Climate strike 20 September - adults to join youth strikers across the world
Young people in the UK who have been striking for the climate are calling on adults to join them on Friday 20 September as part of a massive global day of action.
“This is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job... Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.” Greta Thunberg and 46 youth activists from the international school strike movement
What can I do?
Spread the word! This can be online - for example, share the Facebook event - but face to face conversations are best. Lots of energy and mobilising will take place in existing campaigns, communitiy groups etc. But this is a day where there will also be actions organised from workplaces, whether that's a strike, a short walkout to join young people a stoppage or some other solidarity action. There's a guide here for adults wanting to get involved or you can get some inspiration from the video below.
You can talk to people in your workplace about why this is so important. Think about holding a meeting to discuss what action you can take. If you can, invite a school striker or climate activist. Be creative and imaginative. Tell your employer about the strength of feeling in support of backing the young people.
Find your nearest strike event. There will also be planning events organised throughout the summer (see below, this page will be updated with details of new events as we find out about them). Thinking of organising one yourself? Remember to contact not just climate campaigners, but trade unions, activist groups concerned with other social justice issues, and of course, school strikers in your area. There will be lots of ways people can get involved.
If you are a trade union member, there are more details on our trade union group website about organising through trade unions.
Updates from around the country
The TUC has unanimously passed a motion to support the school student Global Climate Strike on 20th September and has called on TUC affiliate unions to organise a 30 minute work day campaign action to coincide with the school students strike on 20th September.
1pm will be the national ‘Climate Alarm’ moment - alarms for 1 minute, wherever you are.
There's lots happening across local government where Unison branch officers, reps and members have worked hard to deliver action for the 20th. Rightly, given that many Councils have declared a Climate Emergency, Union members have asked councils to put words into action, starting with support for 20th September.
Here's some examples of the kind of action being planned.
In Salford Unison have negotiated that all workers will be able to join a rally outside the Town Hall, any worker who wants to will then be able to attend the protests in central Manchester, without penalties. The council have agreed that UNISON can run stalls across councils site on the issue of Climate and ecological crisis, union members will wear green, bamboo arm-bands in solidarity with the school strikes, with the slogan "system change not climate change'
In Camden UNISON have an agreed lunchtime rally on 20 Sept outside the main council building. On the day before the strike an all staff briefing will give a slot to Camden UNISON Branch Secretary to join Council officials to talk about the Climate Emergency and the rally and protest on 20th. Camden UNISON is organising a delegation to join students at the central London protest.
In Portsmouth the UNISON branch at the city council has secured council agreement for staff to join a midday rally in the square using 30 minutes of paid leave from work plus reasonable travel time. Portsmouth Council have declared a climate emergency and will be sending an email to all staff encouraging them to attend.
In Doncaster the Council are voting on the 19th on deceasing a Climate Emergency - they will sound sirens to herald the Climate Emergency with council Trade Unions and schools close to the Town Hall joining school student strikers in a Rally.
In Tower Hamlets the Council is supporting the students protest on the 20th and are keen to create opportunities for their staff to show their solidarity. A coalition of Unions, including UNISON, UNITE, UCU, the Students Union at Queen Mary University and XR will be joining the school strikers at a rally and are looking at ways of highlighting air pollution in the borough through action on the day.
In Lambeth the Council are supporting a lunch time rally on Friday 20th September in Windrush Square starting at 12.30 and UNISON are currently in discussion with the Council about supporting workers who want to join the Central London protest later in the day.
In Scotland UNISON have called on members to organise a day of action as part of Green UNISON day on 20th September the day of the global #climatestrike by school students.
As an example of bringing about change in the workplace, at the London School of Economics (LSE), UNISON have persuaded the management to start collecting data on carbon emissions from air travel.
There are many ideas for actions and a great video reminding UNISON members that they love a rebellion here.
Many Universities are planning to take up the call for 30 mins stoppage let us know if your University is one of them. At Manchester University staff are planning to march from the university to join up with the school students.
In Scotland six walkouts are being prepared in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.. UCU and NEU members at Capital City College group in London have voted to join the students' protest in central London on the day.
Some UCU branches, like Croydon and Nottingham, will be organising their next round of strike over pay to coincide with the school students strikes.
