Can trade unions become environmental innovators?

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Lessons can be learned from the actions of the workers and shop stewards at Lucas Aerospace in the 1970s, who fought redundancies by developing a plan for alternative production to turn swords into ploughshares – to transform Lucas Aerospace from a company producing aeronautical and military systems to a company producing socially-useful products. The Lucas Alternative Plan failed for a variety of reasons, but the idea that workers can put forward alternative proposals for sustainable development – for a just transition – are suggestive of new ways for unions to participate in combating climate change. Recent developments of trade union policies towards climate change are discussed, with possible answers offered to some of the conflicts with which unions struggle in their attempt to garner more widespread support for their ambitious environmental policies.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 8, 2010

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