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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #125

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, October 28, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Another audit faults reclamation illegal irrigator subsidies - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, October 25, 2016 - A new federal audit report finds the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has cost taxpayers millions by failing to collect for nearly a decade moneys owed by Klamath Basin irrigators. This comes on the heels of another audit finding that Reclamation has “wasted” millions more in illegal payments to these same irrigators. Both audits are fueling calls by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and others to hold individual Reclamation officials to account and to reform the troubled agency.

Baker Hughes posts loss after cutting 2,000 more jobs - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, October 25, 2016 - Baker Hughes reported a $429 million net loss for the third quarter after cutting an additional 2,000 jobs.

The “Behind the Braids” Northeast Tour takes New York by storm! - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, October 24, 2016 - Last week, just as the Northeast Behind the Braids Tour was arriving in New York City, Wendy’s Public Relations department released the company’s most direct response yet to the Campaign for Fair Food.  And yet somehow, with more than three years to come up with a plausible defense since the Wendy’s campaign began in earnest in 2013, the recalcitrant hamburger giant still managed to swing and miss…. badly.

Brussels defeats toxic EU-Canada trade deal, CETA - By Oliver Tickel, The Ecologist, October 24, 2016 - The city of Brussels, capital of Europe, has joined with other Belgian regions to defeat the CETA 'free trade' deal between the EU and Canada, in an unprecedented victory for civil society and campaigners against the EU's 'by the corporations, for the corporations' trade agenda.

Canada Pension Plan: improved benefits, but still exposed to fossil fuel risk - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, October 22, 2016 - Canada has launched a new campaign, Time to Climate Risk-proof the CPP,  which reveals that approximately 22% of the Canadian portfolio is invested in  fossil fuel producers or pipeline companies, including coal.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 people. Then BP made you and me pay for it - By Alex Doukas, Oil Change International, October 20, 2016 - In 2010, oil giant BP was responsible for a disaster that killed 11 people and caused one of the worst oil spills in history – all because of the company’s greed and negligence. That’s one clear message presented in Deepwater Horizon, the new film that chronicles the timeline of the disaster and honors the heroism of the oil rig workers caught up in it.

Eritreans accuse Canadian company of forced labour in mine - By Redeye Collective, Rabble.Ca, October 19, 2016 - B.C. Supreme Court is allowing three Eritrean refugees to proceed with a civil lawsuit against the Canadian mining company Nevsun, which they say knowingly used forced labour in its operations. Matt Eisenbrandt is legal director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice and a member of the Etritreans' legal team. Matt Eisenbrandt speaks with Redeye host Esther Hsieh.

Far more hunting inside Denali than on its boundary - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, October 26, 2016 - Each year, hunters and trappers cut deeply into the populations of large mammals inside Denali National Park and Preserve, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) figures released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Surprisingly, the toll on both predators and game animals inside the park is several times what occurs on its boundary.

'Final Death Blow' to CETA as Delegates Hold Firm Against Pro-Corporate Deal - By Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, October 21, 2016 - Dealing what campaigners say is the final "death blow" to the pro-corporate Canada-European Union trade deal, negotiations collapsed on Friday after representatives from the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to agree to a deal that continues ignore democracy in favor of multi-national corporations.

FMC Technologies cuts 1,000 jobs, more on the way - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, October 20, 2016 - Oilfield equipment maker FMC Technologies warned that more job cuts are on the way through the end of the year after eliminating another 1,000 jobs in the third quarter.

GE Tree Company ArborGen Promotes Unfair Labor Practices - By Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project, October 20, 2016 - In an email dated 15 September 2016, Andrew Baum, President and CEO of ArborGen, urged people to contact their representatives to renew the H-2B Guestworker program’s “Returning Worker Exemption” which he called “a vital piece of legislation that will greatly influence the success of the coming planting season for forestry.”  The H-2B program has been heavily criticized for stripping migrant workers of any rights.

Hobbled by bankruptcy, Key Energy promises to pay employees and vendors - By David Hunn, FuelFix, October 26, 2016 - Key Energy Services has promised to pay employees, vendors and some creditors in full as it works through bankruptcy.

