How to vote for a strike at my work?
You are convinced of the pertinence of going on a strike for climate in the fall of 2022, but how to organize such a strike at your workplace?
Familiarize yourself with the mobilization material of Workers for Climate Justice (WCJ). In order to best promote the WCJ’s initiative, you should know the objectives and demands of the movement, what will be presented to the members, the nature of the support being sought, the current state of the mobilizations, etc.
Attend the General Assembly of your union and propose a new agenda item; “Invite Workers for Climate Justice to present at the next GA.” If it is impossible to get in touch with your executive committee or if you have not seen any clear willingness on their part to advance the cause, you can always attend the GA of your union (only the members can participate). As a member, you can receive a notice of the GAs, generally by email. When the agenda item “adoption of the agenda” is raised at the beginning of the meeting, you can demand that this item be added to the agenda. You should justify your proposal by presenting the WCJ’s initiative and the reasons that the members should support it. At worst, your proposal can provoke discussions, or even a debate around the climate mobilizations, which would already be a progress. As it is nothing more than a presentation that does not involve any commitment, your proposal has a strong chance of success. Taking such an initiative demands some boldness for those organizing in the milieus more or less hostile to our demands; but more than ever, we need the courage to live up to the challenge of the ecological emergency.
Follow up with the union and the WCJ representatives. From the first contact to the strike vote, the process will generally take many months and multiple steps must be taken. Therefore, it is important to follow up with the members and/or the executive to see how it is progressing. Do not hesitate to have a WCJ representative in the multiple GAs, if necessary.
Do not forget that simply discussing the initiative with the unions is already an important progress, since it enables us to publicize the magnitude of the climate emergency and the state of the mobilization, spark discussions and awareness-raising among the members, and face them, as actors in a civil society, up to the moral dilemma between the status quo – responsible for the self-destruction in process – and the resistance. Together, let us loudly and proudly carry the message that there is no work on a dead planet!
Meet with your union representatives personally. For many of those who have little to no union experience, it can be intimidating to go to the meeting with union representatives directly. Know that they are generally open and sympathetic to this common cause; you may be surprised by a favourable reception. It is, without doubt, the best way to advance the cause.
Organize a presentation of the movement the Earth on strike (planète en grève). You can contact Workers for Climate Justice (email@example.com) ) to invite a presenter to your union. Mention the name of the union, the date, time and location of the presentation (provide contact information of the union, if necessary). If you plan to join a WCJ presenter during the presentation, you should prepare in advance. If you are not comfortable with the idea of presenting at a GA, two presenters from WCJ, ideally with parity, would be happy to present the call for support and response to questions from the members.
Propose at the GA to support the WCJ. If you are a member of the union, it is possible for you to submit the WCJ proposals yourself, after the presentation or at a later GA. If you are unsure if it would pass, you can submit similar proposals with a higher chance of success, better reflecting the situations in your professional, institutional and union milieu. The submitted proposals may be amended by the members, and if adopted, will reflect the general will of the assembly. Examples of strike resolutions
If you can count on collaboration with the executive, it could be useful to inform them beforehand of the suggested proposals and the current state of mobilization (the proposals adopted by other unions, for example). The proposals can also be discussed before the GA, and the active members will be already prepared to follow up on the presentation.
Considering the non-negligible legal consequences of a day of social strike, WCJ recommends unions to seek official commitment on the part of the employer to not file a complaint, before proceeding to a strike vote. In this regard, we do not support the idea of an institutionalized day of leave inscribed in the official calendar – such as a pedagogy day in the educational institutions – since it distorts the initiative of the Earth Strike International, whose objective is the creation of a worldwide movement for social strike for climate. That being said, it is ultimately up to the unions to give a direction to the movement by independently adopting the proposals they would like to adopt.