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Frontline Workers, Fenceline Communities United for Justice
Updated: 5 days 23 hours ago

Fighting for the Integrity of Just Transition at the UN

Sat, 09/16/2023 - 06:26

Break Free From Plastics organizers and Alliance of International Waste Picker representatives organize lifeguard action outside UN Plastics Treaty talks.  Photo credit: Tearfund/Adam Aucock

In recent years, the term Just Transition has swept across international environmental policy arenas, including the UNFCCC and most recently the UN Global Plastic Treaty talks. In the first iteration of the UNEP’s Zero Draft of the plastics treaty, waste worker unions successfully lobbied for the inclusion of Just Transition language. This draft calls on UN member states to “promote and facilitate a fair, equitable and inclusive transition for affected populations with special consideration for women and vulnerable groups including children and youth, in the implementation of this instrument.”

While it’s encouraging to witness inclusion of this language, compared to the 15+ years it took to have Just Transition mentioned in the (non-binding) preamble of the Paris Agreement –  there are numerous critical issues that need to be addressed, to make this text meaningful and effective at both reducing pollution and supporting the communities and workers first and most impacted by the plastics-petrochemical industrial complex. Coming out of the pandemic, Just Transition Alliance (JTA) found itself drawn deeper into such UN policy arenas, where battles over the scope and definition of Just Transition have now begun.

We have been committed to supporting our sister alliances of the It Takes Roots coalition (IEN, GGJ, CJA, ICA, M4BL, La Via and the World March of Women) to advance Just Transition strategies at the UNFCCC. Additionally we recently started working with La Via Campesina (the international peasants movement) on UN climate and food policy; and, members of GAIA, BFFP, EJ Communities Against Plastics and Alliance of International Waste Pickers on the plastics treaty.

These are all opportunities to advance systemic change strategies led by frontline communities and workers, and we anticipate having to fight many of the larger institutions and corporate lobbyists at these arenas, so that just transition principles are upheld in regards to three pillars of our work:

1. Ensuring that neoliberal policies and corporate techno fixes such as pollution trading and offsets, climate-smart agriculture and chemical recycling are NOT subsidized. As we explained in Why Just Transition is the Opposite of Net Zero, we will not allow just transition to be greenwashed by coupling it with such harmful schemes.

2. Ensuring that the UN definition of just transition embodies one of our core values – that all environmental policy directives center the collective leadership and local self-determination of frontline communities and workers most impacted. And while the ILO has spoken up for rights of unions to be at the table, we need to remind our labor allies that “Nothing About Us, Without Us” was a rallying cry of our EJ movements that helped birth the concept of Just Transition.

3. Ensuring that industries and corporations profiteering from pollution are made to shoulder the burden of costs and compensation associated with the health, wellbeing and sustainable livelihoods of frontline workers and communities most impacted. While growing corporate control over the UNFCCC appears to limit possibilities at upcoming COP 28 negotiations, we remain hopeful that we can unite the global majority on this front, once we align the houses of EJ & Labor.

While these goals feel quite ambitious at these (late and early) stages of these policy battles, we are confident that with more EJ community groups and local unions getting involved with our efforts, we will succeed in winning these strategic steps towards a better world. Stay tuned!

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Montana Lawsuit Encourages Just Transition Movement

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 06:15

Glacier National Park.  Photo Credit: National Park Service

On August 14th, a judge in Montana made a landmark ruling that could have dramatic influence on the future of the climate justice movement.  Sixteen young plaintiffs, aged 5 to 22, came together with the non-profit law firm Our Children’s Trust to sue the state of Montana for violating their constitutional rights.

Montana’s constitution has an unusual feature, promising “The state and each person shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations.”  The recently passed Montana Environmental Policy Act clearly flies in the face of that right, as it prohibits the state from assessing the climate impacts of mining and industry projects and thereby prevents the state from denying permits based on greenhouse gas emissions or other climate impacts.

