We are at a crossroads. Shaping the future of work and greening our economy is the challenge of our generation. The demand for full employment and millions of new green jobs – well paid, skilled, unionised jobs, in our public and private sectors – is at the heart of my programme to put workers and our communities at the heart of a modern economy.
They bring much needed cash into our communities, help to reverse inequality and fund our public services. And they help our kids to breathe fresh air.
The Victorians realised they needed to educate and feed workers or they wouldn't have a workforce. It’s the same now: educated, skilled, healthy workers are needed if we are to lead the next jobs revolution – this time a green, digital, industrial revolution.
We’re on the brink of it and we cannot miss this moment. I am determined to make our governments deliver millions of new green jobs alongside the investment and skills required to transition our industrial heartlands. I plan to kickstart a union-wide conversation about our priorities as we shape the future of work and a new, greener, fairer economy for all.
No other union will be impacted by the need to tackle the climate crisis as much as Unite. From oil and gas to energy generation, steel and automotive plants to construction sites, our members are at the core of our economy. You move our people on land, sea and air, deliver our goods, manufacture our food, and so much more.
Unite will lead the way in the fight of our generation. I’ll install charging points at our buildings, and set out a clear programme to move our fleet over to climate- friendly vehicles, built by our members.
I want your concerns and aspirations for your jobs, your communities and the security of your families to shape our union’s strategy. Together we will build that greener, fairer economy built on full employment, better pay and conditions, employment rights, equality, education and skills alongside a better environment and future for our kids and planet.
My Workers’ Greenprint for a Million Union Jobs aims to begin this union-wide conversation. We will leave no one behind on this journey – together, we will agree and plan the fight for the future we deserve.
The 10-point greenprint
1. Investment in jobs
Massive public investment and ownership is needed to rebuild our economy, our industries, infrastructure and public services for a low-carbon, high-skilled economy to create the confidence necessary to attract billions in private sector and foreign direct investment into renewing our industrial heartlands.
We know the government can afford it – the pandemic has shown that.
Good investment in the real economy pays for itself, driving wages, people’s spending and tax revenues.
Every penny of public money spent should:
● Guarantee green job creation, apprenticeships and retraining
● Provide for long-term job security and protect pay and conditions
● Support resilient local supply chains and a make and buy local strategy
● Increase public ownership and fully fund our public services
Seven million workers must be reskilled by 2030 and a long-term crisis in skills must be addressed. Retraining opportunities and apprenticeships that provide the future skills we need must be a priority for both government and business.
Fully funded adult education provisions and new skills partnerships with local authorities will ensure community and further education is available to every Unite member.
Everyone must have access to online education and training.
Investment in full-fibre broadband to every home would not only create some 60,000 jobs in construction, but provide secure access to training and inject £60bn into the economy.
3. Industry 2030
It's time to bring our manufacturing and supply chain jobs back home. We need support and investment to produce the materials and products we need to renew our national infrastructure and supply our manufacturers here, creating the jobs and wealth necessary to fund our public services and support public sector jobs.
Building just seven electric battery factories could create up to 80,000 skilled, well-paid jobs by 2040. We negotiated the first in Nissan, now we need six more to secure over 100.000 automotive jobs.
We need hydrogen and green energy generation, public transport and materials to decarbonise millions of homes.
We must invest in the zero-carbon technology necessary to support the 100,000 steel jobs that add £2bn to our economy each year.
4. Green aerospace & aviation hub
Investment in greener aviation pays for itself. Investing £166bn into green aircraft research and manufacturing would inject £317bn into our economy.
Some 4,400 aircraft need renewing globally. Support for this sector alongside aviation is vital, as is investment to maintain our global standing and export led recovery.
We will grow, organise and campaign in every aerospace manufacturing plant and airport, combine our sectors, and make sure jobs, pay and skill levels rise with profits as the industry recovers from Covid.
5. A million green homes
Our housing crisis can be ended by building a million new, zero-carbon council homes and retrofitting millions more in our existing housing stock by 2030. By using locally produced heat and fuel pumps, insulation materials, battery storage capacity and energy generation, we will create tens of thousands of new, green jobs each year.
Every £1m spent on retrofitting homes releases £1.7m into communities and the economy, mostly as wages. This measure alone will create 7,000 jobs and add an extra £800m in output and wages to our economy and public services each year.
6. Green energy revolution
A UK green energy revolution would be the backbone of a zero-carbon economy. We need to double the number of offshore wind turbines by 2024, while investing in green hydrogen, tidal, solar and nuclear energy to meet our climate targets.
Building our wind turbines alone in the UK, it will create 27,000 jobs in construction, installation, operation and maintenance by 2030, and up to 500,000 jobs by 2054.
Greening our heavy energy use industries is critical. Carbon capture and storage in our existing North Sea assets could create 20,000 jobs by 2030 alone, 68,000 jobs by 2050, and grow the UK’s output by almost £3bn.
7. Workers’ rights
Trade unions must lead change in our workplaces. We must write a new industrial contract with governments and employers that is fit for a green, fairer economy.
We need a new Employment Act to guarantee:
● An end to ‘fire and rehire’ and ‘zero hours’ contracts
● Collective union rights and extended, sectoral collective bargaining
● Wage, short-time working and emergency income protection
● Enhanced maternity and paternity pay alongside leave and free childcare
● Day one rights for all workers, from pay and hours security to dismissal and safety protection, including a right to collectively meet with your union at work..
8. People’s Public Services
We need a healthy, safe, educated, skilled, cared for and confident workforce to build a stronger, fairer, greener economy.
All public service workers must receive the pay and conditions they deserve. We must end the pay freeze and women and BAEM workers’ pay inequality.
Our schools, NHS, care homes and our transport are not for sale. It’s time to take back our public services and fund them properly. Let’s end the chaos of privatisation in transport, bring rail back into public ownership and bring our buses and metros under local control.
9. Save our high streets
A greener, fairer economy impacts on every aspect of our lives. The provision of local services, community use centres, shops and banks to our high streets is key to a safer, greener community, as is accessible, affordable, green public transport to connect our villages, towns and cities while reducing our carbon footprint.
Rebuilding our economy and infrastructure impacts on all areas of society. It will help to reshape our town and city centres, and restore our devastated retail, hospitality, arts and culture sectors.
10. Regional equality
Our economy is the most centralised in the developed world. Communities are being broken by dangerous levels of regional inequality that must be addressed in a new green economy.
We will campaign to rebalance our economy and redistribute the common wealth we create within it. Winning the case for full employment in good, well paid, unionised jobs in every nation of our union, while empowering and resourcing our regions to organise, campaign and win the fight to secure the investment necessary.
Download the Workers’ Greenprint for a Million Jobs here
“We’re on the brink of a jobs revolution and we cannot miss this moment. I am determined to make this government deliver those jobs in a fairer, greener economy and to leave no one behind on the journey.”