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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #156

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, June 2, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

After two deadly explosions, Colorado’s largest gas producer faces lawsuits - By Mark Hand, Think Progress, May 30, 2017 - In April, leaking methane from a natural gas pipeline owned by Anadarko reportedly caused a house to explode in Firestone, Colorado, killing two residents and injuring a third. Last week, a storage tank exploded at a Mead, Colorado facility owned and operated by Anadarko, killing one worker and injuring three others; [related]: Anadarko Execs Buy up Depressed Stock After Lethal Colorado Explosions, Then Its Oil Tank Exploded - By Steve Horn, Counterpunch, May 31, 2017 | Back-To-Back Oil & Gas Explosions Rattle Colorado Communities - By Alisa Barba and Leigh Paterson, Inside Energy, May 25, 2017 | Fire at Anadarko oil tank site kills worker, injures 3 - By Collin Eaton, FuelFix, May 26, 2017 | One Dead, Three Injured in Anadarko Oil Tank Explosion - By Lena Moffitt, EcoWatch, May 26, 2017.

Amid layoffs and bankruptcies, solar renegades turn to Trump to fight ‘China’ - By Samantha Page, ThinkProgress, May 30, 2017 - The U.S. solar industry should be on top of the world. Last year, installations nearly doubled over 2015. The industry employs more than 260,000 people — with a growth rate that puts the overall economy to shame; [related]: US tells WTO it is considering tariffs on solar panels - By Peter Maloney, Utility Dive, May 31, 2017.

A Budget That Scorches the Planet - By Rhea Suh, Common Dreams, May 30, 2017 - These cuts don’t make sense—and they undermine one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy: the clean energy sector that employs more than three million American workers; [related]: Trump’s 2018 Budget = Severe Cuts To Federal Funding For Transit, Bicycling, & Walking — Is Not Pro-Life, Not Pro-Child - By Cynthia Shahan, Clean Technica, May 30, 2017.

Coal Miners Crushed As White House Admits Trump Lied About Bringing Back Coal Jobs - By Jason Easley, PoliticusUSA, May 26, 2017 - The truth is that the coal jobs are gone, and they aren’t coming back. Trump lied to former and current coal miners in places like West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Western Pennsylvania; [related]: #ThanksTrump! Another Dagger in the Heart of Coal Country, USA - By Tina Casey, Clean Technica, May 29, 2017 | Top Trump economic adviser: ‘Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore’ - By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, May 26, 2017.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Combative Farm Workers in Only Indigenous-Led US Union Win Labor Rights Defenders Award - By staff, Telesur, May 24, 2017 - “Our union is different because the leadership is 100 percent farm workers,” FUJ President Ramon Torres told teleSUR. “For the most part, our union is built by farm workers volunteering their time to make the union strong.”

“Corporate Free” Richmond Candidates Moving Up - By Steve Early, Beyond Chron, May 23, 2017 - Among them were a few political heavyweights—like Greenpeace, the California Nurses Association, and Clean Water Action. But most endorsers of the rally against corporate pollution of air, water, and politics were local branches of or the Green Party, anti-fracking groups, and on-line networks like RootsAction or the Courage Campaign.

Dozens of Labrador mining staffers show signs of lung disease, report finds - By staff, Canadian Press, May 24, 2017 - A new medical report has found that 35 people who worked at mining properties in Labrador have signs of silicosis, a lung disease that can develop from breathing in silica dust; [related]: Report sheds light on silica dust danger, despite 'very poor cooperation' from Wabush Mines - By Peter Cowan, CBC News, May 24, 2017

In Dramatic Shift, Kentucky Voters Potentially Becoming Numb to Politicians Talking About Coal Jobs - By Farron Cousins, DeSmog Blog, May 30, 2017 - When politicians promise to bring Kentucky's mining jobs back, voters typically don't take their pledge literally, UK political science professor Stephen Voss said. But they may vote for those candidates because they believe they want to support the coal industry.

Economic Inequality Is A Driver Of Climate Change - By Marlene Cimons, Nexus Media, May 24, 2017 - “Since the Reagan administration, the left has been hobbled by a supposed environment versus jobs/economy dichotomy,” Holmberg added.

Environmental organizations still have a diversity problem - By Nikhil Swaminathan, Grist, May 25, 2017 - A report on the employment practices of green groups finds that the sector, despite its socially progressive reputation, is still overwhelmingly the bastion of white men; [related]: The environmental movement (still) has a major diversity problem - By Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress, May 26, 2017.

The Epic Battle Between Big Oil and the People of California - By Dan Bacher, Red, Green, and Blue, May 27, 2017 - Food and Water Watch, the California Nurses Association, Greenpeace,, Friends of the Earth, Rootskeeper, Center for Biological Diversity, Davis Stand and many other statewide and national environmental and health groups sponsored the rally.

Fiscal Fightback: Trump's Budget Could Ignite Progressive Uprising - By Christopher Cook, Common Dreams, May 27, 2017 - Instead of Trump’s trickle-down tax breaks for the wealthy and big business, the People’s Budget restores modest Clinton-era tax rates on millionaires and billionaires, bringing in job-creation revenue while making the economic playing field at least a bit more level. The People’s Budget expands opportunities, stimulates local economies, and invests in America’s future—roads and bridges, health and education, workers’ wages and safety, and environmental sustainability.

Forestry and fishing named as most most dangerous jobs, new data shows - By Andrew Brown, Canberra Times, May 27, 2017 - Analysis of data from Safe Work Australia has revealed 52 agriculture, forestry or fishing workers died on the job in 2015.

