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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #155

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, May 26, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

(About) 10 Million People Employed In Global Renewable Energy Industries, Reports IRENA - By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, May 24, 2017 - The renewable energy industry continues to grow, and new figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency show that it now employs nearly 10 million people worldwide; [related]: IRENA forecasts 24 million renewable energy jobs worldwide by 2030 - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, May 24, 2017 | As Others Plot the Renewables Revolution, Trump Walks Backwards to Drill Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - By Andy Rowell, Oil Change International, May 24, 2017 | Renewable Energy Powers Jobs for Almost 10 Million People - By Mahmoud Habboush, Bloomberg, May 24, 2017 | Solar industry drives renewable energy job growth worldwide - By Ryan Maye Handy, FuelFix, May 24, 2017.

After Five-Year Effort, California Adopts the Nation’s Strongest Refinery Safety Regulations - By staff, Blue-Green Alliance, May 18, 2017 - Oil companies will be required to use the safest equipment, and production line workers — not just bosses — will have authority to shut down units they deem unsafe, under the new rule adopted Thursday; [related]: Will new California refinery safety rule save lives, prevent toxic releases? - By Denis Cuff, Bay Area News Group, May 19, 2017

America's Largest Pension Fund Has Dumped a Fortune Into Monsanto Stock - By Zen Honeycutt, Alternet, May 17, 2017 - I was recently informed by a former California public health employee, that CalPERS, the state's pension and health care fund, the largest in the nation, has invested $136 million in Monsanto.

Anjin employees still waiting for termination benefits - By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud, Mining.Com, May 22, 2017 - A report published today by Zimbabwean newspaper News Day reveals that 127 former Anjin Investments employees owed some $407,442 in termination benefits won’t receive payments anytime soon. According to the paper, their application was removed from the roll at the High Court pending Anjin’s Constitutional Court challenge against the State.

Asbestos Blocked for 6th Time from Hazardous Substances List - By Matt Mauney, Abestos.Com, May 17, 2017 - “Failure to list chrysotile asbestos on Annex III once again is an absolute disgrace,” Andrew Dettmer, the national president of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) said. “While they dither, a quarter of a million people will die from asbestos-related diseases.”

China Shows Why Renewable Energy Is The Future, Not Coal - By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, May 22, 2017 - With his typical penchant for substituting personal opinions for facts, Trump trumpets that more coal, not renewable energy, equals more jobs. China’s experience gives the lie to that narrative. The Shanghai Waigaoqiao No. 3 power station has two 1,000 megawatt ultra- supercritical units. 250 employees operate both.

Chinese Turbine Manufacturer Goldwind Wants to Hire Out-of-Work Coal Miners - By Julian Spector, GreenTech Media, May 23, 2017 - Wyoming has been shedding coal jobs lately. Goldwind wants to put that skilled labor back to work for wind energy.

CLC must strengthen and grow, says re-elected president Hassan Yussuff - By Meagan Gillmore, Rabble.Ca, May 23, 2017 - The convention was organized around four main themes: fairness, equity, green jobs and organizing to strengthen the union movement. But focus is required. "If we're going to take something on, we have to be successful at it instead of just making a loud noise and then moving on to something else," he said.

"Clean This Place, Don't Displace": Activists Battle for Environmental Justice in Washington, DC - By Devi Lockwood, Truthout, May 19, 2017 - On April 29, 200,000 climate activists descended on DC for the People's Climate March, a demonstration of unity for jobs, justice, and climate action. "We resist, we build, we rise," protesters chanted. What happens, though, after those activists have gone home?

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

ConocoPhillips cutting 300 jobs in Calgary following Cenovus deal - By Ethan Lou, Toronto Globe and Mail, May 4, 2017 - ConocoPhillips will lay off 300 Canadian workers after selling most local assets to domestic crude producer Cenovus Energy Inc, the Houston-based company said on Thursday; [related]: Price of oil drops and more layoffs announced in Calgary - By Michael Franklin, CTV, May 5, 2017.

