India: Unions vow to achieve climate justice and continue fight for migrants’ rights

More than 70 trade union leaders from across India affiliated to BWI gathered From 26 to 27 July for the 30th meeting of the BWI’s Indian Affiliates Council (IAC) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Standing behind the BWI Global Campaign “Heat-Up Workers’ Rights, Not the Planet!”, Indian affiliates committed to mobilise solidarity and coordinate actions around issues of climate change and international migration. They also agreed to take concrete actions to demand governments to prioritise workers’ health and safety in the global climate emergency, build alliances and continue developing capacities to open spaces for trade union involvement in industry decarbonizing discourses and processes, and to negotiate a just climate transition for workers and communities.

Reflecting on the climate-migration nexus, the IAC discussed the deep connection between the climate crisis and the struggle for migrant rights. As workers are forcibly displaced by extreme climate events and subjected to irregular, sudden and unsafe journeys, there is the real danger of workers falling to a new downward spiral of exploitation, debt bondage and abuse.

Prior to the meeting, the National Women Committee held important debates on issues of climate change affecting the working conditions, environment and livelihoods of women workers. Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Construction and Real Estate Industry Coalition (CRIC) and the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) coinciding with the meeting.