Welcome to the IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus

"Judi Bari did something that I believe is unparalleled in the history of the environmental movement. She is an Earth First! activist who took it upon herself to organize Georgia Pacific sawmill workers into the IWW…Well guess what friends, environmentalists and rank and file timber workers becoming allies is the most dangerous thing in the world to the timber industry!"

--Darryl Cherney, June 20, 1990.

Shut Down Whole Foods Distribution Center!

Action Alert!

Join Whole Foods Workers for a 24 Hour Picket at Whole Foods' Northern California Distribution Center This Weekend!

  • WHERE - 6035 Giant Rd Richmond, California
  • WHEN - November 21 at 2:00 PM - November 22 at 2:00 PM
  • Facebook Event - link

Shut It Down, RAIN OR SHINE. Bring 5 Friends!

Our Demands:

  • 1) Full $5 an Hour Wage Increase For All Whole Foods Workers!
  • 2) Stop Management's Intimidation of Union Members!
  • 3) End Whole Foods' Silent Treatment! We Deserve a Real Response!

CONFIRM YOUR ATTENDANCE and the number of people you're bringing. We are also in need of volunteers to rideshare. Contact info below.

SHIFTS: Fri 2pm-8pm, Fri 8pm-Sat 2am, Sat 2am-8am, Sat 8am-2pm.

We will provide water, healthy snacks, caffiene and light rain protection.

CONTACT: Ph: 415-985-4499, Email: wfmunite (at) gmail (dot) com.
For more about Whole Foods IWW: http://wfmunite.com/

The Adventures of WobblyBall - Green Syndicalism, Part1

By Anonymous - Wobblyball, November 15, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

EUC Wobblyball encounters a critic of green syndicalism within the environmental movement, now with speech bubbles for legibility (any resemblance to real organizations or movements with problematic-as-hell gender politics is purely intentional).

Is the Keystone XL’s Big Fail in the Senate a “Hollow Victory” for Environmentalists?

By Cascadia Earth First! - Earth First! Newswire, November 18, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

So the Keystone XL bill failed to pass Congress. The Big Fail marks a huge success for groups who have been struggling to expose the KXL for the dirty policy it represents. The actions taken on the day of the vote, including the disruption in the Senate chamber and the blocking Senators Bennet (D-Col.) and Carper (D-Del.) from leaving their offices, speak to the dedication and tirelessness of the movement to stop the pipeline.

So we can all go home now, right? We won!

The problem is that the bill will be back in January, and the congress we’re dealing with right now is very different from the one we’ll see ushered into office at the beginning of 2015. Just because the lame-duck Congress voted against the bill (barely) with its Democratic Party majority does not mean that the Republicans will have any problem sweeping it through when they take the majority.

The Democratic Party’s vote does give Obama a mandate to veto the bill next year if and when it goes through, but the question remains as to whether or not he will use it. In short, the Big Fail and ensuing celebrations from the Environmental NGOs looks suspiciously like a setup. It’s definitely not time to demobilize.

A deal to save the planet - or to wreck it?

By Jonathan Neale - Campaign Against Climate Change, November 15, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Obama of the United States and Xi of China have signed a bilateral climate agreement.

Much of the American and British media, and many Democrats in America, have hailed the deal as a key step forward. Many American Republicans have attacked it as going much too far. 

Anything the Republicans attack has to be good. Right? No. In fact it is an appalling deal. 

Let's look at the numbers.

The US has agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. But 2005 was the highest year ever for US emissions. They have already declined 10% in 8 years. Obama is promising that they will decline another 18% in 15 years. 

China has agreed to reach peak emissions by 2030. Chinese economic growth has been running 10% a year. If that growth continued, Chinese emissions in 2030 would be four times what they are now. But economic growth will not continue at that level, and there will be some progress in energy efficiency. Still, this is a promise to roughly double Chinese emissions by 2030.

The US and China between them produce almost half the world's CO2 emissions (45%). If the US cuts 18% and China doubles emission, their combined emissions will increase by more than a third. 

But it's worse. Because even if they cut emissions in half, they would still be increasing the amount of CO2 in the air each year. They would be warming the planet. Instead, they are increasing the amount of CO2 they put in the air each year. They are promising to warm the planet faster each year.

'For a class struggle approach to climate change and energy transition'

By Karl Cloete - Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, February 2012

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The following paper was presented on October 10, 2012, at a conference at Cornell University. NUMSA is South Africa’s second-largest union, with almost 290,000 members in the smelting, manufacturing, auto and electricity generation industries.

Our starting point as NUMSA is that to effect an energy transition, we as the global union movement DO need a perspective to guide us as well as strategies to be utilised by the movement. While such a perspective and accompanying strategies will definitely not come fully formed and in one go, we HAVE to keep working on them through discussions, through struggles, through experimentation and through learning from experiences of those in the forefront of energy struggles (within and outside of the labour movement).

Those who were at our February 2012 International Conference on Building a Socially Owned Renewable Energy Sector will know that in our head office in Johannesburg, we have a huge banner with the words: No Revolutionary Theory, No Revolutionary Movement! The slogan on the banner captures how much we, as a union attach to having a perspective that acts as a compass to our daily work. Our message to this roundtable is simple: Without a solid perspective on how to effect an energy transition, there will be no transition.

Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Approved Grab Land, Cut through Southern Oregon

Staff Report - Earth First! Newswire, November 17, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The State of Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals has confirmed Douglas County’s decision to allow the Williams Company to construct the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline through the Umpqua Valley.

The pipeline running from Klamath Falls to Coos Bay, Oregon, would cross the Fremont-Winema National Forest, which contains 549,800 acres of old-growth forest (more than half of its territory), and is home to the threatened bull trout along with some 300 other species of wildlife.

The pipeline would also cut through the Umpqua Valley, Rogue River, and the Upper Klamath Lake drainage—400 bodies of water in total.

This placement is especially controversial for those who remember the Bellingham disaster of 1999, when the Olympic natural gas pipeline exploded, setting Whatcom Creek on fire and killing three.

Just this April, 1,000 workers and residents of Plymouth, Washington, were evacuated after an explosion at a gas storage facility injured four. A matter of days after the explosion in Plymouth, 200 people protested the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline at Shady Grove, which is poised to seize the land of 300 people through immanent domain.

Opponents have also pointed out, for instance at a protest in Medfort in 2011, that free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership will facilitate further landgrabs for infrastructure.

The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline also cite the fact that it will be transporting gas from fracked wells in Idaho, exploiting people’s land for corporate profits, and making it even less popular of a move for the embattled greenwasher Governor John Kitzhaber.

This pipeline would comprise only one of several efforts to run fossil fuel infrastructure through Oregon under Kitzhaber’s watch, including incendiary oil trains, polluting coal trains, and tar sands megaloads.

While he was given a chance to speak during the Peoples Climate March in Portland, activists with Rising Tide unfurled a banner over a bridge behind him stating “Coal, Oil, Gas, None Shall Pass!” and demonstrators disrupted his performance with the same chant.

Chemical Plant Where 4 Workers Died Hadn’t Had Workplace Safety Inspection In 7 Years

By Bryce Covett - Think Progress, November 17, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

On Saturday morning, four workers died at a DuPont chemical plant that manufactures the pesticide Lannate in La Porte, Texas after a leak of the poisonous gas methyl mercaptan. A fifth was hospitalized but later released. The plant hasn’t been visited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 2007.

Such a deadly accident without an explosion or fire is unusual, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Methyl mercaptan is subject to a number of federal environmental and safety regulations. But those regulations did not ensure that the plant was a safe place to work. It was last inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seven years ago, when it was issued two serious violations for the safe management of highly hazardous chemicals, which could result in toxic or explosive risks. It was fined $1,700 for one and $1,800 for the other, although the latter was later reduced to $1,700.

The plant is also out of compliance with hazardous waste management and air emissions standards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to records reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The agency brought formal enforcement actions against it for violations in 2012 and 2014, resulting in $117,375 in penalties. DuPont is also in discussions with the EPA and Justice Department about these issues at the La Porte plant, which began after a 2008 inspection.

And over the last five years, the plant was cited for violating state law at least two dozen times by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to a review of state records by the Texas Tribune, for failures related to performing routine safety inspections, keeping equipment in working order, and preventing pollution leaks. Most recently, it released 36,500 pounds of sulfur dioxide over the course of three hours in September, well above the allowed limit, and in August last year it leaked 40 pounds of chlorine. Some of the more serious citations resulted in fines of a few thousand dollars.

'I told them in no uncertain terms to go f**k themselves because what they were doing was blatantly unsafe and illegal'

By Mark Calzavara - Rabble.Ca, November 17, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

"I told them in no uncertain terms to go f**k themselves because what they were doing was blatantly unsafe and illegal"

- Excerpt from TransCanada whistleblower Evan Vokes' eye-opening speech at our annual conference in Hamilton. (Watch the video of his speech below.)

TransCanada has had five ruptures over the past year -- far more than any other pipeline company according to National Energy Board statistics.

The five ruptures occurred on both recently-built pipelines and pipelines that are up to 40 years old, which raises serious questions about TransCanada’s ability to safely build and maintain pipelines.

Of the class struggle and the things we eat

By Esther Vivas - Revolting Europe, November 3, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Do the rich and poor eat the same? Do our incomes determine our diet? Today, who is overweight? Although often, and from certain quarters, the call for healthy and wholesome food is viewed with disdain, as “a fad” “posh”, “hippy” or “flower power” the reality is rather different than these short-sighted comments imply. To defend ecological, local, peasant food is most “revolutionary”.

If we look closely we see how today’s agricultural model is determined by the interests of capital, by the interests of large companies (the agroindustrial sector and supermarkets), which seek to profit from something as essential as food. The capitalist system, in its race to transform needs into commodities, rights into privileges, making food, and especially food products of quality, into a luxury. Just as it has made  housing only accessible to those who can afford it, and the same fate awaits our health and education systems.

Although it is not only the logic of capital that impacts on food, the invisible hand of patriarchy also pulling the strings of this system.  If not how is it that those who produce the most food, women, are the most hungry? Do not forget that between 60% and 80% of food production in the South, according to the FAO, is in the hands of women, however you are, paradoxically, it is women who suffer most from hunger, 60% globally.  Woman work the land, but do not have access to land ownership, means of production or agricultural credit. This not about being ideological, but to make it clear to all who consider the idea of “eating well” is, as they say in France, a thing of the “bobos, the “bohemian bourgeois”,  that nothing could be further from the reality.

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