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Whither EcoUnionist News?

By x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, October 5, 2016

Whither EcoUnionist News and all of its supplements? - You may have noticed that there has not been a new installment of this feature since issue #122. That is because our web admin, who has diligently compiled and published this feature, without interruption, on a weekly basis, for almost two years, has determined that the sheer workload has overwhelmed his ability to consistently produce a quality product. He writes:

After some hard soul searching, much reflection, and no shortage of handwringing that I have decided to terminate the (mostly) weekly "EcoUnionist News" Feature and all of its subsets (Capital Blight News and Carbon Bubble News) as well as the very voluminous special supplements, such as #NoDAPL News on ecology.iww.org.

This is a very hard decision for me to make, because I strongly believe that the feature potentially serves a useful purpose, namely providing a "link dump" of news that is relevant to our organizing, or hoped-for-organizing that is simply not available anywhere else.

However, the feature has become simply too large for me to handle, often taking up two or even three days of my time to produce, which I do on top of maintaining ecology.iww.org (which involves posting other relevant, full-length articles), doing IWW EUC work, having a full-time job, participating in several other related green-unionisty type political activity, and having something of a life, little though my spare time has been outside of all of that. In fact, it's getting to the point that EcoUnionist News is too much of a task for me to handle, even if I were to drop all other activities. As you may have noticed, the feature often includes upwards of 100-plus articles each week. Until recently, I had been reading every single one of them. I had managed to do this even during the busiest days of the No Coal in Oakland campaign, which has been victorious (so far) and been an inspiring example of green-union organizing of the type that the three of us who founded the IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus had only dreamed about just three years ago.

However, in recent weeks, especially with the IWW Convention and the #NoDAPL campaign exploding on the scene, I have been including articles that I have not read carefully or even at all, and though I am pretty sure all of them have been meritous, the potential for growing sloppiness increases, and frankly, it's an indicator that the idea is a case of my having bit off more than I can chew. 

The items I have included in EcoUnionist News are (in my opinion) almost always either items that, while of some use to Green Unionists, do not make the cut as suitable full-length articles for ecology.iww.org or they're from sources where obtaining permission (such as mainstream capitalist periodicals) would be time consuming and challenging. Reading all of them has been extremely time consuming (though I have been able to take advantage of downtime where I work, such as breaks, to cover some of that). Still, I have been setting aside longer, likely much more relevant documents that deal directly with green unionism, just transition, and the like, because of the time I have instead focused on EcoUnionist News, and my "GRIL" pile is only getting bigger.

I have been weighing the options for a while now, and I have concluded that the best use of my time is to end the EcoUnionist News effort for now and focus more closely on posting the full length articles and reading the longer, more in depth items in my GRIL pile that deal with green unionism and just transition which would be a benefit to ecology.iww.org.

As for the items that will not be posted, most of these are still available, syndicated through the RSS feeds we feature on ecology.iww.org, here.   

I still will focus primarily on information and news myself (or whatever local campaign comes my way that helps us build the ideas of green unionism and where my help is requested), but for now the weekly EcoUnionist News feature has been put on ice. 

That said, our web admin has agreed to publish a much shorter list of "EcoWobbles", news items that are not quite suitable as full articles, but are of (in his opinion) of compelling interest to green unionists. So with that in mind, here are the first five such items:

An Alternative to Trident: Peace ships from Barrow - By Peter Doyle, Facts For Working People, September 26, 2016 -  This article is a contribution to the debate in the Labour Party about whether or not a Labour government should spend money to renew British nuclear submarines, now reaching the end of their useful life. The author suggests an intriguing idea for a just transition.

European trade unions' experts evaluate and plan the next steps on health and safety at work - By staff, European Trade Union Institute, September 29, 2016 - European trade unions' experts evaluate and plan the next steps on health and safety at work.

Honoring a dirty job and a beautiful one, too - By Amy Muldoon, Socialist Worker, October 5, 2016 - The author recommends an exhibition in New York City that will make you think twice about the actual pillars that a modern city rests on.

Kiteline Radio: Dear Marius episode - By Cindy A Crabb, Kiteline Radio, September 28, 2016 …We begin our show with updates on the National Prison Strike, and then devote the entire episode to Marius Mason, a friend and former Bloomington resident currently serving a 22 year sentence for acts of ecological defense. We hear messages from people to and about Marius, listen to some of Marius’s music and poetry, and learn about his case.

Strike continues at Anglo American’s Australian coal mine - By staff, Mining.Com, October 3, 2016 - 140 workers at Anglo American’s German Creek coal mine in Australia remain on strike over their trade union enterprise agreement (EBA), which expired in April 2014 and is being negotiated ever since.

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.