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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #150

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 21, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

America's Wind Energy Boom May Finally Be Coming to the Southeast - By Lyndsey Gilpin, InsideClimate News, April 13, 2017 - By the end of 2016, the wind industry supported more than 100,000 jobs. But the Southeast has almost completely been left out of that boom.

As Chernobyl anniversary looms, group works to improve worker and animal wellbeing - By staff, Beyond Nuclear, April 17, 2017 - The Clean Futures Fund, co-created by Beyond Nuclear Board member, Lucas Hixson, with Erik Kambarian, is working with Ukrainian partners to improve safe working conditions and long-term care for Chernobyl workers and individuals in the affected areas.

Chicago staff want a meeting with EPA head after leaked report targets their office for closure - By Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, April 18, 2017 - The employees want to discuss rumors that the Trump administration plans to close the Chicago Region 5 office. Reports surfaced last weekend that the Region 5 office would be one of two EPA regional offices closed to meet the administration’s budget-cutting goals for the agency.

In Coal Country, Environmental Regulations Are Creating Jobs - By Glynis Board, NPR, April 13, 2017 - The Whites employ about 30 people, many of them displaced miners. They travel across the region fixing broken streams with backhoes and other heavy machinery. The National Mitigation Banking Association, a trade group, says ecological restoration is a $25 billion industry.

The Energy of Tomorrow Looks Strikingly Artistic from Above - By Rachel Brown, National Geographic, March 23, 2017 - And in the United States last year, solar employed more people than traditional coal, oil, and gas combined.

Forest industry workers and environmentalists rally for sustainable forestry - By Torrance Coste, et. al., Wilderness Committee, April 12, 2017 - Workers from the BC forest industry, First Nations’ representatives, environmental activists, and citizens rallied at the BC Legislature today. The diverse coalition called for a ban on raw log exports and a transition to sustainable second growth forestry.

Global experts say the economic case for renewable energy has never been stronger - By Mike De Souza, National Observer, March 20 2017  - And through 2050, the decarbonization can fuel sustainable economic growth and create more new jobs in renewables."

Grains piled on runways, parking lots, fields amid global glut - By P.J. Huffstutter and Karl Plume, Reuters, April 11, 2017 - Farmers face similar problems across the globe. World stockpiles of corn and wheat are at record highs. From Iowa to China, years of bumper crops and low prices have overwhelmed storage capacity for basic foodstuffs.

Harvesting Union Rights in the Field - By Sonia Singh, Labor Notes, April 17, 2017 - But unlike most guestworkers, many in North Carolina have a say in their working conditions and seniority rights because they belong to a union, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.

Investors who profit as oil workers face repression - By Gabriel Levy, People and Nature, APril 19, 2017 - The companies that this month helped to jail trade union leader Nurbek Kushakbayev are linked, via Kazmunaigaz, Kazakhstan’s state-controlled oil and gas firm, to Chinese and international capital.

Kazakh Oil Construction Company cracks down on union activists - By staff, IndustriALL, April 7, 2017 - In a recent episode, large-scale repression was launched against leaders and activists of the independent trade unions affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in the Mangystau region, in the west of the country.

Korean Women Peasants' Association (KWPA) opens 'Women Peasants' Agroecology School' - Shin Jiy-eon, La Via Campesina, April 18, 2017 - While speaking to the participants, Kim Soon-ae, Chair of KWPA noted, “Women farmers who are at the forefront of protecting local seeds and food sovereignty should lead the dissemination of agroecology through this program." Participants, were encouraged to layout and present their objectives of participation and their own ideas of agroecology.

La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa to consult on rights of peasants and other peoples working in rural areas - By Frederick Koopman, Chante Petersen, Ndabezinhle Nyoni, La Via Campesina, April 14, 2017 - Recently, they experienced various degrees of land grabbing following the global food crisis in mid-2000 mainly for export production and eco-tourism. The dispossession and displacement of hundreds of thousands rural farmers (e.g. ProSavanna project in Mozambique, and accelerated land grabbing and land conflicts in Tanzania) is on-going.

Leaked Trump administration plan to close Chicago EPA office puts 1,000 jobs at risk - By Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, April 17, 2017 - “This decision doesn’t make sense from an efficiency standpoint. Instead, this decision makes sense from an ideological standpoint,” Nicole Cantello, the head of the union representing agency employees in the region, told ThinkProgress.

March for Science – Wherever you are, there’s a way you can join in - By staff, Red, Green, and Blue, April 10, 2017 - Organizers have partnered with over 170 organizations to make an impact throughout the world, including Earth Day Network, American Geophysical Union, National Science Teachers Association, and Carnegie Science.

Methane detection jobs booming - By David Hunn, FuelFix, April 13, 2017 - Half the firms are small businesses, making less than $15 million a year in revenue. More than half have fewer than 50 employees.

