Appeal for SUPPORT for the visit of the One Million Climate Jobs Caravan to Leigh on TUESDAY 22nd MAY
from Leigh UNITE the Union & Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils (GMATUCs)
Caravan proposes 5,000 New Local ‘Climate’ Jobs in the Wigan & Leigh area
Speaker from the national campaign, UNITE, PCS, NUT, plus others invited from Labour Party, Green Party, Remploy & Society of Friends.
Launched on Saturday at the UK & Scottish Parliament buildings in London and Edinburgh, the One Million Climate Jobs Caravan will be visiting the Wigan Borough area on Tuesday 22nd May. It will be situated on Leigh Library Square, from 10.00am until 4.00pm on the day. There will be a civic reception by local supporters on the Library Square at 10.30am.
Its visit will conclude with a Public Meeting in the evening at Abbey Street Labour Club in Leigh. The meeting starts at 7.30pm, and will address the themes of the Caravan’s tour which proposes the creation of up to 5,000 new local ‘climate’ jobs in the Wigan & Leigh areas. Speakers from a range of supporting organisations have been invited to contribute to the discussion, including from the PCS & UNITE trades unions, the Campaign Against Climate Change, Labour Party, Green Party, Society of Friends (Quakers) and Wigan factory closure threatened Remploy workers.
Leigh UNITE the Union Branch are appealing to all our members, all local trades union branches, as well as to all existing supporters of the One Million Climate Jobs Campaign and National Caravan tour in the Wigan & Leigh area to ‘pitch in’ and help out on the day, i.e. with handing out leaflets and talking to the public. Also, in encouraging people to sign both the climate jobs petition and to attend the evening meeting to find out more information about and/or get involved in the campaign.
We are also appealing for assistance with distributing leaflets to advertise the Caravan’s visit in Leigh town centre this Saturday (19th) from 11.00am in Leigh Library Square, and from 12.00 until 1.00pm on Bradshawgate close to the entrance to Leigh Market. Even if it is for only half an hour – it would greatly assist our efforts.
We are also appealing to everyone who can help with distributing info in their own area, and/or via their own networks, to get in touch with us on 07724 139278
A proposal to establish an ongoing, broad based campaign committee/group in the Wigan & Leigh area, which would continue to promote the proposals of the One Million Climate Jobs campaign, after the Caravan’s visit, and perhaps take up other related employment and environmental issues such as the expansion of fracking for shale gas, coal bed methane, and underground coal gasification, will be put to the meeting.
BACKGROUND TO CARAVAN TOUR
The Climate Jobs Caravan is a 2,000 mile campaign tour of towns and cities across Britain to promote the proposals of the One Million Climate Jobs Report. The campaign and national caravan tour is backed by the PCS, UCU and TSSA trade unions, the North West TUC, and a range of national and local campaign groups and political organisations in addition to the Society of Friends (Quakers). It also has the backing of a growing number of MPs, MSPs and members of the Welsh Assembly, from the Labour Party, SNP, Green Party & Plaid Cymru, as well as of local Councils across the country, such as Manchester’s and Bolton’s.
The Climate Jobs campaigners are calling on the Government to abandon its current policy of public sector cuts, privatisation and austerity, which they say “clearly isn’t working, has led us into a further recession, and made the lives of the majority of ordinary people worse than they were when the Government came into office.”
They say the Government should invest in the creation of a million new climate jobs, which scaled down to the Wigan Borough area would represent around 5,000 new job vacancies for local job seekers. These new jobs would be directly linked to the introduction of clean sources of renewable energy and greater energy efficiency. Also, the expansion of cheap public transport, better insulation of ALL OUR HOMES and training people in new ‘green’ skills.
This the campaigners say: “…would help put a third of those currently unemployed immediately back into work, help to address the growing threat of irreversible and catastrophic climate change, by reducing carbon emissions by 75%, as well as at the same time, help to save the ‘taxpayer’ many £billions more by doing it now, rather than at a later date or not at all. It could also, all be done at a small fraction of the cost of keeping the RBS, HBOS & other Banks afloat in 2008.”
Amongst other things, the national tour by the Caravan aims to promote a public discussion of how jobs lost in the various localities visited, can be replaced through the creation of the new industries and services that we need to ensure an environmentally sustainable future.
In the Leigh area, according to local co-ordinator of the Jobs Caravan, Leigh UNITE the Union Chair, Stephen Hall, “…this might include for example, as a major capital project, putting the town back on the national rail network, along with neighbouring towns/areas like Tyldesley, Mosley Common, Lowton & Golborne, as the major expansion of our public transport networks, and especially rail, is a key component of the One Million Climate Jobs Report, and the long term sustainability of the entire country, and not just simply a ‘local issue’. In Leigh’s case such a project would have an immediate and massive economic regenerative effect on our entire area in addition to the other proposals put forward in the One Million Climate Jobs Report.
“My union branch think people kid themselves if they think private sector growth is going to replace the huge amounts of jobs being lost in both the public and private sector in areas like Wigan & Bolton as a result of the Government’s current economic and social policies. Only by this or any other Government doing as the One Million Climate Jobs Caravan & Campaign in general are calling for, AND MORE, in our view, are we ever going to possibly generate the number of new jobs our areas needs to prevent ever more widespread unemployment, especially amongst our young people, and many more years of economic and social decline. Also, are we ever going to start to seriously address the growing threat of climate change, now clearly recognised as taking place as a result of human activity by the overwhelming majority of the World’s scientists, and which many of us believe the Government’s current near inaction over, will lead us to an even greater disaster should it remain unchanged.”
In the Bolton area the Caravan is already supported by: Bolton Council, Bolton Trades Council, Bolton’s three MPs, Bolton Socialist Club, Unison, the Green Party and Society of Friends.
Leigh UNITE the Union Branch are hopeful of similar broad backing for the Caravan’s visit to the Wigan Borough by the time of its arrival. They will be leafletting and talking to the public in Leigh town centre on Saturday 19th May in preparation for the Caravan’s visit to the town on Tuesday 22nd May.
Both town centre visits as well as the visit to Manchester on the 25th are additionally supported by the Greater Manchester Association of Trades Councils.
Manchester City Council leader Richard Leese, will be amongst those speaking at the Manchester Rally at the Friends Meeting House, 7.00pm start.
Thanking you in anticipation of your support.
Chair, Leigh UNITE the Union,
President, Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils
One Million Climate Jobs Caravan – Wigan & Bolton Area Co-ordinator
01942 886645/07724 139278