An open letter of solidarity from the climate justice movement with striking workers

We are writing as members of the climate justice movement to stand in solidarity with striking workers.

We ask the House of Lords not to allow the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill to pass.

We are part of climate justice groups and organisations united in our commitment to ending oppression in all its forms, and we stand in solidarity with current and future workers who are on strike for better pay and working conditions in the UK right now.

MPs recently passed the bill in the House of Commons by 315 votes to 246. Under the bill, some employees, including public services workers, would be required to work during industrial action in order to enforce minimum service levels, and there would be no automatic protection from unfair dismissal for an employee who is told to work through a notice but chooses to strike. If a strike is not conducted in accordance with the new rules, employers would also be able to sue unions for losses. The legislation is thought to affect one in five workers. As a result of enforcing minimum service levels, it would mean some workers in industries like health, education, fire service, transport, border force and nuclear, would never be able to withdraw their labour, directly impacting their human rights.

The right to fair pay and collective action are human rights as a result of numerous binding international treaties, such as the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) convention on the right to organise and bargain collectively of 1948; the Council of Europe's social charter of 1961 and the UN's international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights of 1966. The right to strike is one of the backbones of democracy and freedom, and the passing of this bill directly undermines this and leads the UK down an alarming undemocratic route.

Both Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister, and Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, have repeatedly claimed that the International Labour Organisation supported the bill, when we have seen Gilbert Houngbo, the director general of the ILO, state instead that he is “very worried that workers may have to accept situations so they don’t get themselves out of a job.”

Public service unions already ensure significant planning goes into strike organising which are subject to important safeguards, such as levels being negotiated between unions, employers and public authorities, and in cases where an agreement cannot be reached, they are also subject to third-party (preferably judicial) arbitration. Similarly, ‘life and limb’ cover already exists, which exempts certain types of workers from strikes if it could cause danger to life - which was recently adhered to during this month’s ambulance strikes.

50 leading human rights organisations, including Liberty, Human Rights Watch and the Trades Union Congress, have claimed the Government had provided “no evidence” to prove the bill was necessary. These 50 organisations also said that the bill had the “potential to cause significant damage to fair and effective industrial relations in this country by making it harder to resolve disputes” and that introducing a minimum service level could actually lead to an “increased frequency of strikes.”

Up to half a million people participated in a coordinated strike on February 1st 2023, involving teachers, civil servants, border force staff and train drivers - the single biggest day of UK industrial action for more than a decade. It is clear that the British public are supportive of the mass collective action. Azadi Barbagallo Beuret, a Year 9 pupil, wrote in The Guardian: “Strikes, high prices, the climate crisis – they are all linked, and if people just realised that instead of treating things in little pockets we’d be closer to solving the issues we face.”  

The movement to protect the right to strike and the climate justice movement are linked for a number of reasons - not least because the enormous profits being made by fossil fuel companies could be re-distributed to give pay rises for hard working nurses, instead of lining the pockets of oil companies. Equally, the demands of striking transport workers, such as train drivers, for well-funded, publicly owned and affordable public transport, will be essential to reduce the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels, moving people away from cars to more energy-efficient trains. Furthermore, the fossil fuel industry itself is not exempt from strikes: currently around 30 North Sea platforms are at risk of ‘shutdown’ due to potential industrial action by offshore workers over working rotas and pay, potentially resulting in a loss of production. The climate justice movement advocates for a just transition and wants to ensure that oil and gas workers are supported in the process of moving to green energy, and therefore we champion all workers’ right to strike.

The climate justice movement is asking the Lords to oppose the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill and stand in solidarity with workers who simply want fair pay and conditions.

Please add your names / climate groups to this letter.

In solidarity,

Raeeka Yassaie

Rachelle Mesley, Parents For Future Dacorum

Sue Hampton, XR Dacorum

Katherine Linsley

Rhiannon Osborne, Health for a Green New Deal

Lauren MacDonald, #StopRosebank

Jessica Kleczka, #StopRosebank

Tori Tsui, HERO

Charlotte Howell-Jones, Parents For Future Bath & Bristol

Mikaela Loach

Lucille Corby

Croydon Community Energy

Croydon Climate Action

Dominique Palmer


Coll McCail

Bryce Goodall

Stuart Bretherton - Fuel Poverty Action

Fi Quekett

Emma de Saram, Shell Out Exeter

Lykke Harris

Glasgow Against the Arms & Fossil

Just Stop Oil Scotland

This is Rigged Scotland

Stuart Melvin, Trade Union Caucus Coordinator, Climate Justice Coalition

Shannon Finnan

Esther Lutz Davies

Jemima Elliott

Climate Camp Scotland

Jelly Mae Moring

Parents for Future UK

Emma Harrison Beesley

Tatiana Garavito - Care & Repair at Tipping Point

Joe Irving, Tipping Point UK, Tech Hub Lead.