The youth gave powerful testimony about the significant climate-driven hardship that they are already experiencing.  They focused much of their testimony on traditional hunting, fishing, and foraging, such as decreased yields of huckleberries and rising water temperatures harming fish populations.  They also mentioned the ever increasing threat of wildfires, which are becoming a truly existential threat in much of the western United States and many other regions around the world.  Judge Kathy Seeley agreed with them, and struck down the Montana Environmental Policy Act in an unprecedented move that has generated much excitement amongst climate activists.

Surprisingly, the state’s attorneys barely tried to make a defense, arguing merely that the legislature should be the only body to make changes to the law, not the judiciary.  It seems likely that the state’s defense strategy will be to repeatedly appeal this decision, bargaining on the assumption that at least one of the higher courts will side with the corporate interests that the law was so clearly designed to benefit.  The effectiveness of this strategy remains to be seen, but it is pretty easy to imagine that another judge will get creative in their interpretation of constitutional language in order to rule in favor of corporate profits and against the people, as we have seen so many times before.

Regardless of what happens next, this moment is inspiring for the climate justice movement, and hopefully it will spur more litigation.  Our Children’s Trust already has a similar lawsuit underway in Hawai’i.  Unfortunately, only 6 states include rights to a quality environment (the others are Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania) but the precedent set by this ruling may still influence other state judges and legislators to be more bold in their efforts to protect communities and keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Just transition is all about grassroots efforts and local solutions, while at the same time recognizing that all of us are profoundly connected.  JTA celebrates the young Montanans who took it upon themselves to fight for a better future for all of us.  We all need to engage in courageous and creative struggles in our homeplaces, as local and state governments are capable of making substantial progressive changes.  We also need to coordinate our efforts and act in solidarity, supporting and promoting each of the important initiatives, fights, and successes, as JTA does when engaging federal and international policy arenas.  Our local communities and workplaces must determine their own paths toward just transition, and yet we all must do it together, united in our diversity through alliances of grassroots groups and the broader movement ecosystem.

Congratulations Montana!  We are right here with you, and all of us will continue to build momentum to make the most of your inspiring victory.

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Real Solutions for Climate Justice

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 14:58

Hoodwinked in the Hothouse is a collaborative effort that has defined our allied climate justice movement’s opposition to neoliberal trade agreements, market-based policies and corporate techno-fixes aimed at protecting and subsidizing the extractive energy corporations causing climate chaos. These include schemes such as pollution trading and forestry carbon offsets; and, expensive and unproven techno-fixes like nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, megadams, bioenergy, hydrogen fuels, chemical recycling and waste-to-energy technologies.

And while it is critical that global social movements align on a united front against these forms of climate capitalism, we also need to start cultivating pathways towards the transformative, intersectional and systemic change that the world needs!

Real “climate justice” solutions should always aim to tackle the root systemic drivers of climate chaos, while addressing the most urgent needs on the frontlines of this crisis. The following are essential guidelines that lawmakers at local, state, national, and international policy arenas should start applying for climate justice.


Real solutions for climate justice must be guided by principled practice Real solutions for climate justice must be guided by Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, place-based experience and public-interest science Real solutions for climate justice must be holistic in tackling all intertwined ecological, economic and social harm Real solutions for climate justice must replace economies of greed with economies serving ecological and human need Real solutions for climate justice must advance deep, direct and participatory democracy, rooted in local self-determination Real solutions for climate justice must repair our relations with the Earth and each other 


1. Real solutions must be guided by principled practice. Principles are articulations of shared values that guide our day-to-day practice. For example, principles of participatory action research call for centering the experiences of those most impacted by any issue. By providing such value-based guidelines for transformative change, principles help us determine “just” pathways to reduce all forms of environmental harm that have disproportionately burdened historically oppressed communities and workers. Real solutions must be guided by principles such as those of environmental justice, just transition, climate justice, democratic organizing and energy democracy.

2. Real solutions must be guided by Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, place-based experience and public-interest science. To understand which solutions are most beneficial, least harmful, and most equitable, we need to rely on the knowledge of humanity’s oldest living, place-based cultures for guidance on how to live in harmony, balance and reciprocity with the Earth and all her children. Centering Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, wisdom and values allows us the clearest line of sight for tackling the climate crises headed our way. At the same time, Indigenous knowledge and territorial resources are under grave threat of theft and exploitation from neoliberal policy schemes, so advancing real solutions must include protection for such frontline knowledge systems. In addition to the ecological wisdom of Indigenous and other racialized communities, real solutions must be guided by public-interest (and not profit-driven) research and science, with deep, democratic oversight.

