Many members have heard of the climate strike that Greta Thunberg and Fridays for Future have challenged unions to carry out. Naturvetarna believe that progress along the path to a sustainable society must increase, but that there are tools more useful to use than strikes.
Some members want the Naturvetarna to hear the call and take their members out on strike for one day. Others have reacted in the opposite manner and do not want the union to participate in a strike for our climate.
We share the Fridays for Future basic view that more must be done and that progress along the path to a sustainable society must increase. Everyone bears responsibility, from reducing food waste to travelling in a more climate-smart manner. Companies must do more and solutions could be found in many of the industries in which Naturvetarna members work.
More powerful tool
Scientific knowledge, competence and leadership will be absolutely decisive to our success. We believe that there are more powerful tools to use in order to fulfil the climate and other sustainability goals in Agenda 2030 than striking.
Like Saco, we believe that strikes should not be used for political pressure, only in conflicts between the social partners. In addition, a strike during the current contract period would be considered a wildcat strike which is not permitted. It would put members in a difficult situation and they would risk losing their jobs or being subjected to other legal action by their employers.
Naturvetarna have therefore concluded that the union will not support the climate strike.
Facts and knowledge
We would prefer to see the members of Naturvetarna developing new knowledge and achieving the sustainability goals in society. Equally important is forcing politicians to listen to researchers and make decisions that are based on facts and knowledge, and not on likes or feelings. Naturvetarna have submitted a comment on Agenda 2030 to government in which we point to the necessity of skills supply if Sweden is to fulfil its share of the global sustainability goals.
Naturvetarna are particularly suited to moving sustainability issues forward. Many members also successfully do so in their professional lives working for both private and public employers.
Here are some proposals on specific measures for your workplace. In order to achieve results, one recommendation is to work together, preferably with other local union associations to attempt to influence operations in a sustainable direction, in accordance with the goals of Agenda 2030. It is important for Naturvetarna to support its members around the country in order to stimulate a discussion on the global sustainability goals.
Five sustainability tips at work
- Participate in and move the content of the company’s plan of operations in a sustainable direction. Start from the goals stated in Agenda 2030 and let them permeate activities. This includes everything from climate impact to biodiversity and circular economics.
- Choose local produce and take into account a product life-cycle analysis when purchasing. Introduce a policy concerning events of various kinds. Naturvetarna ensure that they choose organic and locally-produced foods.
- Organise operations so that travel can be minimised. This includes creating the preconditions for digital meetings.
- Adopt a travel policy that clearly states what is to happen. The focus is to be on green travel with as few greenhouse gas emissions as possible. Let yourself be inspired by others. For example, at the Swedish Public Health Agency, the Saco-S association has entered into an agreement with the employer that it is economically viable for the individual to choose train instead of air travel for business trips.
- Find out what you can do. Everything counts. Read more here about what you can do and the global sustainability goals.