Sustainable Jobs, yes, but not without a just transition

MONTRÉAL, Feb. 17, 2023 /CNW/ – The Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) welcomes the launch of the federal government’s Sustainable Jobs Plan, which finally recognizes the intersection of workers’ rights and the environment. However, it is left puzzled by the absence of measures concerning a just transition. An ecological and economic just transition must aim to assure that workers in sectors impacted by climate change have a place at the table to elaborate solutions sustainable when it comes to the future of their work.

While the objectives of the program are admirable and though the CSN welcomes the triparty approach that the ministers are proposing, the decision to forego the process of a just transition puts the program at risk of failing to attain its objectives.

“For more than twenty years, unions have been talking about the need for an economic and ecological just transition. The Trudeau government cannot feign ignorance on these matters,” said Caroline Senneville, president of the CSN. “The government knows full well that it is critical that workers have a place at the table to discuss the future of sectors most impacted by climate chaos, as well as to offer training and guarantied income to help them transition to more sustainable jobs.”

The CSN applauds the program aim to create thousands of green jobs over the coming years, as well as the fact that there is a desire for constructive dialogue between governments, employers and the labour movement. However, the CSN insists that the government must include measures that will directly involve workers from concerned sectors.

“The Trudeau government has a history of setting ambitious targets that seem nice on paper while neglecting to give themselves the necessary tools to achieve these targets. It seems highly unrealistic to promise the creation of so many green jobs without first going through the process of a just transition for the most impacted workers by climate change,” said president Senneville.


Founded in 1921, the CSN now represents more than 330,000 workers across all employment sectors.


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