In the Transition Away from Fossil Fuels, How to Minimize Harm to Displaced Workers

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 (Photo By Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

When the Marathon oil refinery in Martinez closed in 2020, more than 300 unionized workers were laid off from jobs they thought they’d retire from. A study from UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education followed many of those workers and found roughly one in four were still out of work a year later, and most of those who had found new jobs took sizable pay cuts. As we make the necessary transition away from fossil fuels, Forum discusses what kind of jobs will be lost, and gained, in the green economy and what can be done to minimize harm to the workers whose jobs will be erased and to the communities who depend on their industries.


Virginia Parks , professor at the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine

John Gioia, member, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors

Tracy Scott, president, United Steelworkers Local 5

James Feldermann, former head operator, Marathon Martinez refinery

Jessie Hammerling , co-director, The Green Economy Program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center