Cosatu blames government, mining sector for Welkom zama zama deaths - By staff, Times Live, May 19, 2017 - "We want to hear them offering concrete proposals on how they are going to improve in implementing mine closures‚ especially considering the mining industry’s poor environmental legacy. We still see many mines being abandoned‚ with mine shafts left open‚ resulting in the development of contaminated mine water; [related]: 'We call it the zama graveyard': 4 brothers among more than 40 killed in blast - By Graeme Hosken, Times Live, May 19, 2017

Delegates: Renationalise railways to save service - By Steve Sweeney, People's Daily Morning Star, May 20, 2017 - DELEGATES to the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference called on commuters yesterday to rally behind the party which will renationalise the railways and keep safety-critical train guards.

Despite what the Trump administration says, coal is out - By Bill Corcoran, High Country News, May 24, 2017 - Even states that have relatively low clean- energy goals are seeing major economic benefits. According to the Department of Energy, nearly 38,000 Utahns work in solar, wind, smart grid and battery storage. Even though the clean-energy industry is relatively young, it is growing faster than any other energy source and employs more people than coal, oil or gas.

Don Blankenship, Fresh Out of Prison, Begs Trump to Have Mercy on Coal Execs - By Ben Jervey, DeSmog Blog, May 19, 2017 - Don Blankenship, who just wrapped up a year in federal prison for criminal conspiracy to violate mine safety and health rules — a coordinated and concealed series of violations that lasted for at least 15 months leading up to the tragic Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 coal workers — emerged from his incarceration unrepentant, and none the humbler.

Farming the most dangerous of occupations, report finds - By staff, RTE, May 24, 2017 - Over the past decade 197 people have died in farm accidents in Ireland and so far this year another 11 fatalities have been added to that total; [realted]: Farmers slow to get help with tough jobs - By Catherine Shanahan, Irish Examiner, May 24, 2017.

G20 must support good jobs in the low carbon transition - By Ivetta Gerasimchuk and Anabella Rosemberg, Climate Change News, May 23, 2017 - Donald Trump’s unrealistic promise to put coal miners back to work shows why we need a positive strategy to create green jobs; [related]: Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way - By Frank Stricker, CounterPunch, May 22, 2017.

Hanford is Ripe for a Radioactive Explosion - By Joshua Frank, CounterPunch, May 18, 2017 - How surprising was the accident, which forced thousands of workers to find safety? Not very, according to a report uncovered by the Seattle-based advocacy group Hanford Challenge.

'If there is a risk, I want to know about it.' TTC, unions agree to study air pollution - By Andrea Janus, CBC News, May 23, 2017 - The TTC and the three unions representing transit employees have agreed to hire a third party to test air quality across the system a month after a study suggested air pollution is a significant problem on the city's subways.

Investigation Shows Yale Isn’t The Climate-Conscious Investor It Claims To Be - By Chris D’Angelo, Huffington Post, May 16, 2017 - UNITE HERE Local 33, a union of graduate employees, and Fossil Free Yale, a student group pushing for the Ivy League school to divest completely from the oil and gas industry, confronted the university with their findings in a Tuesday letter to Yale’s chief investment officer, David Swensen; [related]: Yale: Whose Side Are You Really On? - By Rachel Calnek-Sugin, Fossil Free, May 19, 2017

Is Media Being Suckered By United Auto Workers Union As Tesla Claims? - By James Ayre, Clean Technica, May 21, 2017 - (I)f the UAW became concerned about worker issues before 2017, which seems to be the case, it stands to reason that it might have spent months planning ways to put pressure on Tesla — all while Tesla was seemingly improving workplace conditions and employee hours on its own.

Jobs? Investing in renewables beats fossil fuels - By Allan Hoffman, Energy Post, May 19, 2017 - Solar and wind are no longer niche businesses, their widespread use addresses global warming and climate change, and their manufacture and deployment are powerful engines of economic growth and job creation.

Kazakhstan: Union Leader Gets 2-Year Jail Sentence - By Aigerim Toleukhanova, Eurasianet, May 18, 2017 - Human Rights Watch has described the case against Yeleusinov as politically motivated and part of an “ongoing crackdown on independent labor movement in Kazakhstan.”