Tessa Khan, Uplift, Founder and Executive Director.

Jessica Gaitan Johannesson.

Samia Dumbuya.

Mary's o'brien, Houston Climate Strike.

Emma Dennett , Parents for Future Brighton .

Catherine Burton.

Eabhnat Ni Laighin.

Nicolas Lefebvre.

Lilianna Williams.

Polly Waterfield.

Anna Fisk.

Juliet Robertstone.

Mahnoor Kamran.

Dib Hadra, Primavera Zur.

Eleanor Linsley.

Gethin Thurlow.

Peter Underwood .

Danielle Sams.

Josie Mizen.

Jessica Jurkschat, #TOGETHERBAND.

Katherine Trinkaus.

Robin Drury Layfield, Community Independents (Stroud), Deputy Leader.

Lucie Brown, Parents for Future Stroud, Co-coordinator.

Hannah Hirson.

Mary Mary.

Connie Muir.

Bennett Collins, The Third Generation Project.

Tim Coombe.

Bibi Elberse.

Simon Burton

Silvia Sanchez.

George Buskell.

Rona Hardie.

Roddy Mclean.

Tim Coombe, XR Croydon, Activist.


Jake Randall.

Green New Deal Rising , Green New Deal Rising .

Paul Hallas.

Tolmeia Gregory.

Tamsin Wake.

Emma Smith.



Alex Holland, Founder.

Laura Gelder-Robertson.

Sophie Carter.

David Starley, The Green Runners, Co-founder.

Gill Slater, XRCroydon.

Megan Watmough.

Ella Hatch.

Susan O'Leary, Community Organiser.

Molly Maddocks.

Syd , Just Stop Oil B'ham.

Sadin Ezaz Choudhury , Impact Today.

Kim Senior.

Zumji Mark John Dechi , Step up green climate warriors initiative, Project coordinator .

Federica Falagiarda.

Clare Davies.

Ellen Crawshaw.

Ella Trudgeon, University of Exeter Feminist Society, Campaigns Officer.

Kaviya Selvamanickam

Tilly Walker-Wood .

Klara Marsikova.

Ben Mitchell, Synergy Centre Brighton / Culture Of CARE!.

Pippa Best.

Jessica Bunn, Plant Based Universities, University of Lincoln Outreach Coordinator.

Peter Brown

James Burlton.

Kevin James.

Naomi Yates.

Gary Dunion.

Phedeas Stephanides.

Hayley Lambert, Packaging Not Included Ltd.

Nikki Meadows.

Liv Marshall.

Matilda Trevitt.

Emma Britton.

Francesca Willow, Ethical Unicorn.

Culture Unstained.

Sean Irving, UEA Biodiversity and Climate Action Network.

Sean Irving, UEA Biodiversity and Climate Action Network.

Laura Miller.

Jonathan Stowell , Student Climate Action Falmouth/Exeter.

Isabel Pountney.

Just Stop Oil Scotland .

Phoebe Hayman.

Parents for Future, Sheffield .

Imogen Davies.

Maia Kenworthy .

Tomas Hotzel Escardo.

Heather Smith, 99% Organisation .

Heather Smith, .

David Puttick.

Emma Wilson.

Abby McNair.

Abby McNair.

Shenice Friday , Reading for the Planet , Founder .

Joshua Unwin.

Sar Gavin.

Iain MacDonald .

Shaun Novak.

Georgia Dodsworth.

UK Youth Climate Coalition .

Lucas Caetano.

Faybian Taylor.

Christianne Guillotte.

Lily Barnes.

Wolf Saanen.

Courtney Quinn.

David Dec.

Keira Forrest.

Kayleigh Curtis.

Faith Nightingale .

Sophie Jackson.

Jane Morrison.

