Belabored Podcast #172: Putting Climate Justice to Work, with Rusty Hicks

Belabored Podcast #172: Putting Climate Justice to Work, with Rusty Hicks

Capitol Hill is abuzz with the Green New Deal. But is the rest of the economy, and its workers, ready for the kind of dramatic transformation that the climate change movement is calling for?

Members of the Sunrise Movement rally for the Green New Deal outside Senator Mitch McConnell's office in February (Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Capitol Hill is abuzz with the Green New Deal—an ambitious agenda to tackle climate change, disrupt neoliberal economic policy, and decarbonize society by 2030. But is the rest of the economy, and its workers, ready for the kind of dramatic transformation that the climate change movement is calling for? We talk to Rusty Hicks of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, a group of some 800,000 workers across the region who are rallying behind a resolution supporting the Green New Deal, passed unanimously by the executive leadership board. We discuss how labor can break out of the traditional “jobs vs. the environment” paradigm and mobilize for a just transition in the workplace and across all communities.

In other news, we look at two new reports about how our jobs are getting more dangerous and less regulated, a labor-backed campaign to shield immigrants from deportation, and two uprisings in higher ed, among faculty in Philadelphia and student interns in Quebec. With recommended reading on applying the strategies of labor organizing to push for a green economy, and how we think about our free time.

News:

Michelle: Declining Federal Oversight of Workplace Safety Could Have Fatal Consequences (The Nation)

Is Gig Work a Job? Uber and Others Are Maneuvering to Shape the Answer (New York Times)

“Pay Your Interns Now” (Jacobin)

The Dream and Promise Act Could Put 2.1 Million Dreamers on Pathway to Citizenship (Center for American Progress)

Conversation:

Rusty Hicks, Secretary Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Shows the Way to a Green New Deal (LA Fed)

Labor Network for Sustainability: Labor and the Green New Deal (Labor Network for Sustainability)

Labor Unions Are Skeptical of the Green New Deal, and They Want Activists to Hear Them Out (Intercept)

The Green New Deal and the case against incremental climate policy (Vox)

Argh:

Sarah: Will Stronge, Work and free time: a new social settlement (openDemocracy)

Michelle: Jane McAlevey, Organizing to Win a Green New Deal (Jacobin)


Duggan | University of California Press Gardels