immigration policies.

Today, workers face unprecedented attacks on wages, benefits, workplace safety, and the right to organize free from fear and retaliation. But we know that we are all stronger when workers in our communities have safe, fair, and dignified employment with which they can support their families without fear of deportation or violence.

The effects of our fossil fuel economy fall first and worst on working class communities, communities of color, immigrants, and indigenous peoples who have not only contributed the least to climate disruption, but have the least resources to shoulder the burden of a transition to a new, climate-friendly economy. It is these frontline communities who are also at the forefront of change and whose solutions and leadership we most need.

As organizations working to transition our economy away from profit-seeking resource extraction toward ecological resilience and economic democracy, we know that worker power has to be at the heart of that transition.

We urgently need the wisdom and skills of millions of workers to transform our food, water, waste, transit, and energy systems in order to live within the finite resources of this planet that we call home. But the Trump agenda only promises jobs building more prison cells, border walls, bombs, and oil pipelines. Workers deserve not only fair wages, but work that makes our ecosystems and communities more resilient, not destroys them.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. No significant social change in this country has come without tremendous risk and sacrifice by ordinary people – from workers who walk off the job to water protectors facing down water cannons and attack dogs.

As environmental and climate justice organizations, we support workers who choose to walk off their jobs on May 1st because we know that the fight to protect land, water, air and soil is inseparable from the fight to protect the life and dignity of workers, migrants, and communities of color.

To workers participating in protests on May 1st, we say: “Thank you. You deserve better. And we’ve got your back.”

To that end, we join with unions and worker-led organizations throughout the country in asking that there be NO RETALIATION against any worker – union or non union – who exercises their rights by taking time off from work on May 1. Further, should workers face retaliation, we pledge our strong support for efforts to defend those workers.

To sign your organization onto letter and to specify what type of support you can pledge, click here.

 

AUTHORED BY

Climate Workers and Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project

 

SIGNED BY

350.org

350 Bay Area

350 Mass for a Better Future

350 Santa Barbara

Amazon Watch

AMP Creeks Council

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Azul

Bay Area Justice Funders Network

Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice

Bay Area System Change Not Climate Change

Beyond Extreme Energy

Blue Heart

California Environmental Justice Alliance

Center for Economic Democracy

Center for Environmental Health

Center for Popular Democracy

Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment

Climate Justice Alliance

Climate Justice Project

Climate Workers

CODEPINK

CoFED

Corporate Accountability International

Diablo Rising Tide

Dragonfly Climate Collective

Filipino / American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES)

Food Empowerment Project

Food First

Friends of Broward Detainees

Friends of the Earth

Fund for Democratic Communities

GAIA: Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

Global Climate Convergence

Global Environmental Justice Project

Grassroots Global Justice

Greenbelt Climate Action Network

Greenbelt (MD) Racial Equity Alliance

Greenpeace

Groundswell Fund

Heartwood

Industrial Workers of the World

Labor Network for Sustainability

Liberty Tree Foundation

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Local Clean Energy Alliance

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE)

Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project

Movement Strategy Center

NAACP Portland Branch

National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

New Economy Coalition

New Jim Crow Movement – Vallejo

No Coal in Oakland

North American Climate,Conservation and Environment

North Bay Organizing Project

Oakland Climate Action Coalition

Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

Oil Change International

People’s Action

People’s Climate Movement – Bay Area

PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights)

Post Carbon Institute

Power Shift Network

Pesticide Action Network North America

Planting Justice

Popular Resistance

Progressive Congress Action Fund

Railroad Workers United

Raizes Collective

Rainforest Action Network

Real Pickles

Right to the City Boston

Rising Tide North America

Rising Tide Sacramento

Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment

Sierra Club

Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter

Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter

Sierra Club San Gorgonio Chapter

Sonoma County Conservation Action

Southern IL Against Fracturing Our Environment

Students for a Just & Stable Future

Sunflower Alliance

SustainUS

The LEAP

Urban Habitat

U.S. Department of of Arts and Culture

U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives

U.S. Human Rights Network

We Are Cove Point

 

For more information, contact Climate Workers at brooke at climateworkers dot org.

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