Tuesday 20 October 2015

Arms to renewables

Delegates to the ATUC meeting on 3rd June unanimously pledged to campaign for the UK Government to transfer support and finance from the arms industry, to the renewable energy and low-carbon technology sectors.

The ATUC has also raised this issue with the STUC and has called on the General Council to press the UK government to support individuals and communities affected by such changes during the transition period.

Kate Ramsden, Vice President said, "The arms trade has a devastating impact on human rights and security, as well as damaging economic development through the diversion of resources.

"The UK government is sending a message of support to many of the world's most repressive regimes when it promotes and sells weaponry to them.

"The ATUC has already joined the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in condemning UK arms sales to Israel and has called for these to cease."

Alan Robertson, President added, "Furthermore, despite the disproportionate support it is given by the taxpayer, the arms industry, and the number of jobs within it is declining.

"However, there is an acknowledged shortage of skilled engineers, and an urgent need to tackle climate change, not least through the development of renewable energy and low-carbon technologies. Many workers within the arms industry have skills that match those needed to develop such technologies.

"It would be a better use of the skills and abilities of skilled workers in the arms industry if they were to transfer to the renewables sector."