Friday starts a week of actions, strikes and other mobilizations to demand from our governments ambitious targets and concrete measures to address climate change. EPSU is calling for support for this movement to send a clear message to the UN summit on 23 September. As many young people say – listen to the scientists and take the urgent measures needed to secure a future on our planet for us. Many young people know this means fundamental change to current economic policies if we want to end the exploitation of our environment and of both young and older workers. It means putting People and Our Planet over Profits. And that is where a big part of the problem lies. Vested interests will fight to keep what they have. These are the industries that pollute and contribute to global warming and those economic activities that aim to secure profits for a few. It means a long battle. EPSU stresses that public services, public infrastructure and public companies are part of the answer. They do not focus on profit maximization. Workers in these services and companies take pride in ensuring people’s needs are met and that people can enjoy their human rights.
That is one of the reasons why we joined the protests of energy workers in French company EDF on 19 September. The state as major stakeholder wants to dismantle the company. We share the concerns that this will impact on the public service mission of this company. We joined the protest at the office of the French representation in Brussels and the head office of EDF’s Belgian subsidiary, Luminus, to express our solidarity.
EPSU will also take these messages to the new European Commission. The Commissioners are now known and public hearings in the European Parliament start at the end of September and in early October. The new Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, promises a Green deal and an action plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and so we expect a lot. The Commission and our governments in the EU and beyond have the tools to effect change for the benefit of working people, for our communities, for our planet. Time and again working people have shown that they do not accept the dismantling of public services nor increasing economic and social inequalities. We need action for Another Europe, Another World. It is possible. Success this week.