More coal is rolling out of the pro-Trump Western Slope, but is it adding up to any jobs? - By Bruce Finley, Denver Post, April 16, 2017 -  Two coal trains a day are rolling out of the North Fork valley, but laid-off miners aren’t being called back to work.

More Than 200 Organizations Oppose Calls for New Constitutional Convention, Warn of Dangers - By David Vance, Common Dreams, April 14, 2017 - The letter, which is signed by diverse group of constitutional rights, labor, environmental, immigration, government reform, healthcare, and public interest groups, urges legislators to oppose calls for a constitutional convention and rescind Article V convention applications on the books in their state.

New College students launch 5-day fast, win support of college President Donal O’Shea and scores of Florida students pledging to Boycott Wendy’s! - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, April 13, 2017 - Students at New College in Sarasota declare: “I’m fasting to stand in solidarity with Ohio State students as they fight with their administration to get Wendy’s off their campus, and in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and all of the work that they have been doing for over 20 years to get farmworkers the basic human rights that they deserve.

NUMSA has made huge strides in the Bus Passenger Sector - By Phakamile Hlubi, NUMSA, April 18, 2017 - After extensive consultation, which is true to our values as a worker led union, our members in all provinces have accepted the agreement.

NUMSA rejects employers offer in Bus Passenger sector - By Phakamile Hlubi, NUMSA, April 13, 2017 - Thousands of NUMSA members have gone on strike to protest against the dehumanising conditions faced by employees in the bus passenger sector.

OSU fights to "Boot the Braids" - By Rachel Reiser, Socialist Worker, April 13, 2017 - THE CIW's decision to make OSU a primary target of the Boycott Wendy's Campaign is not without precedent. The CIW's first major win, when Taco Bell was successfully pressured to sign onto the Fair Food Program in 2005, was accomplished in large part due to 25 universities cutting their contract with Taco Bell.

Outside unions, groups step up pressure on Tesla - By Louis Hansen, San Jose Mercury News, April 13, 2017 - The groups include the labor councils of the South Bay AFL-CIO, San Francisco and Alameda, local chapters of the UAW, and several other environmental and worker advocacy organizations.

Peoples Climate March 2017 – by the numbers - By Duncan Meisel,, April 12, 2017 - 22 and growing: the number of blocks in the march, representing communities and causes of all kinds, from families to labor rights and more.

Peoples Climate March Will ‘Literally’ Surround the White House - By People's Climate Movement, Common Dreams, April 18, 2017 - "Around this country, working people understand that we don’t have to choose between good jobs and a clean environment; we can and must have both,” said Kim Glas, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance.

Plunging price of renewable energy makes end of fossil fuels inevitable, says report - By Ian Johnston, The Independent, March 30, 2017 - “In the US, the renewable energy sector has become a major job creator: since 2009, the solar industry created one out of every 80 new jobs, and the country’s fastest-growing occupation is wind turbine technician.

Poll Shows Marylanders Overwhelmingly Support Major Expansion of Renewable Power - By Denise Robbins, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, April 18, 2017 - In the OpinionWorks survey, 71% of registered voters supported a 50% clean electricity standard. Respondents were told that electricity prices would rise slightly under such a policy. Respondents were also told new jobs would likely result from the policy. A majority of registered voters supported the policy in both political parties in every region of the state.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility - Protecting Employees Who Protect Our Environment

Recent Escondida strike may push Chile into recession - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, April 19, 2017 - Analysts at BMI Research, however, argue the strike will have less of an impact in the country’s overall annual production that originally thought, adding that the nation’s copper sector will return to growth by 2018 independent of who wins the presidential elections later this year.

Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) to organise around the Int'l Day of Peasant Struggles (April 17) and Rights of Peasants Day (April 20) - By Henry Saragih and Ali Fahmi, La Via Campesina, April 17, 2017 - Hundreds of millions of peasants are forced to live and lead undignified lives as their basic rights are increasingly very vulnerable as a result of capitalist and neoliberal logic of profit maximisation. Our rights to land, water, seeds, biodiversity, decent income are continuously being compromised, denied, violated and usurped.

In Solidarity With Science, Climate Marches, Nurses Say, “Science Over Profit!” - By staff, National Nurses United, April 19, 2017 - April marks two national marches—the March for Science on April 22 (Earth Day), and the People’s Climate March on April 29.  Both of these marches call on those shaping the policies that impact the health and safety of everyday people to respect scientific evidence. Thousands of people all across the country will take to the streets to make it clear that we will not stand for anything less.

Special Investigation: How bullying and intimidation in abattoirs threatens food safety checks - By Andrew Wasley, The Ecologist, April 19, 2017 - Unions say the problem is more widespread than the figures suggest, with incidents going unreported.