3. Real solutions must be holistic in tackling intertwined ecological and social harm. Climate strategies that have solely focussed on carbon reduction metrics have often resulted in devastating impacts to human health and biodiversity. Hence, all efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be coupled with strategies to eradicate the monopolization of land, concentration of wealth, and the disproportionate pollution and poverty burdens borne by Black, Brown, Indigenous, migrant and poor communities around the world. Real solutions require that all “decarbonization” strategies simultaneously detoxify, decommodify, de-gentrify, demilitarize, decentralize, decolonize and democratize our economies. Such an integrated approach to ensure that harm reduction in one area does not exacerbate burdens in another.

4. Real solutions must replace economies of greed with economies that serve ecological and human needs. Capitalism is premised on infinite growth in contrast to the limits imposed by the planet. This system relies on exploitation of people and the planet for the benefit of the few. The survival of people and the planet, therefore, requires the end of this extractive system, and its replacement with models and measures of progress that value quality over quantity, and collective wellbeing over individual wealth. Real solutions must take us on just transition pathways that move us towards local economies that serve our capacity to care, share, and take action in solidarity and mutual aid; while respecting ecological boundaries. There are thousands of experiments around the world, providing lessons on building feminist, social solidarity economies, from timebanking to federations of worker cooperatives. And, in making this transition, we have much to learn from the experiential knowledge and survival skills of many of the poorest, most marginalized communities on the frontline of climate chaos–where people continue to struggle against racialized poverty, resource wars, forced migration; as well as hurricanes, forest fires, droughts, floods and disease.

5. Real solutions must advance deep democracy, rooted in local self-determination, and centering the leadership and needs of those first and most harmed. Real solutions must serve to advance deep, direct and participatory democracy, involving the collective leadership of communities and workers historically most impacted by the extractive economy. Real solutions must serve the needs, vision, values, knowledge, lived experience and skills of those workers and communities on the frontlines of climate chaos. We need to build new models of democratic governance that replace present government systems directed by wealth and corporate influence. We need tools that deepen democracy such as participatory budgeting and participatory policy-making.

6. Real solutions must repair our relations with the Earth and each other. To protect ecological health and biodiversity for all future generations around the world, we need to center the knowledge, self-governance and leadership of Indigenous and frontline communities that have been stewarding the land and protecting biodiversity for millenia. These communities continue to be first and most harmed by climate chaos, and are owed a historic debt by those whose growing wealth continues to cause harm. The extractive corporations, military industries, global banking systems and wealthy, colonial states causing climate chaos are historically responsible for the genocide of Indigenous Peoples, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, femicide led by patriarchal religions, and the theft of land, labor and lives around the world. They continue to perpetrate this agenda of genocide, theft and enslavement; therefore our ability to tackle climate chaos will hinge on how well we address such past, present and future harm; protect frontline communities and their territories; return stolen lands and resources to these frontlines; and, restore our ecosystems and reciprocal relations with all life on Earth!


We are consulting with numerous allies in order to finalize this language, and then the Hoodwinked Collaborative will officially release this as a sign-on statement.  So keep an eye on, and please let us know what you think of these critical guidelines for climate policy pathways!

″Agroecology″ by Jakarundi Graphics, from Hoodwinked in the Hothouse

O conteúdo Real Solutions for Climate Justice aparece primeiro em Just Transition Alliance.

Teamsters History of Standing in Solidarity with Civil Rights and Environmental Justice

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 14:29

Teamsters Local 743 Chicago at the March on Washington, 1963. Photo credit: Teamsters

In 1963, despite the pervasive, institutionalized nature of white supremacy and anti-Black racism in the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that “little Black boys and Black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” He shared this dream with quarter of a million people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, sowing the seeds for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed segregation. On the 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” tens of thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to continue his work on economic, social and environmental justice (EJ). His visionary efforts continue to inspire across a network of interrelated movements, including those of labor and environmental and economic justice. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ (IBT) historic work on civil rights and racial justice and their relationship with Dr. King undergirds their deep commitment to environmental justice and other racialized movements today.