Koch-Funded 'Inconvenient Energy Fact' Gets It All Wrong - By Denier Roundup, EcoWatch, May 19, 2017 - A solar worker installs a solar panel that will then produce power for decades, whereas coal labor is measured on an annual basis. Factoring in this crucial distinction cuts the figure down considerably. By O'Connor's rough estimate, it's actually only two solar jobs per coal job.

La Via Campesina

Lawsuit Targets Trump's Climate-change Censorship - By Center for Biological Diversity, Common Dreams, May 23, 2017 - The Center for Biological Diversity today sued the Trump administration to uncover public records showing that federal employees have been censored from using words or phrases related to climate change in formal agency communications; [related]: Trump Admin. Sued for Multi-Agency Climate Change Gag Orders, Bucking FOIA Requests - By Julia Travers, EnviroNews DC, May 23, 2017 | Trump administration sued over climate change ‘censorship’ - By Megan Darby, Climate Change News, May 24, 2017 | US Interior Department Suppresses Sea Level Rise Study Conclusion - By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, May 24, 2017.

Louisiana’s Infrastructure Opportunity: Coastal Restoration and Protection - By Shannon Cunniff, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, May 18, 2017 - If implemented, the 2017 Coastal Master Plan will help significantly reduce damages that could exceed $150 billion over the next 50 years without the master plan. In addition to reducing risk, investments in coastal restoration and protection will also support nearly 60,000 jobs over the next 10 years. That’s a huge win-win.

McDonald's Workers and Trump Resistance to Jointly Declare: "This Greed Must End" - By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, May 22, 2017 - Organized by the minimum wage campaign in conjunction with major anti-Trump groups like the Women's March,, Movement for Black Lives, Our Revolution, Indivisible Chicago, Cosecha, and the Sierra Club, the March on McDonald's reflects that out-of-control corporate power, as facilitated by the Trump administration, is "not only [a] worker's issue, immigrant, racial, women, LGBTQ, and environmental issue."; [related]: Hundreds of Fast Food Workers Rallied at McD's New HQ, Protest to Culminate at Massive Rally - By Jack Temple, Common Dreams, May 22, 2017 | Massive March on McDonald's Takes On "Donald Trump of Corporations" - By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, May 23, 2017 | Meet the Workers Who Took Overnight Buses to Bring the Fight for 15 to McDonald’s Stockholders - By Stephen Franklin, In These Times, May 24, 2017.

More coal will lead to more poverty, new report warns - By Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress, May 22, 2017 - The Oxfam report argues that Australia’s stance towards the coal mine is “fundamentally at odds with the global shift to renewable energy,” and ignores the opportunities for job and economic growth created by low-carbon technologies like wind and solar.

New ‘Blue Card’ Proposal Would Protect Farmworkers from Deportation - By Elizabeth Grossman, CivilEats, May 22, 2017 - Undocumented farmworkers are the backbone of the United States’ agriculture industry, a situation that has long posed numerous challenges for these workers, their families, and employers.

New Yorkers Turn Up the Heat to #DivestNY from Oil, Gas and Coal - By staff, Fossil Free, May 18, 2017 - We rounded out the week of action with the Climate, Jobs, Justice accountability forum where frontline community members, labor union members, workers, students and community organizers held a people’s interview of New York City most powerful politicians including Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Tish James.

OSHA withdraws controversial union walkaround policy - By Gloria Gonzalez, Business Insurance, April 28, 2017 - The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has withdrawn a controversial Obama- era policy that allowed union officials to participate in inspections at nonunionized workplaces.

Peterborough GE workers exposed to toxins for decades - By Joelle Kovach, Peterborough Examiner, May 18, 2017 - A new report shows that workers at the GE plant in Peterborough, Ontario were exposed to more than 3,000 toxic chemicals, including at least 40 known or suspected human carcinogens; [related]: GE workers paying price for decades of exposure to toxic chemicals - By Sara Mojtehedzadeh, The Star, May 18, 2017 | GE Peterborough workers exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals - By staff, CNW, May 19, 2017.

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

Republic Steel faces $279,578 in fines for alleged safety violations, lead exposure - By staff, Crain's Cleveland Business, May 19, 2017 - OSHA investigators found that one main maintenance worker was severely injured after being struck by an unguarded machine, and at least seven workers were exposed to excessive levels of lead. Lead exposure can cause health risks, the release stated.

