As IU Convention Nears, Librarians Urge Climate Action

The Librarians' Guild, AFSCME Local 2626, has submitted a resolution for consideration by AFSCME delegates at the upcoming International Union Convention in Boston, starting July 16. Urging delegates' strong vote of support, Local President Henry Gambill believes it is time for the biggest public employee union in the United States to take on an issue that is potentially the biggest public sector job killer of the near future: Climate change. 

The resolution as drafted for consideration on the convention floor follows:

Climate Change: The Real Job Killer? 

Transitioning to Sustainable Jobs and a Sustainable Future

Whereas, climate change is perhaps as much an economic issue as it is an environmental issue, and represents a dagger pointed at the heart of AFSCME because our very existence relies on the ability to negotiate good contracts tied to solvent, stable government budgets; and

Whereas, local state and federal budgets are already being adversely affected by extreme weather events tied to climate change manifestations – such as ever-larger and more powerful storms, epic droughts and year-round fire “seasons,” rising sea levels and unprecedented floods; and

Whereas, climate change chaos is poised to become perhaps the biggest job killer of all for working people, yet remains largely unrecognized as such; and

Whereas, virtually every climate change scientist agrees that further emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming, increasing the likelihood of additional pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems; and

Whereas, the corresponding costs to local, state and federal budgets are immense and will only increase as environmental devastation accelerates; and

Whereas, the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS) is a growing national organization based in the labor movement, which seeks to advance a just, pragmatic transition from an economy and climate in deep crisis to one that has a sustainable future; and

Whereas, LNS honors those workers who build fossil fuel infrastructure, and those who work in the fossil fuel chain, and will fight for a just transition for those workers as fossil fuel jobs disappear and our economy changes; moreover, as we take on the massive job of adapting to the warming world, we will fight for Project Labor Agreements for the building trades unions whose members will need to do that critical work far into the future;

Therefore, be it resolved: AFSCME pledges to support educational efforts about the threats of climate change and its associated economic costs so that we may become part of the solution; and be it further resolved: AFSCME shall embrace LNS as a key partner in protecting workers in a just transition to sustainable jobs in a sustainable future; and be it finally resolved: AFSCME will work with LNS to conduct a study on the impact of climate change on public budgets.

For more information about Local 2626, visit: https://www.librariansguildla.org.