Over the last week we’ve seen the announcements of £23 billion profits from BP and £32 billion from Shell. And at the same time there’s a fresh wave of strikes announced across the public sector this month1. Make no mistake, these things are linked.
That’s why it’s so important for climate activists like us to show support on local picket lines. Whether it’s ambulance drivers, rail workers, posties, teachers or nurses, so many of the vital roles that keep our society running are being underpaid and undervalued by the government.
People are being forced to work in worsening conditions and taking a pay cut. At the same time, the government is making a deliberate political choice to not properly tax these extortionate fossil fuel profits and is even giving tax breaks on new oil and gas development. These profits could be used to pay people’s bills, to insulate houses or to give pay rises to key workers, but instead they’re lining the pockets of shareholders.
Wrap up warm, maybe take along hot drinks and biscuits and show your support for the people who keep our country running. You could even ask about local strike funds to donate to.
With millions of people in the UK living in poverty and the cost of living rising for millions more, the wave of strike action across the UK will only continue to grow. But as the government cracks down on the right to protest and the right to strike2, we have to stand together to protect our basic rights and demand better for everyone.
The reason the government is cracking down on strikes is because they work. So many of our basic rights have been won on picket lines. From the two day weekend to minimum wage. There’s so much left for us to win, but we have to do it together.
With more and more services striking together, numbers are growing. There’s even distant murmurings of a general strike – a strike of all workers in most industries! With only one general strike in UK history, it might not be very likely, but what is certain is that with more and more strike action happening across the UK and more and more of our public services on their knees than ever, there’s never been a better time to show up in support.
Remember that there is no climate justice without worker justice. Let’s stand together now for better pay, better conditions and a better climate.
I’ll see you on the picket line
Tommy and the 350 team