Just Transition

 Just Transition: Exactly What’s in It for Workers


In recent years the goal of Just Transition has received a lot of attention in Canada and internationally. Yet there are surprisingly few ground-level examples of it being done well. Often when industries are closed down, the consequences for workers and their communities are an after-thought.

Coal is a major energy source used around the world. It is also recognized as a main source of greenhouse gas, and action to shift away from coal-fired electricity production and towards cleaner energy is beginning to happen globally, but is not happening fast enough. Many experts believe that coal generation needs to be phased out as soon as technically possible, regardless of coal reserves, and that any use of fossil fuels including natural gas (aka methane) to generate electricity will have to end globally by 2040.

Just Transition: Exactly What’s in It for Workers involves four case studies on the phase-out of coal in Canada and Australia, each with a short narrative of what exactly was offered to workers when such transitions occur. LEC has developed the Sevens R to evaluate each case and will offer a brief comparative analysis of what was achieved by the social dialogue that happened during the transition process.

Watch this space in early 2019 for the full case studies.

The Seven R’s :

  • Re-Deployment of Workers within same employers’ other operations
  • Re-Employment in local area jobs (often on employees’ own initiative)
  • Re-Training for a new profession (sometimes within same company)
  • Re Location allowances (including real estate price adjustments)
  • Retirement (early retirement bridging)
  • Redundancy payments

Re-investment in affected communities to make up for loss of tax base:

This project is part of Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change, or ACW, a 7 year research program based at York U, led by Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé. The research program aims to address how Canadian work and workplaces can contribute to slow global warming through addressing how Canadian work and workplaces contribute to slowing global warming. http://adaptingcanadianwork.ca/

ACW is funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, (SSHRC), the Government of Canada’s lead funding agency for research in the humanities and social sciences, mandated for building knowledge of sustainability as it involves Canadians in an evolving local, regional and world context.

For more information please contact Rick Ciccarelli: rciccarelli@laboureducation.org