Labour, Nature and Corporate Strategy: Resolving Core Contradictions.
RC44 Labor Movements (host committee)
Fossil-fuel based economies are having a serious, potentially irreversible effect on the climate and thus on human life. Simultaneously, we experience a labour crisis, characterised by hundreds of millions of people unemployed and widespread precarious employment. So the two most fundamental crises are the environmental crisis and the labour crisis, and there are two critical contradictions to be faced.
First, many scholars and activists concerned about environmental degradation advocate zero growth, while those on the side of labour are engaged in strategies for economic growth. Between both we find a smaller group of scholars and trade unionists drawing up scenarios of “green growth”. They are caught between a rock and a hard place: the demands of workers for jobs now, not in any distant future and the relentless growth strategies of governments worldwide.
Second, unions and employees are, simultaneously, antagonists of and collaborators with capital, and deeply affected by the actions of corporations and their impacts on the climate. Yet the ways in which they can influence corporate priorities and strategies on seemingly non-industrial issues – particularly those relating to the climate crisis – are unclear.
This session therefore asks: how can labour and environmental activists resolve the growth contradiction? Second, how can labour influence the strategies of corporations on climate change issues, and what conditions facilitate such influence? In both respects, what are the opportunities for alliances, with whom and under what circumstances? Scholars from different disciplines and trade unionists will discuss possible solutions to these contradictions.
Nora RATHZEL, Umea University, Sweden, firstname.lastname@example.org,
David PEETZ, Griffith University, Australia, email@example.com
David UZZELL, University of Surrey, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for submission of abstracts is 30 September 2015.
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