You are here

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #130

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 10, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Canada's Diavik mine axes 51 jobs - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, November 30, 2016 - Diavik Diamond Mines, the company that runs the iconic operation of the same name in Canada's Northwest Territories, has axed 51 jobs due to what the firm called “challenging” market conditions, CBC News reported.

Despite Mass Protests, Constitutional Amendment to Freeze Public Expenditures for Two Decades in Brazil May Pass on December 13 - By Nour El-Youssef, RioonWatch, December 5, 2016 - On Tuesday, November 29 protests erupted outside Brazil’s Congress in Brasília as the Senate approved a proposal to amend the constitution that would authorize the implementation of harsh austerity measures. If passed, the proposal put forward by Brazilian Interim President Michel Temer will establish a low ceiling on all federal government expenditures for the next twenty years. An estimated 10,000 demonstrators, including teachers, students, public workers and landless laborers, voiced dissent and pressured Congress to vote against the proposal. Three cars were set on fire, and police used teargas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Donald Trump Taps Billionaire Who Owned Deadly Coal Mine For Commerce Secretary - Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post, November 17, 2016 - After Wilbur Ross sold the coal company in 2011, its new owners laid off hundreds of workers.

EU vote signals a Fossil Free future for workplace pension funds - By staff, Fossil Free, November 30, 2016 - EU institutions have reached a deal on a reform of the IORPs (Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision) Directive that affects workplace pension funds holding assets worth EUR 3.2 trillion on behalf of around 75 million citizens of the Union.

Explosion in Chinese coal mine leaves 32 dead - By Andrew Topf, Mining.Com, December 4, 2016 - Thirty-two miners were killed in a gas explosion that ripped through a coal mine in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia on Saturday. Of 181 miners working underground in the mine operated by Baoma Mining, 149 survived, said Xinhua via South China Morning Post.

The Fashion Revolution: Turn to the left - Bryony Moore, Red Pepper, November 2016 - The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh in April 2013 shocked the world. The building had been illegally extended and on 24 April the whole thing collapsed; 1,138 garment workers lost their lives and hundreds more were left with injuries that rendered them incapable of returning to work.

Guards' strike and drivers' action hit Southern rail but bosses run to the courts - By Raymie Kiernan, Socialist Worker, December 6, 2016 - Southern rail was hit by a three-day train guards’ strike and a drivers’ overtime ban from Tuesday of this week.

Healthcare Workers have Highest Rates of Asthma, according to CDC - By Bonnie Castillo, National Nurses United, December 6, 2016 - According to a new Centers for Disease Control study, the healthcare and social assistance industry has the highest percentage of workers with asthma — 10.7% of workers in this industry reported having asthma.

The Huge Costs of Trump’s Energy Plans - By Dean Baker, CounterPunch, December 1, 2016 - In the last two years, North Dakota has lost almost half its jobs in the oil and coal industries. The losses aren’t the fault of pesky environmentalists worried about groundwater contamination and global warming. They’re the result of collapsing world energy prices.

Kinder Morgan: The fight starts now! - By Brad Hornick, Rabble.Ca, November 29, 2016 - The words of the late poet Leonard Cohen had become a refuge for me, like many others over the last weeks: everybody knows the dice are loaded and the fight is fixed. We all have this broken feeling that their dog just died, that the politicians are talking to their pockets; that the boat is leaking, the captain lied, and the deal is rotten. That's how it goes!

Life and Politics in Appalachia - By Kenneth Surin, CounterPunch, December 1, 2016 - Politically, the town is a liberal oasis in a desert of Republicanism.  In the recent presidential election, Clinton beat Trump by just over 1% in the county where this college town is located (the county went narrowly for Romney in 2012 and Obama in 2008), while losing to Trump by whopping 20-40% margins in all the surrounding counties.   In these overwhelmingly rural counties rusty and dented trucks sporting Virginia’s Tea Party “Don’t Tread on Me” license plates are a common sight.

Local Green Energy Authority Quietly Launches in Alameda County - By Darwin BondGraham, East Bay Express, December 1, 2016 - The Oakland City Council voted last Tuesday to become part of a regional green energy authority, joining twelve other cities in Alameda County. Together the cities represent 90 percent of the county's total electrical load. "Without sounding trite, the future is bright for the power authority," said Victor Uno of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Massacre in Nicaragua - By Courtney Parker, International Cry, December 5, 2016 - In a shocking escalation of the ongoing violent conflict devastating the Indigenous binational autonomous nation of Moskitia, a Mayanga family of three was killed in a brutal attack by ‘Colonos’ at the Llano Sucio site of the Alamikamba community in the Awala Prinsu territory on November 27, 2016. The attack sent shockwaves through the already war torn territories of Moskitia.

