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Statement attributable to Jo Schofield, National President of the United Workers Union:

United Workers Union stands in solidarity with the students fighting for action on the climate crisis.

Climate justice is an issue for our union because it is about equality. Fighting for equality is why trade unions exist – and why we have existed for a hundred years.

We are seeing a world – and a country – that has become more unequal. Corporate greed has led to the plundering of our resources in the interests of profit, not planet or people.

In Australia, the Federal Government has chosen to support tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations over the injection of funds to transform our economy and create good, sustainable jobs.

Corporate greed has led to the abuse of human rights around the globe, and an attack on trade unions and workers’ rights to organise.

At a time when the Australian Government should be leading, the climate deniers have instead pitted the needs of workers and the needs of the planet as two diametrically opposed extremes.

This is a false division – one which has been used to exploit working class and regional communities. The federal government has delivered only fear and uncertainty.  This is no accident.

But every day union members take up the fight against corporate power.

United Workers Union members working in oil refineries are leading the charge for a Government-backed transition to renewable hydrogen. They are campaigning for quality jobs in renewable energy and for current energy workers to be transitioned into those jobs.

A just transition, one that recognises we will only succeed in responding to climate change if we find a way forward that is fair to everyone.

A just transition is not about welfare or aid. It’s about inclusion and voice.