Labor environmentalism as a paradigm of social movement unionism

The emergence of new social challenges is always an opportunity for social actors to readjust and adapt to the new environment, or to reinvent their struggles to incorporate new dimensions imposed by changing environments. Unions and labor movements, like other social actors, are reinventing themselves in response to the climate crisis by incorporating climate issues into their traditional workplace‐related struggles for the protection of workers’ well‐being and jobs. This article presents an extended case study (from 2015 to 2019) of the Portuguese Trade Union Confederation’s participation in the ongoing climate jobs campaign led by climate justice movements. The analysis constructs a dialogue between two conceptual frameworks—social movement unionism and environmental labor studies—to interpret the metamorphosis taking place in the Portuguese labor movement.


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