According to Karin Jones, the Teamsters’ historian, the organization was “always ahead of the curve” in terms of civil rights. At the 1903 convention which birthed the International Brotherhood of Teamsters by merging the two foremost team driver associations, a Black delegate named Thomas A. (T.A.) Stowers challenged the union to protect members lacking societal protections. Stowers proposed to include language preventing discrimination on the basis of race or color in the Teamsters constitution. While specific language was not introduced, the Teamsters remained one of the only labor organizations that did not include discriminatory language against Black members in their constitution at that time. The Teamsters also refused to honor Jim Crow laws and pushed for better paying jobs for Black workers during WWII. This early progressive stance formed the basis of the union’s allyship in the civil rights movement.

Teamsters Local 810 going to the March on Washington, 1963. Photo credit: Teamsters

The Teamsters’ relationship with the civil rights movement and Dr. King began with the Montgomery bus boycott. After Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa wrote to every local in support of the boycott and Dr. King, the two leaders became friends. After the bus boycott, the Teamsters became further entrenched in civil rights efforts: providing financial support and supplies to “more than 700 families living in ‘Freedom Village’ who faced retribution for registering to vote in 1960” (Teamsters and Civil Rights). Teamsters from all over the country joined the March on Washington in 1963, marking the first time the Teamsters collectively decided to merge on one point in person.

Teamsters march in Dr. King’s funeral - Weldon Mathis is pictured front, rightmost. Photo credit: Teamsters

Chuck Stiles, Director of the Teamsters’ Solid Waste and Recycling Division, recounts how his mentor Weldon Mathis organized to desegregate Atlanta’s trucking companies in 1959, further illustrating the union’s extensive focus on racial justice:

At the time of the photo (above), [Weldon] was President of Local 728 and the General Secretary Treasurer of the IBT.…At that time Black workers were only allowed to load and unload freight on the docks or ride in the back of the truck to help with deliveries. Weldon told the trucking company owners during negotiations that the Black members would be able to exercise their seniority and “bump” the White drivers if they had the seniority to do so. The owners responded that most of the Black workers were illiterate and couldn’t drive. At this point Weldon took action. He started holding classes at the local [unions] to teach reading and writing. He set up driving classes for those interested in learning to drive. He also educated the White workers about Solidarity between the working classes. In 1959 Georgia, most folks thought that Weldon was finished as a Labor leader due to his stance on Civil Rights. In the next election for Local president he won by the largest margin in his long Teamster career.

The Teamsters participated actively in the civil rights movement despite serious risks to their safety. During the Selma to Montgomery March, Viola Liuzzo–civil rights activist and spouse of a Teamster organizer–was shot by the KKK while transporting marchers down the highway. Hoffa and Dr. King arranged for her body to be flown home and attended her funeral. Liuzzo’s heroism highlights the commitment to equality and justice that inspired Teamsters to mobilize across the country to fight for civil rights, standing shoulder to shoulder alongside Black, Brown, Indigenous and Migrant communities against white supremacy in the years to come.

50th anniversary card depicting mourners attending Viola Liuzzo’s Funeral - Dr. King and Hoffa are pictured in the second row. Photo credit: Teamsters

Dr. King’s final campaign was the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike of 1968, which underscored the close relationship between labor, environmental and economic justice. The strike ignited after sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker were “crushed to death by a malfunctioning truck” (“Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike”). While not officially a Teamsters strike, members were present as Dr. King addressed a crowd of 25,000 in support of Memphis sanitation workers’ efforts to have their union recognized and to secure higher pay and stricter safety standards. The day after encouraging strikers with his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, Dr. King was assassinated.

Dr. King’s staunch support for labor, especially of sanitation workers in this powerful instance, highlights the EJ principle that – “affirms the right of all workers to a safe and healthy work environment without being forced to choose between an unsafe livelihood and unemployment.” EJ frames the environment as places where we live, work, pray and play. Our movement’s focus on tackling the disproportionate impacts of pollution on Indigenous, communities of color, and low-income communities, alongside our shared value of centering the self-determination of those communities and workers most impacted- underscores why many Teamsters and other progressive union leaders continue to stand in solidarity with our EJ movement today: the Teamsters’ historic roots in racial justice and civil rights work provide a strong foundation for their alliance with EJ.