How Britain’s black miners are reclaiming their place in history - By Frances Perraudin, The Guardian, October 24, 2016 - Taylor moved to the UK from Jamaica in 1954 when he was 26, and spent 25 years working as a miner. Now he has joined about 20 men who are involved in a project that aims to record the experiences of black miners in the UK – Coal Miners of African Heritage: Narratives from Nottinghamshire.

How to offset the hardship from carbon pricing - By Toby Sanger, Ottawa Citizen, October 6, 2016 - While putting a price on carbon is an important step, governments will have to do much more to reduce carbon greenhouse gas emissions and ensure carbon pricing measures are effective and equitable.

Lawsuit to bare full range of EPA radiation rollback - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, October 24, 2016 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is illegally withholding the specific effects of its pending plan to dramatically hike permissible radiation exposure in our drinking water, according to a federal lawsuit filed today Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). While EPA is poised to allow vastly greater radioactive contamination than allowed by the Safe Drinking Water Act, it has refused to disclose just how much higher levels the public could be exposed to for the great majority of radionuclides that would be expected to contaminate water supplies.

Leader of Honduran Campesino Movement Assassinated - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, October 19, 2016 - A prominent Honduran leader of a rural land rights movement was killed on Monday night in what supporters claim was an assassination organized by wealthy landowners.

A lot more automation, a lot less humans to hit the mining industry - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, October 26, 2016 - Despite benefits such as more efficiency and less human-triggered accidents that the use of automation in mining has brought to the sector in the past five years, local communities and governments are set to lose jobs and tax revenues because of these emerging technologies, a new report shows.

Mali union calls five day mine strike over treatment of workers - Reuters, Sowetan, October 12, 2016 - Mali mine workers will go on strike on Oct. 24 for five days, a union official said on Tuesday, to protest what he described as unfair treatment of union workers.

Negotiations with SEPTA workers stall as strike deadline nears - By Jason Laughlin, Phildelphia Inquirer, October 24, 2016 - Members of a union representing almost 5,000 SEPTA bus, trolley, and subway workers warned that a strike would be unavoidable if a new contract agreement were not reached within the next week.

New U.N. Report Shows Just How Awful Globalization and Informal Employment Are for Workers - By Elizabeth Grossman, In These Times, October 26, 2016 - Freedom of peaceful assembly and association, says a new United Nations report, “are essential to human dignity, economic empowerment, sustainable development and democracy. They are the gateway to all other rights; without them, all other human and civil rights are in jeopardy.” But these rights, says the report, are being jeopardized by the recent dramatic rise in the power of large multinational corporations and their dependence on global supply chains and the growing informal and migrant workforce. While these rights are most imperiled in the world’s poorest countries, workers in the United States are also facing these problems.

South African union reaches tentative wage deals with platinum trio - By staff, Mining.Com, October 21, 2016 - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union has reached tentative wage deals with Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Lonmin, following almost two months of unfruitful negotiations.

Unions for green jobs: Why organized labor is getting behind offshore wind - By Ben Rosen, Christian Science Montitor, October 14, 2016 - This emerging industry puts electrical workers and ironworkers, once the manpower behind natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy, in a peculiar predicament. As the Northeast shuts down coal-fired and nuclear power plants, and global temperatures continue to rise, many of these workers believe in a clean-energy future that could benefit the environment while spurring hundreds of thousands of jobs along the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards and the Great Lakes region.

Weatherford International reported $1.78 billion loss, completes job cuts - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, October 25, 2016 - Weatherford laid off  several hundred workers in  in the third quarter to complete at least 8,000 job cuts through the first nine months of the year.

Whistleblowers need EU protection: sign the petition - By staff, European Trade Union Institute, October 24, 2016 - On 17 October, a platform initiated by Eurocadres (Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff) calling for an EU-wide whistleblower protection was launched by the first 48 signatories of a joint statement.

Woe in the oilfield: 213 companies have now declared bankruptcy - By David Hunn, FuelFix, October 25, 2016 - But it’s been an especially tough few months for service companies. As crude prices began crashing in 2014, drillers started idling rigs. That led to fewer jobs for the companies that make their money helping producers pump oil and gas. Moreover, when producers did hire service companies, they often forced them to heavily discount their rates.

Worker dies at La Escondida mine - By staff, Mining.Com, October 21, 2016 - A 22-year-old man died early Friday morning while performing maintenance work at La Escondida copper mine in Chile.

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