A Strong Resistance With Many Roots - By Thanu Yakupitiyage,, April 15, 2017 - In two weeks, one hundred thousand people are expected to descend upon Washington D.C for The Peoples Climate March on April 29th – a full-scale mobilization, with 250 sister marches planned across the country, to fight for climate, jobs, and justice, and stand up against Donald Trump and his billionaire Climate Denial Cabinet’s fossil fueled agenda.

Students Win Victory for Workers’ Rights in Florida! - By staff, United Students Against Sweatshops, April 14, 2017 - Because USF prides itself on being a diverse and globally aware institution, WRC affiliation was the logical decision to make. In light of Nike’s latest move to bar independent monitors from it’s subcontracted workers around the world, we were determined to ensure USF apparel would be sweat-free by joining the ranks of over 180 universities proudly affiliated with the Workers Rights Consortium.

Sun Rises Over the Bluegrass State - By Heather Kathryn Ross, Earthjustice, Winter 2016-17 - But the utility must also ramp up its investment in energy efficiency, fund local job training, look into buying 100 megawatts of wind power and regularly study whether buying power from the Mitchell plant is sensible in light of stricter pollution rules.

Tesla Facing Possible Union Strike In Germany - By James Ayre, Clean Technica, April 19, 2017 - The union is asking for a wage increase of closer to 400 euro per month. Tesla is willing to increase compensation further through a TSLA stock program, but this too is being met with criticism from employees.” on Trump Officials Deliberating US Participation in Paris Climate Agreement - By Jamie Henn, Common Dreams, April 17, 2017 - This comes as movements for climate, jobs and justice gear up for the April 29 Peoples Climate March in the nation’s capitol and across the country.

Trump’s “Alternative Facts” about Climate Change Goes Ahead - By Easwaran Kanason, NrgEdge, April 3, 2017 - American coal production has actually increased since the 1970s, and even though it has dipped recently since the promotion of clean energy, it remains above a billion tons a year, up from 600 million tons in 1970. All of this has come from the benefits of automation and a change in mining techniques, shedding labour intensive jobs in favour of tireless machines.

Trump’s Policies Are Already Making Workplaces More Toxic - By Elizabeth Grossman, In These Times, April 11, 2017 - “It couldn’t get much worse in terms of the federal government’s role in preventing the number of occupational illnesses and diseases,” said Charlotte Brody, vice president of health initiatives at BlueGreen Alliance, an alliance of labor unions and environmental organizations.

Is Trump’s Rhetoric Working? More Americans Now Believe the President Can Save the Coal Industry - By Julian Spector, GreenTech Media,  April 13, 2017 - For many voters, the support for both kinds of energy is a matter of supporting good domestic jobs, rather than an intricate evaluation of the nation's energy mix.

Unionized scientists march in protest of attacks on facts - By By Carly Ebben Eaton and Kathy Setian, San Francisco Chronicle, April 11, 2017 - Unionized scientists are well positioned to fight back against the false narratives being pushed by the Trump administration, and to advocate collectively for continued funding of crucial basic research.

We defend the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas - By Diego Montón, Elizabeth Mpofu, and Geneviève, La Via Campesina, April 17, 2017 - 17 April, the day of Eldorado dos Carajás massacre in 1996, when 19 peasants were killed while struggling to defend their land, is marked as the International Day of Peasant Struggles. On this day, members of the Indonesian Peasant Union(SPI) join their sisters and brothers in La Via Campesina around the world, holding solidarity events, promising to globalize their struggles and to globalize hope.

We, the people, are right holders that shall hold the states accountable - By staff, La Via Campesina, April 19, 2017 - In agrarian struggles, access to land, water and other natural resources are common struggles. And those who defend such struggles are often criminalised.

What Are the Top 10 States for Clean Energy Jobs? - By Joel Jaeger, World Resources Institute, April 6, 2017 - According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are 374,000 American jobs in solar energy, 102,000 in wind energy and more than 2.2 million related to energy efficiency. For comparison, 160,000 Americans work in coal, 360,000 in natural gas and 515,000 in oil.

While Ohio coal employment falls, solar jobs double in Cleveland area - By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwest Energy News, March 28, 2017 - Solar industry jobs doubled in the Cleveland, Ohio area last year, driving about half of the state’s total job growth in the sector, according to new data released today by The Solar Foundation.

Work and Climate Change Report - The green transition of work and workplaces: Research and News from a Canadian viewpoint

Your farm is trying to kill you - By Ian Kullgren, Politico, April 12, 2017 - Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in America, with 22 of every 100,000 farmers dying in a work-related accident. Farmers are nearly twice as likely to die on the job as police officers are, five times as likely as firefighters, and 73 times as likely as Wall Street bankers.

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