In the Teamsters’ history and their ongoing campaigns, we clearly see the principles of equity and justice acting as guiding stars for all our allied movements. Our shared values (principles, protocols and practices) guide our work to remain deeply connected. The Teamsters’ commitment to racial justice remains present: they support many workers of color in their struggle against XPO, and this year, the IBT inducted Dr. King as an honorary member. In supporting racial justice and civil rights, the Teamsters concurrently uplift EJ. Moreover, the Teamsters have continued to support EJ campaigns to stop the burning and burying of trash (where waste incinerators and landfills continue to disproportionately harm EJ communities) in favor of resource recovery pathways that create More Jobs, Less Pollution.

We at the Just Transition Alliance believe that solidarity is a verb, and commend our Teamster comrades for these stances. We believe that unions must renew their historic position as social justice leaders and follow the Teamsters’ example in being champions for civil rights and racial justice.

Members of the Michigan Teamsters march with EJ community groups at the Clean Air, Good Jobs & Justice for All march at the Detroit Incinerator (2010 US Social Forum). Photo credit: Brooke Anderson

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Maui Needs Just Transition, Not Disaster Profiteers

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 05:43

Fire damage in the town of Lahaina.  Photo Credit: U.S. Civil Air Patrol

The Maui fire was no mere “natural disaster,” and the ongoing crisis is more than just a tragedy.  The deadliest wildfire in US history is the result of colonization and extractivism.

This unprecedented event could never have been imagined within the traditional lifeways of the indigenous inhabitants of Hawai’i, who took great care to conserve and improve the lush tropical landscape.  In recent years, climate change has led to decreased rainfall throughout the islands.  But even worse, decades of greedy sugar plantation owners, followed by cattle ranchers, and then luxury tourist resorts and golf courses, had depleted the groundwater, destroyed the wetlands, and covered the hills with non-native grasses that burned quick and hot.

Now, as locals struggle to recover and care for each other in the midst of horrific devastation, the vultures of disaster capitalism attempt to steal their homes.  Residents are receiving cold calls from realtors, offering them paltry sums for their ancestral lands.  Recently passed reforms to water permitting have been suspended, and opportunistic corporations are lobbying to eliminate water protections completely.  You can learn much more about the details of how this is being done in this excellent article by Naomi Klein and Kapua’ala Sproat.

Disaster profiteers attack easy prey.  In most cases, this means the communities that have been historically first and most harmed by colonization and exploitation, and therefore have the least means to protect themselves and fight back.  We have seen this in the wake of many of the worst disasters, especially Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.  We will surely see more of it in the future, as the fires and floods continue to increase.

For this reason, it is more important than ever to prioritize community organizing, building sustainable local economies and deep bonds with our neighbors and environment.  The just transition movement must center this holistic vision.  Good union jobs lead not only to comfortable families but also to strong feelings of camaraderie, solidarity, and commitment to collective success.

The silver lining that we always see in disaster zones is the beautiful examples of mutual aid, grassroots relief and rebuilding in spite of many obstacles.  This is especially true in Hawai’i, where the spirit of aloha ‘āina – “love of the land” – is inspiring locals to not only help each other, but also to stand firm in protecting their land and lifeways (as indigenous Hawaiians have already been doing very actively in recent decades).

In her excellent book A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit recounts a diary entry from labor leader Dorothy Day, who was 9 years old during the cataclysmic 1906 San Francisco earthquake: “While the crisis lasted, people loved each other.”  The just transition movement envisions a world where we can share this love for each other, our environments, communities and cultures, and build something better in the midst of unfolding crises.  We salute all the heroes on the frontlines in Maui and every place burdened by disasters big and small, historic and current, and we call on everyone to support their struggles.