Sarah Ryder.

Astrid Rem.

Kate Studley.

Freya Tewnion.

Kayleigh Woods Harley.

Dave King .

Maurice Penny.

Rachael King.

Molly Monahan.

Grant Cameron.

Louise Overy .

Adam Brownlie.

Jennifer Newall.

Dorothy Sherratt.

Trees For Birthdays Scotland.

Lewis Conroy.

Leane Snell.

Ludovico Caminati , Global Justice Stirling.

Anna Cuninghame.

Nadine Edwards.

Carmen Lean.

Julie Redman, Labour Party and Just Stop Oil.

Valentine Scarlett .

Simon Schulze.

Frances Moore.

Jean Boucher.

Alice Lannon .

Ellen Heimpel.

John Lardner.

Leslie Cunningham.

Catriona Roberts.

Tchinzia Erika Cuambe.

Annie Lane .

Alex R.

Shanon Shah, Faith for the Climate, Director.

Jack Blomfield.

Shahab Razzaki.

Lucy Kear.

Lucy Kear.

Merry Dickinson, Stop Burning Trees Coalition.

Clara Paillard, Liverpool City Region Climate Justice coalition, Coordinator.

Shaun Davies, Extinction Rebellion Trade Unionists, Manchester People's Assembly, Gig Economy Manchester.

Carol Mills, member.

Rhona O'Brien.

Carol Mills, , .

Andrea Gilbert .

Rhetta Moran.

Hazel Graham, Climate Jobs , Campaigner.

Leslie Cunningham.

Annie Merry, Faiths4Change , Director .

Julia Thomas.

Catherine Taylor.

Rich Moth.

Ruth Austen-Vincent.

Sian Vaughan , XR Fishguard and Goodwick .

Plymouth Climate Council.

Onesmus Mulima, , FXB climate advocate .

Olivia MacDonald.

Susan Branch.

Persephone Anderson-Byskou.

Julia Brosnan.

James Carstairs.

Malcolm Atkinson .

Theresa Norton.

William Nye, GND Rising.

Leon Panitzke, XR Walkers, Walker!.

, Co-ordinator.

Youth In Resistance (YIR).

Ellen Monaghan.

Val Saunders, XR.

Georgina McCleary.

Charlotte Brierley.

Judy White.

Quinn Eilbeck, House Beauty.

Wendy Neville.

Lynda Duffill, West Wales Climate Coailtion, Co-Convenor.

Gaspard Reheisser, Greenwashing , Activist .

Denise Baker.

Albert Oláh-Földes .

Sahar Pournazari.

Claire Preaton.

Asphodel .

Jay Harrow.

Freya Aitchison, Time for Change Argyll & Bute.

Pete Creech, Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation.

Jess Podevyn.

Rosa Adelman.

Matt Newbould.

Lily Whitmarsh.

Katarina Ruhland.

Claire Matthews.

Pablo John, GMB for a Green New Deal, Coordinator.

Meabh Poultney.

Joss McAuley.

Tchinzia Erika Cuambe, Activist.

Adrian Leonard.

Jemy Sara Joy.

Cécile Meyer.

Anna Carrete.

Sam Jackson.

Yrr Sigurdardottir.

Kat Burdon.

Jodie Bell.

Georgia Pickavance.

Kevin Byrne.

Jeremy Bong.

Leyla Kose .

Sam Murphy.

Amanda Austin.

Charlie Breuer.

Hannah Feenstra.

Heather Gilda.

Anna Riley.

Nicola Peters.

Francesca Penny.

Catherine Long.

Amelia Glendinning .

Sameera Sarmadi.

Barnaby Miller-Latham.

Niamh Radcliffe-Kennedy .

laurel cuddigan.

Phoebe Armstrong.

Keir Mccabe.

Daniela Blūmane.

Kate Hendry.

Emily Frayling .

Katarina Ruhland.

Hope Glastris.

Jennifer Newall.

Astro Silva.

Raquel Frescia.

Tomas Hotzel Escardo.

Stanley Wilshire.

Pea Harris.

Hannah Jeffrey.

Summer Hazen.

Chelsea Jane.

Zee Morgan.

Nahid De belgeonne.

Marissa Oliveira .

Sophie Baker.

Gemma Reece.

Wilcockson Lisa.

Leah Cooper.

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