Working-class environmentalism in the UK: organising for sustainability beyond the workplace

Bell, K. (2021) Working-class environmentalism in the UK: organising for sustainability beyond the workplace. In: Räthzel, N., Stevis, D. and Uzzell, D. (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Labour Studies. Palgrave Macmillan: Cham, pp. 441-463. ISBN 9783030719081 (doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-71909-8_19)

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The labour movement has increasingly articulated the necessity to engage workers in the transition to sustainability (e.g. Labor4sustainability, Mission Statement of the Labor Network for Sustainability, 2017). Workplace mobilisation is vitally important, but to achieve a more effective and equitably, efforts will also need to be made to marshal working-class communities beyond the workplace. This chapter, therefore, considers how trade unions can join forces with those not currently engaged with mainstream labour unionism. Drawing on examples of community environmentalism and the author’s personal experience as a community development worker, the chapter outlines actual and potential actions of joint solidarity, and the barriers that will need to be overcome. In particular, it discusses ‘joint health and safety campaigns’, ‘community unionism’ and ‘socially useful production’ as examples of actual and potential environmental organising successes within and beyond the workplace.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bell, Dr Karen
Authors: Bell, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
Published Online:31 August 2021

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