Support local mutual aid efforts:

Maui Mutual Aid volunteers

& any more organizations listed here

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Peoples’ Climate Week: Teach-In

Fri, 09/08/2023 - 12:51

Join us for the Peoples’ Climate Week event at The New School (NYC) comprised of two parts: the launch (9/18) and the following teach-in (09/19). Peoples’ Climate Week is a counter-space to mainstream NYC Climate Week events where movements advance a Peoples’ Agenda to interrupt and disrupt the promotion of false solutions to climate change and other crises, such as often advanced by corporate, governmental and big NGO actors in NYC Climate Week fora, the UN Ambitions Summit and UN Conferences of Parties.

Join us for a teach-in led by EJ/CJ frontline and BIPOC organizers on real versus false climate solutions.


Crystal Cavalier, No Mountain Valley Pipeline campaign
Juan Mancias, Frontlines of LNG pipelines in Texas
Jose Bravo, Just Transition Alliance
Panganga Pungowiyi, Indigenous Environmental Network
Julia Bernal, Pueblo Action Alliance
Natalie Jeffers, The Black Climate Mandate
Mohiba Ahmed, Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM)
Moñeka De Oros, feminist anti-militarismBrittany DeBarros, feminist anti-militarism


Presented by It Takes Roots and the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management (EPSM) Program and Tishman Environment and Design Center (TEDC) at The New School.

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Peoples’ Climate Week: Launch

Fri, 09/08/2023 - 12:39

Join us for the Peoples’ Climate Week launch (9/18) and the following teach-in (09/19) at The New School (NYC). People’s Climate Week is a counter-space to mainstream NYC Climate Week events where movements advance a Peoples’ Agenda to interrupt and disrupt the promotion of false solutions to climate change and other crises, such as often advanced by corporate, governmental and big NGO actors in NYC Climate Week fora, the UN Ambitions Summit and UN Conferences of Parties.

Join us on Monday (9/18) for a Plenary & Movement Social as the launch of Peoples’ Climate Week.


Nnimmo Bassey, HOME-F, Nigeria
Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network
Claudiene Florencio, President of the Association of Pataxó Indigenous Women, Brazil
Raya Salter, The Black Hive and Energy Justice, Policy and Law Centre NY
Kali Akuno, Coop Jackson & Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Krystal TwoBulls, Honor the Earth


Kandi White, Indigenous Environmental Network
Margaret Kwateng, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance


Presented by It Takes Roots and the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management (EPSM) Program and Tishman Environment and Design Center (TEDC) at The New School.

O conteúdo Peoples’ Climate Week: Launch aparece primeiro em Just Transition Alliance.

Just Transition Allies: Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad

Thu, 09/07/2023 - 11:58

Building in progress for the community food distribution store. Photo Credit: Edgar Franks

JTA is happy to feature this exciting announcement from guest writer Edgar Franks of Familias Unidas por la Justicia.

Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad is a farmworker owned cooperative in Everson, WA. When it was first established in 2017, it was just located in a small half acre piece of land that was on loan from a local church. Throughout the years and constant organizing, the coop has now expanded to a 65 acre farm. What was once a monocrop raspberry field that used chemicals to fertilize and for pest control is now slowly being converted to an all organic farm with diverse crops and animals. The project is modeled after the Ejido systems that exist throughout Latin America, especially in Mexico.

Just Transition Alliance visited the farm and contributed solidarity funding to the construction of a new addition to the farm project. Workers are in the process of building a store/distribution center where all the food that is gathered at the farm can be made available to the community, especially for farmworkers. Food, in particular organic food, is really expensive and the coop feels that those who work the land and harvest the crops should be able to afford basic things. The idea is to not only give food at affordable prices but also to be a space for people to gather and learn about worker owned cooperatives, unions, and organizing.

For farmworkers, this is what just transition looks like.

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New Training “Tools for Transformative Change” Coming Soon!

Tue, 09/05/2023 - 08:25

We have completed the newly updated and expanded workbook for our flagship training “Tools for Systemic Change Toward a People’s Economy” in both English and Spanish.  We will begin facilitating this popular education program with our closest allies, continuing to test and improve our methods, before making this innovative training available to the public.  We look forward to sharing with more groups of workers and community members soon – keep your eyes open for another announcement in the near future!

