We’re advocating for a sector-wide Workers’ Assembly to empower workers to develop an independent vision for the future of aviation.
This process will enable aviation workers to navigate a secure future for their careers, in line with current climate science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC), have all recommended policies which encourage behaviour change and limit air traffic growth. However, the industry is ignoring this and is planning to more than double global air traffic by 2040. This could be leading us towards a major industry crash.
Business leaders are incentivised to deliver short-term results on time-scales at maximum of a few years, rather than ensure long-term stability. On the other hand, most workers will hope to have a safe and secure job that continues for decades. When it comes to pay, or employment terms & conditions, we don’t take the positions of our business leaders at face value. It’s our job within Trade Unions to critically evaluate their plans and fight the corner of workers. The same applies to sustainability strategies.
If scientific bodies are calling for significant change in the transport sector, then workers need to be informed and front-and-centre of any process that transforms aviation – as we will be living, and working, through it.
Any industry transformation needs workers as its agents for change. It needs their expertise, their skills and their democratic engagement. Most importantly, if we are driving for change ourselves, then the transition to a low-carbon economy can be designed by us, rather than something that is done to us. It can benefit us, rather than provide another opportunity for employers to weaken worker-rights.
Join us, in calling for an Aviation Workers’ Assembly
How it works:
The idea of Workers’ Assemblies follows from the concept of Citizens’ Assemblies which are a form of deliberative democracy: a process where citizens can engage in open, respectful and informed discussion and debate with their peers on a given issue. For example, the process was used in Ireland to deliberate on the previously divisive issue of abortion. A UK-wide citizens’ assembly on climate change has also been used to set out a path for how the UK can reach its legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050.
participants receive a combination of presentations from experts on the topic to cover the breadth of opinion on the issue being addressed, with time for Q&As.
participants are encouraged to explore their own opinions on what they have heard and develop a wider understanding of the opinions of others. Experts will usually participate in this phase to provide additional information and clarification.
participants come to some conclusions on what they have learnt through the assembly process. Consensus is important; thus, alongside agreed positions, individual voting can be used to collect the views of all participants. This ensures that minority voices are heard. Recommendations could then be presented as motions for trade union policy and demands towards industry leaders.
The process would be run completely independently, with a sortition process democratically selecting a group of participants representative of worker demographics across the sector. It would be supported by a team of impartial facilitators who organise the event, select specialist speakers, guide participants and ensure that everyone is heard and comfortable contributing. Through this process, workers can develop a deep understanding of the problem, the full-range of potential solutions and produce informed and well-considered recommendations for the future of the industry.
“A ‘Just Transition’ for workers must be at the heart of our approach. This means workers impacted must be directly involved in leading the change to a low carbon economy” – Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham
Contact us to discuss how your Trade Union can support an Aviation Workers’ Assembly!