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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #128

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, November 23, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

The arc of the moral universe is still ours to bend… - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, November 11, 2016 - We have had occasion to quote those words, attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, many a time over the 25 years that we have been organizing here in Immokalee.  The quotation reminds us that, though at times it might seem that progress has grown unbearably slow or even ground to a halt, it never truly stops, and that, when viewed from a sufficient distance, the trajectory of history bends only one way — toward greater freedom and equality.

Art of the deal: how Trump can win by playing climate game - By Guy Edwards and Tory Hoffmeister, Climate Change News, November 20, 2016 - If Trump’s goal is to do good for American workers by promoting US interests, a decision to quit the new global climate regime would be misguided

CN employees speaking out against chronic workplace fatigue - By Jeff Cottr, Occupational Health & Safety Canada, October 18, 2016 - Railroad workers with the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) are attempting to bring public awareness to the issue of chronic workplace fatigue in the industry. A group of CN employees — including engineers, conductors and yardmen — with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Division 796 participated in an information picket in Edmonton’s Grand Trunk Park on Oct. 5.

Coal Industry Must Face ‘Managed Decline’ If Countries Are Serious About Paris Agreement Climate Targets - By Mat Hope, DeSmog Blog, November 14, 2016 - There is no role for new coal power if countries are going to meet their climate targets, campaigners today told the international climate talks in Marrakech; [related]: Climate deal must offer hope for coal miners, says German minister - By Ed King, Climate Change News, November 15, 2016 - A poorly managed transition from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy and industry will lead to a rise in populist and illiberal political forces.

Did Canada show up at COP22? - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, November 20, 2016 - The UN COP22 meetings began in Marakkesh on November 7, and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President on November 8 threatened to derail progress.  Yet as the Climate Change News stated on Nov. 18:  “ An oasis of climate commitment in a desert of Trump panic, the UN talks made steady progress on putting the Paris Agreement into action” .  For COP22 coverage, the most complete compilation of day by day events, side events, and documents is at the IISD website ; see also the official COP22 website ; or the news compilations of The Guardian  newspaper , Climate Home , or Democracy Now . There is  even a compilation of the almost 1 million tweets from delegates at Marakkesh.

The Divestment Movement: a climate policy game changer? - By Tim Pfefferle and Jakob Ache, Green European Journal, November 14, 2016 -  For several years now the divestment movement across the globe has been running campaigns aiming to withdraw investment from fossil energy sources – with surprising success. How much does the success of the discussions going on at COP 22 depend on divestment? Will it give new impetus to the climate protection movement

Eighty-six years after Ohio’s worst mining disaster scars persist, but life goes on - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, November 15, 2016 - In 1930, the town of Millfield, in Ohio, was shaken by a devastating coal mine explosion, considered the worst mine disaster in the history of the state to date and which killed 82 people.

Electronics brands and factories must commit to improve labour standards - By Gale Raj-Reichert, New Internationalist, November 7, 2016 - The global electronics industry is one of the largest industrial sectors in the world economy. It makes up close to one-quarter of globally traded manufactured products and is estimated to generate more revenue and employ more workers than any other manufacturing sector. A key feature of the industry is its extensive use of outsourcing by brand firms such as Apple to suppliers, such as Foxconn.

German trade unions condemn the impact of digitalisation on working conditions - By staff, European Trade Union Institute, November 18, 2016 - The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) publishes an annual report on developments in ‘quality of work’. In the latest edition of this report, published on 10 November, the DGB expresses its concern at the impact of an increasingly digital economy on working conditions.

The Grand Finale! Wendy’s protests from Miami to Chicago highlight final Behind the Braids tour, Weekend of Action… - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, November 17th, 2016 - Hundreds of farmworkers and Fair Food allies, new and old, let Wendy’s know nothing will deter the Fair Food Nation as the Wendy’s Boycott heads into the new season in high gear!

[Green] Union Resolutions - By staff, Labor Network for Sustainability, November 2016 - (a select list of) Climate Change Resolutions and Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) Resolutions from various unions.

If There Are No Nurses, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution - By Becky Bond and Zack Exley, The Leap, November 17, 2016 - Nursing as a profession is based on the values of caring, compassion, and community, and nurses are powerful allies who will attract countless others to your cause. They possess a down-to-earth professionalism that is sincere and authentic, and they have firsthand knowledge of the life-or-death stakes of the most urgent issues of the day, from income inequality to immigration reform to climate change.