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Celebrating Our Roots, 3

Mon, 09/04/2023 - 07:53
Labor Day comes from the labor movement’s rich history and struggle. Brutal working conditions during the Industrial Revolution drove the US labor movement to push for a holiday for workers in addition to higher pay, reasonable hours, and safe working conditions. The Pullman Strike of 1894 finally forced the federal government to recognize Labor Day as a federal holiday. Pullman employees rose up and joined the American Railroad Union after the company cut wages by 25% and decreased its workforce from 5,500 to 3,300 in the face of an economic depression, causing employees to face starvation. What started as local union organizing in the company town of Pullman drew 250,000 workers across 27 states to join in a massive strike, drawing widespread public attention to labor issues. This Labor Day and every day, the Just Transition Alliance stands with all workers, unionized or not. We focus on the workers who go unseen, like our farmworker allies at Familias Unidas por la Justicia and waste workers at the Teamsters Waste Division and the Malabon-Navotas Waste Workers’ Association. We support the workers fighting to transition to a better way of life, like our partners at United Steelworkers Local 675. We thank amazing organizations like Central Florida Jobs with Justice who advocate for worker rights across the dimensions of health, education, and climate justice. We thank and celebrate all of our partners for helping to create alignment between labor and EJ, two parties who must both be at the table in order to achieve a truly just transition. We call on unions to renew their historic position as social justice leaders, rather than collaborate with the corporate co-optation of Just Transition language. Read more about the struggle against corporate co-optation:…/latest-un-climate-conference…/

Picture by G.A. Coffin entitled “Deputies Trying to Move an Engine and Car on the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad at Blue Island, July 2, 1894” for Harpers Magazine. Public Domain {{PD-US}}

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Celebrating Our Roots, 2

Fri, 09/01/2023 - 07:47
This Labor Day weekend, we’re celebrating Tony Mazzocchi, the former president of the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers Union. Mazzocchi was instrumental in the passage of the Clean Air Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Mazzocchi also founded the Labor Party to represent the interests of everyday working people. His far-sighted and holistic vision continues to inspire the Just Transition Alliance’s work. A large part of our mission is to focus on people at the frontlines of polluting industries. Our work with the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (now United Steelworkers) has been pivotal to shaping the concept of Just Transition and what we do: bringing together workers and communities at the frontlines and fencelines of toxic pollution to strategize Just Transition pathways towards safe, healthy, dignified and deeply rewarding livelihoods. We stand for a just transition to regenerative local and regional economies that fit the needs of communities and everyday people.

We know that a Just Transition includes both workers and communities, and we’re grateful to our partners like the United Steelworkers Local 675 and Familias Unidas por la Justicia who share that vision. Unions must renew their historic position as social justice leaders, rather than collaborate with the corporate co-optation of Just Transition language. Read more about the struggle against corporate co-optation:…/latest-un-climate-conference…/

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Celebrating Our Roots, 1

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 17:37
Monday, August 28th marked the 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. MLK often talked about segregation, and he began criticizing racism as a form of class division. He named “racism, economic exploitation, and militarism” as the “three evils” or “giant triplets.” Not long after he began explicitly condemning capitalism and imperialism, and started the “Poor People’s Campaign” which went way beyond civil rights, he was assassinated. Though he rarely said it explicitly, he was concerned about the environment (he mentions “injustice of polluted air”). On March 18, 1968, MLK addressed a crowd of 25,000 in support of Memphis sanitation workers’ efforts to get their union recognized and to secure better pay and better safety standards. The Sanitation Workers Strike was King’s final struggle; a day after delivering the “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech to participants of the strike, he was assassinated. MLK’s relationship with sanitation workers resonates powerfully with the movement for environmental and economic justice. We commend and uplift his work on racial and economic justice, key points of focus in our efforts. Unions must renew their historic position as social justice leaders, rather than collaborate with the corporate co-optation of Just Transition language. Photo: “Martin Luther King press conference / [MST].” Original black and white negative by Marion S. Trikosko. Taken August 26th, 1964, Washington D.C, United States (@libraryofcongress). Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

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The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

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