Shell board confronted by pensioner welfare question from Paddy Briggs - By John Donovan, Royal Dutch Shell, May 24, 2017 - "I am here because it seems to me that when you pay your Chief Executive nearly 9 million Euros for one year’s work – with the suggestion that this could burgeon with bonuses to almost twice that figure – you need another context in respect of your discretionary expenditure choices. One such context is your 29,000 member Pensioner community in the UK."

Sparks down tools on Skanska Crossrail sites - By Grant Prior, Construction Enquirer, May 22, 2017 - Electricians “cabined-up” on a number of Crossrail sites yesterday in a simmering row over pay and union recognition.

Stop the Jordan Cove LNG Project #NoLNG - By Erik Rydberg, CounterPunch, May 19, 2017 - Large groups of people showed up to voice their disapproval of Jordan Cove LNG at each open house. Tribal members argued that the pipeline would run through Tribal lands, burial sites and water resources. Other citizens were concerned with land rights, the environmental impact and the lack of jobs associated with the pipeline.

Sun Towards High Noon: How Solar Energy Is Transforming Our Future - By Roy L Hales, EcoReport, May 18, 2017 - As of 2015, 2.8 million people around the world were employed in the PV solar sector. Close to 200,000 were in the United States and 35,000 in Canada.

Tenth Circuit Affirms Miner’s Black Lung Award Holding Coal-Mine Dust and Cigarette Smoke Are Additive (Energy West Mining Co. v. The Estate of Morris E. Blackburn) - By Evan B. Smith, Devil in the Dust, May 23, 2017 - Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a published opinion affirming a coal miner’s award of federal black lung benefits.

Tesla factory workers reveal pain, injury and stress: 'Everything feels like the future but us' - By Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian, May 18, 2017 - Ambulances have been called more than 100 times since 2014 for workers experiencing fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing and chest pains, according to incident reports obtained by the Guardian. Hundreds more were called for injuries and other medical issues.

TUED Unions Urge UK Labour Party To “Reclaim Power” - By staff, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, May 17, 2017 - The manifesto outlines policies of interest those dedicated to the movements for energy democracy and a just transition away from fossil fuels; [related]: UK Labour Party Manifesto: We Will Take Energy Back Into Public Ownership, Drive Renewables - By Michael O’Neil, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, May 17, 2017

