Youth and Workers Unite Behind Climate Crisis

German labor union urges two million members to join Global Climate Strike

By Jake Johnson

Germany’s second-largest service sector labor union, Verdi, on Monday urged its two million members to join the youth-led “Fridays for Future” climate strikes scheduled to take place next month in over 150 countries across the globe.

“We can only protect the climate together,” tweeted Verdi, a service sector union.

As the Associated Press reported, “Verdi head Frank Bsirske told the WAZ newspaper on Monday he was calling on the union’s two million members to take part.”

“Whoever can should march and participate,” said Bsirske in a tweet. “Anyway, I’ll be going.”

Organizers of the strikes, which are set to kick off September 20 and continue through September 27, said they expect millions of people to participate around the world.

According to the Global Climate Strike website, the event is on track to be the largest ever “global mobilization against climate breakdown.”

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmentalist whose activism was an inspiration for the upcoming strikes, applauded Verdi for joining the global movement for climate justice.

“This is leadership,” Thunberg tweeted. “Who will follow? The world is watching.”

German climate activist Luisa Neubauer also celebrated Verdi’s move and called on other unions to follow its lead.

“This is incredible,” tweeted Neubauer. “This is youth and workers uniting behind this crisis. Which union will join next?”

As Common Dreams reported in July, the September climate strike is set to take place as world leaders gather for the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in New York.

“It is time for world leaders to wake up to the truth of the climate crisis,” organizers of the strike said in a statement last month. “By demonstrating people’s power we will make this week a turning point in history. The climate crisis is an emergency. We have to act like it so we will stop our business as usual and show governments what people want: climate justice.”

“This September,” the activists added, “millions of us will walk out of homes and workplaces onto the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.”

Common Dreams, August 6, 2019