Listen to our recent Worker Panel on a Just Transition here: 

Just Transition in the North Sea  

Platform’s Just Transition campaign seeks a well-managed phase out of oil and gas production in the North Sea. This includes preventing future oil licensing rounds, halting fossil fuel subsidies and, most importantly, ensuring that Just Transition measures are implemented during the phase out (i.e. large-scale job creation in clean industries, re-training and re-skilling workers, and safeguarding of worker rights as outlined in Sea Change[1]).

Specifically, the campaign is focused on increasing worker consultation and power over policy decisions related to the oil and gas phase out. Without consultation, policy proposals to change the livelihoods of thousands cannot feasibly claim to represent their demands.  The impacts of an energy transition on oil and gas workers and their communities must be at the forefront of transition conversations. 

For Platform, a Just Transition requires the inclusion of oil and gas workers in any substantial decision-making, and as such, we centre worker consultation in our research and campaigning: our campaigns must be shaped by what workers want from their unions, governments and employers.

What does this look like in practice

Communities on the front lines are often left out of generating solutions and as a result, solutions often fail to deliver justice. As members of these communities, workers understand the industry, understand what retraining and up-skilling they require, and have the right to plan their futures. Any successful granular modelling of retraining or re-skilling requires their input, and any policy proposal’s legitimacy rests on their involvement.

A transition can only be just when the workers affected have a say in the futures of their livelihoods, communities and climate. 

Starting with a worker survey

COVID-19, the ongoing oil crisis and climate change are wrecking havoc on workers’ livelihoods. In order to campaign for a Just Transition, we first need to understand what is happening to workers in the oil and gas industry and the supply chain. Unions, NGOs and local government officers also understand the lay of the land we are attempting to tackle. This is why we have released a survey, in partnership with Friends of the Earth Scotland, for anyone:

  • Working in the oil and gas industry
  • Working in the supply chain (transport, aviation, car manufacturing, etc.)
  • Working in a public body, union or community organisation that has regular contact with oil and gas workers

In gathering survey information, Platform hopes to bring workers together, help communities prepare for an uncertain future and publicize the stories and opinions of people imagining a better life, economy and environment. 

Take the survey now!

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Values underpinning the campaign

Platform approaches this campaign with the understanding that workers already know what needs to be done. Workers understand what skills they have and what their needs are. Advocating for a just transition is only possible with a better understanding of the visions workers and communities have for their futures.

Platform also understands that the environmental movement must do better at building links and solidarity with the labour movement. First and foremost, this includes listening to communities that will be economically impacted by any proposed transition – even one that is considered ‘just’ by members of the environmental movement. Front lining the perspectives and needs of workers within the oil and gas industry is critical for any policy development or campaigning on behalf of a transition to renewable energy. 

Project team

Gabrielle Jeliazkov

Gabrielle leads on the Just Transition campaign, where she is taking a worker-first approach to conversations around an oil and gas transition in the North Sea. Gabrielle has a background in trade union organizing, communications and research.

She first came into activism through grassroots organizing with the Centre des travailleurs et travailleuses immigrants/Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC) in Montreal, QC and unionising at her own place of work. She has since worked on the Fight for $15 campaign, research related to automated welfare and discriminatory surveillance and as a union organiser on the Deliveroo/UberEats campaign. She is currently sits on the editorial board for New Syndicalist and splits her working days between Platform and United Voices of the World, a union for low-paid, precarious and migrant workers in London.

You can find her at:

[email protected]

Endnotes:
  1. Sea Change: https://platformlondon-org.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SeaChange-final-r1.pdf