Trump budget endangers people and the planet - By Audrey Fox, Friends of the Earth, May 22, 2017 - Trump’s first budget prioritizes polluters by robbing working Americans of vital protections for their health and environment. This is the budget designed by the corporate lobbyists Trump has brought into his administration to short circuit environmental protections to pad the profits of millionaires and billionaires; [related]: Budget breakdown - By staff, Look West, May 24, 2017 | Congress is not happy about Trump’s budget taking away environmental protections - By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Grist, May 23, 2017 | Cut Bloated Crop Insurance Program but Put Money Back into Rural America, Not Take it Away - By Tom Nuessmeier and Ben Anderson, Land Stewardship Project, May 24, 2017 | "It's Crap": The Trump Administration's Budget Is a Highway to Privatization - By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, May 24, 2017 | President Trump’s Budget Kicks People When They’re Down - By Monique Morrissey, Common Dreams, May 24, 2017 | Resurrecting 'Gilded Age,' Trump Budget Sacrifices All for Military and Ultra-Rich - By Lauren McCauley, Commons Dreams, May 23, 2017 | Trump Admin Proposes 70% Cut To Renewable Energy and Efficiency Programs at Energy Dept - By Farron Cousins, DeSmog Blog, May 17, 2017 | Trump Budget Disregards Science, Puts Public Health, Innovation at Risk, Science Group Says - By Elliott Negin, Common Dreams, May 23, 2017 | Trump budget pushes EPA, DOE cuts, divestment from federal power assets - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, May 24, 2017 | Trump Budget To Decimate US Clean Energy & Environment Programs - By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, May 24, 2017 | Trump just released his budget and it breaks a lot of promises - By Ryan Koronowski, ThinkProgress, May 23, 2017 | Trump to Pitch Deep Cuts to Anti-Poverty Programs, Medicaid - By Erik Wasson and Steven T. Dennis, Bloomberg, May 21, 2017 | Trump Wants to Cut Energy Dept's Renewables Budget. Big Time - By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, May 17, 2017 | Trump wants to cut the EPA’s Superfund by 25 percent - By Emily Atkin, High Country News, May 23, 2017 | Trump wants to gut energy program with highest job potential and rate of return - By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, May 17, 2017 | Trump wants to slash money for food and farming - By Nathanael Johnson, Grist, May 23, 2017 | Trump’s budget: A new foundation for climate catastrophe - By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, May 24, 2017 | Trump’s budget balls-up  - By Michael Roberts, Facts For Working People, May 24, 2017 | Trump's Budget Is a Blueprint for a Banana Republic-Style Military Dictatorship - By Binta Baxter, Common Dreams, May 24, 2017 | Trump's Budget Is Immoral - By Bernie Sanders, Common Dreams, May 24, 2017 | Trump’s budget is ruthless to disabled and poor people - By Casey Quinlan, ThinkProgress, May 23, 2017 | Trump’s budget sacrifices diplomacy for bigger guns - By Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani, ThinkProgress, May 23, 2017 | Trump’s Budget Takes a Sledgehammer to What Remains of the American Dream - Joseph Stiglitz interviewed by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! , May 24, 2017 | Trump’s Budget Unites Farmers and Foodies - By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group, May 24, 2017 | Trump’s budget would limit food stamp benefits for larger families - By Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress, May 24, 2017 | Trump’s clean energy budget cuts would ‘devastate’ an emerging economic sector - By Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, May 23, 2017 | Trump's EPA Budget: 5 Critical Programs on His Chopping Block - By Elgie Holstein, EcoWatch, May 24, 2017 | Trump's 'Environmentally Disastrous' Budget Would Cripple EPA - By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch, May 23, 2017 | Trump's Immoral Budget Is 'Dead on Arrival' in Congress - By Michael Linden, Common Dreams, May 23, 2017 | Trump's Koch-Funded Appointees Continue Ruthless Attack on Clean Energy Growth - By Elliott Negin, Union of Concerned Scientists, May 19, 2017 | Trump’s Proposed Cuts to EPA, USDA Are ‘Nothing But Bad News’ For Farmers and Other Rural Americans - By Alex Formuzis, Environmental Working Group, May 24, 2017 | Trump’s 2018 Budget: What’s on the Chopping Block for Clean Energy - By Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media, May 23, 2017.

Trump Fails to Deliver a NAFTA Renegotiation Plan - By Michael Brune, EcoWatch, May 18, 2017 - Donald Trump promised that he'd fix NAFTA on his first day in office. 119 days later he has managed to send Congress a two-page letter that fails to include any real plan to fix a deal that has undermined environmental protections, eliminated jobs, undercut wages, polluted our air and water and fueled climate change.

U.S. chemical safety rules need to be updated - By Mike Wilson, Houston Chronicle, May 16, 2017 - If Mr. Pruitt spent a day in the shoes of an American worker in these high-hazard industries, he would fight to implement the RMP improvements without delay. It's not hyperbole to say that lives are at stake.

Westinghouse locks out union workers at nuclear reactor parts factory - By Peter Maloney, Utility Dive, May 24, 2017 - Westinghouse Electric has issued a lockout notice to 172 union employees at its New Hampshire nuclear reactor manufacturing facility as a result of a stalemate in negotiations.

Why Black Lung Disease Is Deadlier Than Ever Before - By Maya Wei-Haas, Smithsonian, May 16, 2017 - On-the-job mine safety has improved drastically in recent decades, with deaths due to accidents now counted in the tens, not hundreds, as they were in the 1970s and 80s. Long-term health, however, is a different story. As the administration seeks to fulfill the campaign promise to send miners in coal country back to work, black lung has made a comeback.

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

Workers block access to First Majestic’s La Encantada mine in Mexico - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, May 24, 2017 - The Vancouver-based silver producer said that it was not clear how long the blockade would last, though it noted it was working with the leadership of the National Union in order to resume operations and bring miners back to 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:

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