Mining accidents in China to spike as country digs more coal - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, November 30, 2016 - According to the country’s Work Safety Committee of the State Council, a government agency, the recent and sharp rally in coal prices has prompted an increase in potentially dangerous mining activity, which unfortunately it’s already taking its toll.

NUMSA demands payment of bonuses by PetroSA - By Irvin Jim, NUMSA, December 5, 2016 - Workers at PetroSA are furious that the company is not paying staff their annual bonus for the second year running, while paying out huge bonuses to top executives.

People’s Climate Movement Groups Call for Urgent Action for Standing Rock - By various, Labor Network for Sustainability, December 5, 2016 - The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline brings together two critically important struggles for environmental justice: the centuries long struggle for respect for the sovereignty of Native tribes and the global battle to curtail the climate crisis. These issues are intertwined, and the outcome of the struggle at Standing Rock will heavily impact what lies ahead on both fronts.

Pipeline protesters in West Texas asking for help from Standing Rock - By David Hunn, FuelFix, December 6, 2016 - Protesters were arrested in West Texas on Tuesday morning near a pipeline being built from the Permian Basin to Mexico...Former oil field worker Arajoe Battista chained himself to a fence there but was not arrested, the sheriff’s office said.

The Repression and Criminalization of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement Must Stop - By various, Global Justice Ecology Project, November 30, 2016 - Early on the morning of November 4, armed police raided the “Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes” (ENFF) in Guararema, Sao Paulo, detained members of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) members and fired live ammunition. The ENFF school is owned and run by the Landless Workers Movement (MST).

Towards a Working-Class Environmentalism - By Erik Loomis, New Republic, December 5, 2016 - The environmental movement has somehow become synonymous with elite technocratic liberalism. That doesn’t have to be the case. [Editor's note: the author of this piece hastily glosses over the class struggle history of Earth First! in the timber wars of northwestern California, so we recommend checking the record on our site for detailed information.]

Trump’s Lies Threaten Wind Techs: Fastest-Growing US Job - By Susan Kraemer, Clean Technica, December 5, 2016 - As of December 2015, there were more than 8,800 wind techs — guys who climb wind turbines to perform maintenance — and wind techs are the single fastest-growing job in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, approximately 21,000 of all ~88,000 US wind jobs are manufacturing jobs, largely in the Rust Belt.

Trump Monument Revocations Would Be Monumental Mess - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, December 5, 2016 - “Having a President Trump take the unprecedented step of trying to unilaterally revoke monuments is guaranteed to trigger lawsuits that will likely remain unresolved during his tenure,” concluded PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that even if the presidential proclamation is rescinded, it is unclear whether the presidential withdrawal of these lands from drilling and mining remains in effect. “Congresspersons who bellyache about national monuments set aside for the American people over the last generation have only themselves to blame for abdicating the constructive and dynamic role in national monuments played by past Congresses.”

Tube workers in dispute as bosses’ cuts take their toll - By staff, Socialist Worker, December 6, 2016 - Tube drivers’ strikes on London Underground’s Piccadilly and Hammersmith & City lines, set for Tuesday, were suspended by the workers’ RMT union.

US Oil Sands lays off staff, defers Utah mine startup - By staff, Calgary Herald, December 5, 2016 - The Calgary company developing an oilsands mine in Utah says it has delayed the project’s startup and temporarily laid off most of its Canadian and American employees while it secures new financing.

Why U.S. Coal Industry and Its Jobs Are Not Coming Back - By James Van Nostrand, Yale e360, December 1, 2016 - President-elect Donald J. Trump has vowed to revive U.S. coal production and bring back thousands of jobs. But it’s basic economics and international concern about climate change that have crushed the American coal industry, not environmental regulations.

Workers’ Climate Plan four-week report - By Lyndsey Easton, Iron and Earth, November 29, 2016 - Four weeks ago Iron & Earth concluded a whirlwind engagement tour in Edmonton, Alberta. It started with a Visioning Workshop where we we invited both our committed members and prospective allies to engage with our core leadership team and each other to learn about everything we do, identify key priorities and contribute ideas for the next phase of our work.

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 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:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.