Climate & Labour Project

Climate justice and labour justice are intrinsically linked. Natural disasters such as rising temperatures, extreme flooding, and active wildfires disproportionately affect essential, precarious workers.

Through community-engaged research, our project centres the voices of workers across BC who have been affected by climate change. The project goal is to build worker power and foster connections among those who are otherwise isolated and unprotected.

In Phase 1 of the project, we aimed to gather preliminary qualitative data on how climate crises affect workers and spoke with workers directly through outreach. In Phase 2, we launched our first climate and labour survey, distributed to folks across various sectors. This survey garnered stories from 36 workers across BC and provided deep insight into some of the key worker concerns during climate emergencies.

We are currently in Phase 3 of the project where we are hosting focus groups and engaging with food service workers directly, a sector that is hit hard by climate change.

While the current focus in on food service workers, this project has the potential to expand beyond the food service sector to other areas of the food supply chain, including agriculture and retail.

WSN’s climate and labour project aims to develop calls to action, build community, and create a list of demands for climate and labour justice.

Key Worker Concerns During Climate Emergencies

  • Harsh working conditions
  • Termination for refusing unsafe work
  • Affected wages from lost hours/business closures
  • Exacerbated mental health struggles
  • Physical injuries
  • Inadequate breaks while on shift 
  • Lack of well-enforced climate safety regulations