Cornell University

Cornell Global Labor Institute

16 East 34th Street, 4th Floor, 212-340-2840


Monday, May 7th

8:45am- 9:00am

Greetings: Ed Ott, Central Labor Council
Dean Harry Katz, Cornell ILR School

9:00am-11:00 am Plenary One: The Challenge

Human civilization is waking up to the reality of global warming and the threat of catastrophic climate change.  Unions around the world are beginning to play their part. But much more needs to be done—and done quickly.

Greetings: Ed Ott, Executive Director, New York Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Dean Harry Katz, Cornell ILR School

Keynotes: Dr. Robert Socolow, Carbon Mitigation Initiative, Princeton University
Congressman John Hall, NY

Dave Foster, United Steelworkers           
Cathy Duvall, Political Director, Sierra Club

Special Guest: Senator Bernie Sanders

11:10am- 12:30pm Roundtables

Group A   Energy Alternatives, Conservation & Job Creation
RT#1A   A Plan to Fight Global Warming: A conversation with Robert Socolow
RT#2A   Can Green Jobs Drive Reindustrialization

Group B   Policy Options and Perspectives
RT#3B   Beyond Kyoto: How Can Labor Shape the Next Global Agreement
RT#4B  Can We Control Emissions by Trading Carbon
Group C   Organizing, Education and Movement Building
RT#5C  Local Struggles, Global Realities: Perspectives from the Environmental Justice Movement
RT#6C   Organizing and Union Representation in the Renewable Energy Sector

12:30- 1:15pm LUNCH

1:15pm- 2:45pm Energy Alternatives, Conservation, and Union Growth.

What would a new, largely non-carbon energy economy look like? What new jobs will be created by the use of renewable sources of energy (solar, wind, biofuels, etc), by expanded public transportation systems, and through conservation (such as retrofitting buildings)?  How can unions organize or ensure representation in the renewable energy sector?

Keynote: Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers

Roger Toussaint, Pres., Transport Workers Union Local 100              
Mindy Lubber, CERES
Joël Decaillon, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation  
Werner Schneider, Alliance for Work and the Environment, Germany

2:55pm- 4:15pm Roundtables

Group A   Energy Alternatives, Conservation & Job Creation
RT#7A   Can Coal be Clean and Nuclear Be Safe
RT#8A   An End to Sprawl: Planning a Mass Transit Future and Smart Urban Growth

Group B   Policy Options and Perspectives
RT#9B  Can Workers and Communities Adapt to Climate Change – A North-South Approach
RT#10B  Is Green Business Good for Unions
RT#11B A Question of Balance: Work Styles, Working Hours and a Low Carbon Future

Group C   Organizing, Education and Movement Building
RT#12C  Sustainability Bargaining, “Green Reps” and the Greening of the Workplace
RT#13C  No More Kicking and Screaming: Can Labor in North America Take the Lead on Climate Crisis?

Tuesday, May 8th

9:00am- 10:45am  Plenary Three:  Advancing an Effective Political and Legislative Agenda at home and Abroad.  

What are the top political and legislative priorities in the U.S. and in other countries? What are the goals of the Blue-Green Alliance in the U.S.?

Welcome: Randi Weingarten, President, United Federation of Teachers Local 100

Keynote: Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club

Ken Neumann, National Director of Canada, USW
Jaoquin Nieto Sainz CC.OO, Spain
Olivier Deleuze, UNEP

11:00am- 12:30pm Roundtables

Group A   Energy Alternatives, Conservation & Job Creation
RT#14A  Low Carbon Diet: Unions, Sustainable Agriculture and Biofuels
RT#15A  Energy Efficient Buildings and Job Creation: A Strategy for Union Growth?
RT#16A  Running on Empty?  Assessing the Prospects for Fuel Efficient, Electric or Hydrogen Vehicles

Group B   Policy Options and Perspectives
RT#17B  State Power? Exploring the Role of Regulation, Taxation and Public Investments in Addressing the Climate Crisis
RT#18B  Shareholder Activism and Climate Risk

Group C   Organizing, Education and Movement Building
RT#19C Blue-Green Alliances: The Global Experience of Union-Environment Coalitions and Campaigns
RT# 20C Say What? Labor Education and Membership Involvement in Addressing the Climate Crisis

1:30pm-2:30  Plenary Four: Organizing and Movement Building Around Climate Crisis & the Environment

What examples exist of union organizing on climate crisis and the environment here and overseas? What kind of alliances are unions making around global warming? How can environmental issues contribute to union resurgence?

Elizabeth Yeampierre, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance                 
Joe Radisich, International Longshore and Warehouse Union/Port of LA 
Jerome Ringo, Apollo Alliance
Debbie Schneider, Service Employees International Union

2:45- 4:00 Group Discussion

4:00 Closing
Ken Georgetti, President, Canadian Labour Congress

For a full program including all roundtable participants, please click here.