As covered in an earlier post on this blog, Jean recently spoke at a meeting addressing the subject of Work-Life Balance and the Greening of Work, and the particular role of trade unions on these issues. This post at the Green Party Trade Union Group blog has a lot of further details, including a full video record of Jean's speech, and her responses during the Q+A session. The press release from the GPTU follows below.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE AND THE GREENING OF WORK - THE ROLE OF TRADE UNIONS
London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert, speaks of a hopeful future at Green Party Trade Union Group public meeting.
With the world facing a "triple-crunch" -- climate change, peak oil and the credit-fuelled financial crisis - Jean Lambert, London's Green MEP, told a public meeting organised by the Green Party Trade Union group in Euston on Saturday Feb 21 that the Party was working, in consultation with unions, non-governmental organisations and experts - towards a complete model for a new economy - a complete Green new deal that was "international, intergenerational and inclusive".
Some aspects of what were needed were clear, she said. First, Britain had to make a large investment in green jobs: "There are 22 million homes in the UK that need a comprehensive package of energy efficiency. A complete retrofit of Britain's housing to Green standards would create more than half a million jobs. More jobs could be created by improved public transport."
She continued: "The whole focus of trade policy has to change to focus on production methods and the outcomes for producers, rather than just prices to consumers.
"And there has to be a recognition that we cannot rely on the private sector to delivery core public sector services. Even Peter Mandelson is talking about a post office bank. That's great, if you can still find a post office."
In moving towards a low-carbon, environmentally friendly economy, an effective framework was particularly necessary for vulnerable industries such as coal and vehicle-manufacturing, she said. Those workers needed a structured system of retraining, of subsidies to redirect production. "The rule is to make resources redundant, rather than people."
It was essential to acknowledge that many people were now suffering a deep fear and insecurity about the future, she said. "We have to give them hope that the economy and society can be managed better, that Britons can feel their life belongs to them, rather than their being tied on to a daily treadmill whose speed they can't control. People need to feel that their life is grounded in family and community, rather than a cycle of money chasing non-existent money."
Other speakers at the meeting were: Tony Kearns, CWU senior deputy general Secretary; Sian Jones, a member of the Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee Working Group; and Ann Elliot-Day, PCS communications officer.