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There should be no business as usual in your workplace this Friday

18 September 2019 at 5:52 pm
David Ritter
This Friday’s climate strike is an opportunity to make your choice clear, writes Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter, as part of a series on Fighting Global Warming in your Workplace.

David Ritter | 18 September 2019 at 5:52 pm


There should be no business as usual in your workplace this Friday
18 September 2019 at 5:52 pm

This Friday’s climate strike is an opportunity to make your choice clear, writes Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter, as part of a series on Fighting Global Warming in your Workplace.

This Friday, everyone who cares about the future of our country and our kids, should be out on the street in support of the global strike for climate. 

Just three days before the UN Emergency Climate Summit, millions of people around the world will be attending the climate strikes to show massive nonpartisan support from all sectors of society to demand action in the face of the climate emergency. There will be hundreds of events to attend around Australia – click here or here to find an event in your area.

It should not have come to this, but it has. And in every workplace, this Friday’s climate strike is an opportunity to make your choice clear. 

Global warming will impact every workplace everywhere – and there is no business plan or institutional strategy clever enough to withstand out of control climate damage. 

So far in this series of articles, I’ve concentrated on the practical things that your workplace can do – like energy efficiency, buying clean power and adopting the mantra of “Don’t Buy, Don’t Supply, Say Why” to the fossil fuel industry. But this Friday, offers a different kind of opportunity for every workplace to stand up and be counted.

When the earth faced climate emergency, where did your workplace stand? 

The student strikers who are leading the global climate strikes have called on all businesses and institutions to support this Friday’s strike. There are lots of ways that your workplace can get involved:

1. Display posters and/or flyers

Asking a business to display some posters and put a pile of flyers on their counter is an easy action with a powerful impact. A colourful poster on the window of a main street shop could be seen by thousands of passersby every-day from now until the strike!

2. Organise a workplace event

This could look like you and all of your colleagues holding a short event at work in solidarity with strikers – and posting selfies on social media with signs explaining what you are doing and why to build awareness. Other ideas include everyone wearing a badge or armband to express solidarity. For more ideas for getting your workplace involved, click here.

3. Close during the strike in solidarity

Imagine walking down your street towards the strike and seeing shop after shop with posters in their window reading: “Closed to support the Global #ClimateStrike!” Pretty powerful. Just be careful to check that the manager consults with any staff intending to work on 20 September.

4. Fundraise for or donate to the strike

School strikers are currently fundraising to ensure 20 September is a roaring success. Businesses can help by fundraising and donating here.

5. Allow staff to attend the strike

Businesses can contact staff to let them know that they’re permitted to attend the strike in solidarity with the school strikers. For more information about how workplaces can support the strike, click here.

6. Get creative!

Why not ask restaurants or food trucks to put out a special “School Strike” meal to celebrate on the day? Or brainstorm with a store manager how their front window display could draw attention to the strike with props?

Already there has been a surge of businesses and institutions declaring their support for the climate strikers and the demand for action in the climate emergency. More than 1,200 Australian companies have signed up to the Not Business As Usual campaign in support of the climate strike. The NBAU manifesto makes plain the extraordinary nature of the event:

It’s not business as usual for the world’s children to skip school to get adults to pay attention to the climate crisis.

It’s not business as usual for those children to have to ask the adults to skip work.

It’s not business as usual for citizens to strike to get governments to make meaningful commitments to climate action.

So, on Friday 20 September, we’re not doing business as usual.

It is also not business as usual for business to be striking and marching alongside organised labor – yet this is what will be happening with more than 20 unions also endorsing Friday’s climate strike. 

Friday should be absolutely massive – with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets from all walks of life. It would be fantastic to see you – and everyone from your workplace – supporting the kids who are demanding a better future than the one the politicians currently have on offer.  

Will I see you there?

See also:

Don’t Buy. Don’t Supply. Say Why.

How your workplace can be energy-efficient

Where does your workplace get its electricity?

The one ring – Global warming in your workplace

David Ritter  |  @ProBonoNews

David Ritter is the CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

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