Trade Union Good Life - Social-Ecological Transformation and/in Trade Unions: Competing Narratives of “The Good Life” in German Unions



The climate crisis harms both nature and workers, urgently demanding renewed progressive alliances for a social-ecological transformation. One barrier to forging solidarities between unions (the historic forces for societal change) and environmental organisations are differences in narratives of the future and future welfare -in other words between concepts of “the good life”(TGL). Using the case study of the “ver.di”(Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft) trade union in Germany, this paper aimsto uncover competing stories of TGLwithin official union narratives, and different factions of the union,using Narrative Policy Analysis (NPA). Through NPA this paper attemptsto understand how and whether different conceptualisations of TGL spread within ver.di, as well as the barriers to the wider spread of social-ecological solidarity narratives of future welfare. Overcoming these obstacles is central to transformation by “design and not disaster”: if the needed transformation and environmental movements are cast as a threat to the imagined TGL,progressive alliances become impossible.It is the objective of this research paper to understand how fear of climate action as a threat to a future “good life” can be overcome,to build political supportand remove barriers to climate action amongst trade unionmembers.


Kleinprojekte von WU-Assistent/inn/en
Tatsächlicher Beginn/ -es Ende1/01/2131/12/21


  • sustainable work
  • good life for all
  • social-ecological transformation
  • environmental labour studies