The late Tony Mazzocchi of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers (now part of the Steelworkers) coined the term: “a just transition” away from fossil fuels wouldn’t pit workers against the planet. Those displaced should be able to count on decent new green jobs and retraining.
“There’s a Superfund for dirt,” Mazzocchi used to say. “There ought to be one for workers.”
Just Transition for labor means: not losing money across industries as wide-ranging as health insurance workers to oil field workers, and requires offering new forms of training. It’s balancing the “whats on it for me?” and protecting jobs, with opportunities to provide the greatest good for the greatest # of people, (plants, animals, landscapes and waterways).
Mazzochi stated that labor must be compensated for jobs lost for environmental reasons.
How is that going? We in the US can’t agree or decide together that there are environmental reasons, or standards that are problematic enough to merit a just transition.
In 2020, Just Transition is focused on clean energy, and described in the article below. Just transition is defined as “a framework to address the livelihoods and needs of the workers and communities most impacted by the switch to renewable energy.”
“We want [a plan to] mobilize the economy in a way that transitions us off of fossil fuels in 11 years, but also protects every single worker [and] their ability to have a job and healthcare.” —Nicole Karsch, Sunrise Movement Organizer
Colorado passed a groundbreaking just transition law in 2019 that guarantees benefits and grants for former coal workers and coal-dependent communities.