22 October 2022
WORKERS SHOULD NOT BEAR FINANCIAL COST OF CLIMATE DISASTERS: UNITED WORKERS UNION
As flooding continues to threaten communities in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales, the Union that represents workers in more than 40 industries including early childhood education, aged care, logistics, dairy, manufacturing, farms, education and health says more must be done to support workers that cannot work because of extreme weather and climate disasters.
United Workers Union (UWU) is one of the largest private and public sector unions in Australia. The Union established a climate disaster fund three years ago, amidst the disastrous bushfire season of 2019-2020.
Since that time, workers from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia have accessed the Union’s fund. More than $188,000 in financial support has been distributed to members impacted by climate disasters in 2022 alone, before including those being processed right now.
Comments attributable to UWU Executive Director and Climate Action spokesperson Godfrey Moase:
“In the space of only three years, UWU members have faced round after round of major disasters including bushfires and floods.
“UWU Members repeatedly lose income when these disasters hit. We have members who have lost everything, who are still sleeping on the floor of relative’s homes months after flooding events. These people are going through enough and shouldn’t be left without income when climate disasters hit.
“UWU will continue to do what we can to support members and organise for improved health and safety measures that are related to climate change and extreme weather.
“But employers and governments need to do more, because workers cannot be left to bear the financial cost of not being able to work when communities are hit by disaster. Workers urgently need access to special paid leave when disaster hits.
“The sad truth of the matter is that we will see more disasters in the future as the impacts of climate change increase.
“This is a collective issue for all of us, individual workers should not have to foot the bill because they lose pay due to extreme weather and major disasters.”
Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]