Monday, 11 October 2010

Million Green Jobs Public Meeting

The Million Green Jobs Public Meeting took place today at Leeds Civic Hall at 19:00.
Left to Right: Mark Wilson (FBU West Yorkshire Region), Chair Gilly Margrave (Leeds Trades Union Council), Martin Empson (Campaign against Climate Change)
Martin Empson spoke first at the meeting after the introduction by the chair Gilly Margrave about the need for a combined movement of trade unionists and environmentalists to demand investment by the government in green jobs.

Martin argued that their was a desperate need for investment in energy efficient public transport, renewable energy, recycling and the insulation of public buildings.

Martin stated that the answer to the argument that the UK could not afford to invest in green jobs was to say that we could not afford not to.

Mark Wilson then spoke about the very real affect that climate change was having now and the fact that the Fire Brigades Union was taking climate change seriously because it had already had a serious effect on his members work.

Mark stated that during the recent floods his members had been asked to work without suitable protective suits and that the government was not prepared to invest in the proper equipment or staff the Fire and Rescue service adequately.

Mark warned that extreme weather in the UK was likely to increase and that the government should ensure that the fire and rescue service was adequately staffed and resourced to deal with its consequences.

Mark stated that although the Fire and Rescue service is called upon to deal with the effects of flooding it is not resourced by the government to deal with flood problems because the Fire and Rescue service is not legally obliged to deal with flood disasters.

Mark stated the FBU are now campaigning for the law to be changed and for the Fire and Rescue service to be resourced to deal with all environmental disasters.

Mark concluded by stating that fire and rescue jobs are green jobs and therefore called on all trade unionists to show solidarity for the FBU and support them in their campaigns.

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