Trade Unions and Environmental Transition
This PhD project has developed from Jenny Patient’s work over 3 years to engage trade unions around climate change. Making connections through the fringe programme around COP21 in Paris led to conversations with trade unions in energy-intensive industries, such as steel, glass and cement, that underpin the cities of Leeds, Hull and Sheffield. She is focused on developing knowledge that can help trade unions play their full role towards an energy transition that brings both sustainability and justice, at a time when action on climate at a city level has never been so important.
Starting in Sept 2017 Jenny’s project has developed as a partnership with the TUC Yorkshire and Humber region, where the Low Carbon Task Force is working with Local Enterprise Partnerships, employers and trade unions to build awareness and capacity for change, including training for workplace green reps, and developing collaborative approaches to low-carbon technology change.
Jenny will take a participatory action research approach, working with trade union activists in the Low Carbon Task Force, to explore key questions:
How are local trade unions contributing to a Just Transition for workers and communities in energy-intensive industries?
What barriers are they facing in the move towards a sustainable economy, and what can help to overcome those?
What can they learn from experience in other European industrial regions and sister trade unions?
Jenny is supervised by Beth Perry and Stephen Connelly.