At the University of Southampton, UCU, UNISON and the students' union are holding a rally which is being supported by university management.
DEFRA employees in Bristol and London are planning to take collective flexitime to join the climate strike. They have also asked that staff employed on short term contracts to deal with Brexit are made permanent to deal with Climate Emergency. In Liverpool PCS museum staff have successfully pushed for National Museums Liverpool to declare a Climate Emergency (and at Tate Britain). Culture workers from different unions will be uniting to support the day of action.
Workers on outsourced contract at BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) who are on indefinite strike for a London Living Wage, will be joining the climate strike. Other PCS members and anyone else who wants to show solidarity, are invited to join them join them on the picket line on 20th September from 11am to march together to the London rally at 12.30 - for a living wage and liveable planet. On Monday morning 7.30-10am there will be climate strike banner and sign-making on the picket lines, 1 Victoria Street SW1H 0ET.
Unite have called on members to take part in the 30 minute work day action.
School groups are planning a range of action from INSET days on the 20th to look at transformation of the curriculum, with staff joining the protests later in the day. A Curriculum Climate Strike where teachers and students will join together to learn about the Climate and Ecological crisis and show solidarity through an action in school. Some schools and NEU groups are planning delegations to local action as part of a school trip to rally at Town Hall demos organised with with parents groups.
Workers in the creative industries have written an open letter calling on those who work in these industries to join the Climate Strike. 32 CEOs and rising have signed the open letter committing to giving employees the opportunity to take time to 1) Join the strike on September 20th and 2) Create something that amplifies the climate emergency message at the strikes.
Young people have asked for our help, and this is a clear opportunity to take advantage of what we are great at and to make a significant difference to the defining issue of our time." See more at
Several architects firms have committed to joining the climate strike.
Organisers of the Carlisle rally report that Cumbrian businesses and organisations are supporting the strikes in large numbers, as well as support from local trade unions. Ellergreen Hydro, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, RSPB and 2030 Architects are among those giving staff time off to support and speak at the strikes. Speakers will also include Graham Frost, Headteacher at Robert Ferguson School who will be bringing a delegation of pupils.
So far there are reports that CWU members, postal workers in Oxford will show solidarity on the day. UNITE members from Oxfam and UNISON Health members from local hospitals will be joining the student strikers at midday in the centre of Oxford. Delegations are also expected from council workers and from Oxford University Press.
Trade Union Action Globally.
The 20th September Global Climate Strike will start a week of global action across the world. Trade Unions and workers across the world are organising to support the Global Climate Strike on 20th which will begin the week of action. Trade Unions for Energy Democracy have collated some of the statements and union support and action planned across the world.
Over 900 Amazon employees have signed an internal petition pledging to walk out over their employer’s lack of action on climate change, the first time in Amazon’s 25-year history that workers at its Seattle headquarters have walked off the job, though many are taking paid leave to do so.
This is not a complete list, just ones we know about - get in touch with your local strike organisers to find out what's happening near you, or set a meeting up.
7 Sept - Cardiff
7 Sept - Birmingham
9 Sept - London
10 Sept - Liverpool
10 Sept - Southwark
10 Sept - Wandsworth
12 Sept - Lancaster
12 Sept - Portsmouth, 7:30-9pm, Fratton Community Centre (off Clive Road), Portsmouth PO1 5JJ
Action: call on the TUC to support the climate strikes
In September UCU are bringing a motion to the TUC Congress for the TUC to call a 30 minute workplace stoppage on the day of the strikes - the first time in over 30 years that the TUC has issued such a call on any issue. To get this motion passed UCU will need to demonstrate how widespread the support for it is - please sign up and share, whether you are a trade union member or not.
Check in for general updates
There are weekly online meetings, currently 6-7pm each Thursday (join by video link or dial in from a phone) to bring together people and organisations interested in making 20th September happen. In the calls we discuss the ways in which we're organising our communities and groups, how we can collaborate, event logistics, sourcing resources, supporting one another and so on. To join via your computer, phone or tablet, click on the link https://wwf.zoom.us/j/571969920 and download the Zoom app when prompted. Or call 020 3051 2874, enter the Meeting ID (571 969 920) when prompted.