Landslide in Turkey kills at least 5 miners, traps 11 - By Andrew Topf, Mining.Com, November 20, 2016 - At least five miners are dead and 11 are trapped after a landslide swept through a copper mine in southeastern Turkey.

McConnell finally admits ending ‘war on coal’ might not bring back jobs - By Josh Israel, ThinkProgress, November 12, 2016 - Now that his endorsed presidential candidate is poised to deregulate energy, McConnell has already changed his tune.

Morbid Symptoms: The Rise of Trump - By HiFi, Unity and Struggle, November 15, 2016 - Trump’s rise is a consequence of the ongoing and deepening crisis of global capitalism. Since the 1970s capital has faced the problem of falling profits, and the resulting crises have made it difficult for the political and economic order to reproduce itself in a reliable way. For decades capitalists confronted this problem by cutting costs, especially the cost of labor power: slashing wages, benefits, health care, education, and housing. In the former Third World this entailed gutting the developmentalist regimes that took power after decolonization. In the capitalist core (like the U.S. and Europe) it required dismantling social democracy.

Moroccan Activists Globalize Their Struggle: System Change Not Climate Change - By Salena Tramel, Huffington Post, November 15, 2016 - As the 22nd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) opened in Marrakesh this week, social justice movements have gathered in a village on its outskirts at the gateway to the Sahara to define their own proposals to combat the increasing threat of climate change. Vía Campesina, hosted by Morocco’s National Federation of Agricultural Unions (FNSA), has strategically chosen this political moment to hold a climate justice training for its constituencies and close allies with a focus on youth and women, and on strengthening its understanding of issues in the Middle East and North Africa.

New York City transit worker killed, another injured in subway accident - By Alan Whyte, World Socialist Web Site, November 11, 2016 -  Minutes after midnight November 3, two New York City transit workers working as construction flaggers on the tracks in Brooklyn tried to jump into an alcove to avoid an oncoming train, but the space was too small for the both of them, leading to the death of one and serious injuries to the other.

NYC transit workers kick off a contract fight - By James Daugherty, Socialist Worker, November 17, 2016 - SEVERAL THOUSAND members of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 rallied on a cold Tuesday night in New York City outside the headquarters of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to launch a campaign for a new contract.

Noble Energy cuts 60 jobs, mostly in Houston - By Colin Eaton, FuelFix, November 16, 2016 - Noble Energy recently cut 60 jobs, mostly in Houston, reducing staff levels in exploration and geoscience.

Nurses, Vets Lend Support Against Dakota Access Pipeline - By Michael Sainato and Chelsea Skojec, The Observer, November 11, 2016 - Unarmed water protectors have been hit with mace and shot with rubber bullets and bean bags by North Dakota State Police Troopers and Dakota Access Pipeline Security.

One Million South Koreans to Take the Streets to Oust Park Geun-hye and Ruling Party - By staff, Zoom in Korea, November 11, 2016 - Since late October, when news broke of the government corruption scandal involving South Korean president Park Geun-hye, South Korean citizens have demanded the removal of Park and her administration from office. Last week on November 5, close to 200,000 people took to the streets of Seoul to demand her resignation. A diverse range of people from different social enclaves of South Korean society joined together to send a common message to their government – “Park Geun-hye, step down.”

Organize or Die: Labor Must Fight Like Hell to Survive a Trump Presidency - By Buzz Malone, In These Times, November 10, 2016 - "Many years ago, I spoke to a group of labor leaders. I talked about labor history, and how we all love and revere the movement of yesteryear. I talked about how we worship and adore the era of workers rising up against the machinery of the status quo and the heroes who emerged as leaders of those movements. And then I told them that if we are not cautious, that the next worker uprising will be against us. I warned them of the dangers of becoming so intertwined into the fabric of the establishment that the working class may not readily be able to discern the difference between the two."

PENGASSAN may declare strike over job losses in oil sector - By Collins Olayinka, The Guardian, November 15, 2016 - There are indications that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) may begin industrial action soon if the job losses in the oil and gas sector are not halted.The President of the union, Olabode Johnson, who said this in Abuja while speaking to The Guardian, berated oil companies for reneging on the agreement reached over pathways to halting job losses and paying sacked workers their entitlements in full.

