Green Left offers its support and solidarity to the BAE workers facing redundancy. We believe that everyone has the right to work in secure and rewarding employment and we actively campaign with others in the struggle to make this a reality.
However, we do not mourn the loss of jobs in the defence industry . Rather than producing weapons of war workers at BAE should be employed in the war against Climate Change. We support the policy of a Just Transition to a greener economy where workers wages are protected as they make their transition into new areas of industry - even if this covers a period of unemployment or retraining. Just Transition schemes have been shown to be cost effective and also prevent the destructive wider effects to families and within our communities.
The Green Party, at its recent conference, unanimously expressed support for the One Million Climate Jobs Campaign. The campaign booklet, which we recommend everyone to read, and which is available here "http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/node/14" sets out clearly and coherently how one million climate jobs could be planned and paid for as part of the UK’s contribution to dealing with the international climate change emergency. Employment would be secure and sustainable, in the transformation of the transport, power generation and housing stock. The initiative would dramatically reduce carbon emissions and dramatically increase employment.
We have no doubt that the skilled workforce at BAE would be valuable in various roles throughout the new and necessary green industries , as could members of the armed forces who are also facing redundancy.
Workers for the World Unite !