Petrol tank drivers strike in Jakarta, Indonesia -  By Jiselle Hanna, Rabble.Ca, November 8, 2016 - Interview with Guruh Riyanto from the Media and Campaign Department of Indonesian Confederation of United Workers (KPBI), about the petrol tanker drivers strike in the greater Jakarta metropolitan area, East Indonesia, against casualisation and unpaid overtime.

Post-Election Statement - By Workers Solidarity Alliance, Ideas and Action, November 14, 2016 - WSA stands with the global working class, oppressed and poor people throughout the world. At this time we especially express solidarity with working class and poor U.S. minorities who are now and will in the future face the wrath of reactionaries emboldened by Trump’s presidential win. We believe now is the time for the U.S. working class to organize and build strong grassroots militant organizations to protect themselves and each other, as well as to push for a positive alternative to capitalism. In addition, we are very interested in discussing the possibility of building coalitions and/or networks with like-minded U.S. organizations rooted in left libertarian intersectional class struggle.

Proposals for Alberta: Job creation and a healthier environment - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, November 20, 2016 - A new report from the Pembina Institute, in cooperation with Blue Green Canada and the Alberta Federation of Labour, discusses the employment potential for renewables in Alberta – and concludes that investing in renewable sources of electricity and energy efficiency would generate more jobs than would be lost through the retirement of coal power. Further jobs still could be created by additional investment in community energy, and further jobs again by investing in long-term infrastructure and electricity grids. Job Growth in Clean Energy – Employment in Alberta’s emerging renewables and energy efficiency sectors   provides detailed statistics and  includes a major section on methodology; Pembina’s job estimates are higher than those of the Alberta government, partly because Pembina’s modelling includes solar energy while the government’s estimates are understood to be based on extrapolating from Alberta’s historic experience with wind. The report makes policy recommendations relevant to the Climate Leadership Plan and the current Energy Diversification Advisory Committee and encourages a speed-up of the phase-out of coal-fired electricity.

Renewable energy is seeping into small-town America - By David Roberts, Vox, November 15, 2016 - Climate change is a highly polarized and contentious issue. It has taken on great symbolic significance for both sides of America’s deep partisan divide. And if Donald Trump and the GOP actually follow through on what they’ve promised, federal climate policy may all but disappear. Clean energy, however, is different. In public opinion polls, it is supported by virtually every demographic, region, and party.

Solidarity message ECVC: police invades MST school - By European Coordnation of Via Campesina, La Via Campesina, November 9, 2016 - The European Coordination Via Campesina vehemently repudiates the action of repression carried out by the Brazilian police against activists of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) on Friday (4/11) in the Florestan Fernandes National School in Guararema (SP), Brazil.

This Is Not a Drill: Bracing for the Trump Era - By Mark Brenner, Labor Notes, November 17, 2016 - No one is riding to our rescue. Members will have to do this for themselves. And union leaders who want to inspire more rank and filers to step up to the task have to mean it when they say “you are the union.”

U.S. Climate Envoy Jonathan Pershing: Five Feet Of Sea Level Rise By 2050 Possible - By Daphne Wysham, Huffington Post, November 18, 2016 - Pershing assured observers that the gathering global consensus, in government, business and financial circles, was unstoppable and that the rest of the world would continue to take action on climate change, regardless of Trump’s actions. Indeed, should investors ignore the consensus, they risked investing in “stranded assets,” he said. The challenge, Pershing said, would remain around issues of financing and development, helping those who are most disenfranchised and least responsible for climate change to face the climate challenge in developing countries. “New money will fall woefully short of what is needed,” he admitted. “Our budgets have always been constrained, but it will likely only get worse.”

Where Did All Our Jobs Go? - By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, November 15, 2016 - The elephant in the room is not some brown-skinned people working 14 hours a day for pennies an hour, it is the rise of machines that do the work people once did.

White House gives up on passing the TPP - By Vicki Needham, The Hill, November 11, 2016 - The Obama administration’s won’t pursue passage of its signature Pacific Rim trade deal, dealing a major blow to President Obama’s legacy.

The wild card in Metro’s budget talks: ATU Local 689 Union negotiations - By Martine Powers, Washington Post, November 9, 2016 - As Metro’s board of directors considers a range of service cuts and fare increases to balance the agency’s budget, there’s one wild card that could have a significant impact on its financial future: ongoing negotiations with Metro’s largest labor union.

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