Haitian Garment Workers Go On Strike! - By Winter Jones, Ideas and Action, May 19, 2017 - According to Rapid Response Network, Haitian workers are often paid below the minimum legal wage and are given ridiculous production quotas. Union members are harassed and fired arbitrarily, despite union activities being legally protected under Haitian law.

Imperial Pacific must Pay Legal Wages, Compensate Injuries of Saipan Construction Workers - By staff, Hong Kong Confederation of Unions, May 16, 2017 - Although Imperial Pacific “denounced” this abuse of workers by its contractors, this is clearly insufficient. Hundreds of exploited workers remain uncompensated.

Indian coal unions plan nationwide strike - By staff, IndustriALL, May 12, 2017 - Around half a million coal workers in India are set to hold a three-day nationwide strike from 19 to 21 June, 2017 over pensions and wages.

IRENA Report Says in 2016, Large Hydropower Accounted for 1.5M Renewable Energy Jobs - By Gregory B. Poindexter, Renewable Energy World, May 30, 2017 - When accounting for direct employment, the largest renewable energy technology by installed capacity — large hydropower — the total number of global renewable energy jobs climbed from 8.3 million to 9.8 million in 2016, according to a report released on May 24 during the 13th Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; [related]: Global Green Energy Job Count Approaches the 10 Million Mark - By Jeff St. John, GreenTech Media, May 31, 2017 | U.S. Renewable Energy Jobs Employ 800,000+ People and Rising: in Charts - By Paul Horn, InsideClimate News, May 30, 2017.

James Hardie asbestos victim receives record $1m compensation payout in Adelaide - By staff, ABC (Australia) News, May 26, 2017 - A terminally ill South Australian man will receive a record compensation payout from former asbestos supplier James Hardie, after the Adelaide District Court made an Australian-first ruling and forced the company to pay "exemplary damages".

La Via Campesina

Meet Jane, a climate scientist who fled Trump’s government - By Elizabeth Shogren, High Country News, May 26, 2017 - They drafted an open letter from women scientists. “We fear that the scientific progress and momentum in tackling our biggest challenges, including staving off the worst impacts of climate change, will be severely hindered under this next U.S. administration,” they wrote.

Miner who triggered McIntyre Powder study dies - By Ron Grech, Timmins Press, May 29, 2017 - A retired miner whose deteriorating health triggered a campaign to investigate the residual effects of McIntyre Powder has died.

Nevada Assembly clear bill boosting renewables mandate to 80% by 2040 - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, May 25, 2017 - Elspeth DiMarzio, Sierra Club’s representative in in the state, said in a statement that "Nevada's leaders are serious about making the state a clean energy leader. We have so much clean energy potential and this bill taps into that to create jobs, increase energy security, and protect our air and water."; [related]: Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson stands between Nevada and a renewable energy future - By David Pomerantz, Energy and Policy Institute, May 25, 2017.

No one’s breathing easy in the nation’s new megawarehouse hub - By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Grist, May 30, 2017 - Many warehouse jobs are also low wage, temporary, and unsafe. The facilities rack up a plethora of safety violations, according to California health and safety inspectors, and workers report high levels of injury and illness.

No plan to probe missing health and safety reports - By Joe Leogue, Irish Examiner, May 26, 2017 - The State is facing at least six lawsuits from former Air Corps technicians who suffer chronic illnesses that they say were caused by their working environment at Casement Aerodrome.

On Paris, it’s Trump and the fossil fuel industry versus everyone else on earth - By Duncan Meisel,, May 25, 2017 - In fact, the coal industry employs about as many people as the fast food chain Arby’s, while the solar energy industry created more jobs than the coal industry employed in total in 2016.

PCS joins fight for rights of terminally ill workers - By staff, Public and Commercial Services Union, May 25, 2017 - The TUC’s Dying to Work campaign works to get terminal illness recognised as a ‘protected characteristic’ so that affected employees are entitled to a protected period where they could not be dismissed as a result of their condition.

The problems with the TTC’s random testing - By Donna Burman, Rank and File, May 25, 2017 - On the surface, random testing looks great in attempting to address a significant issue. Yet under the surface lies the root of the problem: ATU Local 113 members oppose random testing because it is a violation of privacy rights and is a discriminatory policy.

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

RMT pledges to fight cuts to safety-critical renewals work - By staff, RMT, May 25, 2017 - RAIL UNION RMT today pledged to fight planned cuts to renewals work for Network Rail by contractor Carillion which the union says present a direct threat to both jobs and safety.

Strike at Barrick’s Veladero mine suspended - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, May 29, 2017 - Workers at Barrick Gold’s (TSX, NYSE:ABX) Veladero mine in Argentina began Sunday an indefinite and unplanned strike over better working conditions at the operation, which has recently been the focus of controversy due to a cyanide spill in March, the third such incident in less than 18 months.

Teachers dubious about Heartland climate mailing - By Daisy Simmons, Yale Climate Connections, May 30, 2017 - Through her proactive response and a strong Twitter following, Freeman's initiatives have helped spark others to also speak-out against efforts to undermine science education.

Tesla workers were seriously hurt more than twice as often as industry average - By Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian, May 24, 2017 - Tesla factory workers were injured at a rate 31% higher than industry average – and seriously injured at a rate more than double the industry average – in 2015, according to a new report from a worker safety organization; [related]: Tesla had worse safety records than slaughterhouses and sawmills, but says it's improving - By Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2017 | UAW Focuses on Safety in Tesla Organizing Effort - By Joseph Szczesny, Wards Auto, May 31, 2017.

Trump + Russia Chaos Is Tiny Preview Of Carbon Bubble Popping - By Zachary Shahan, Clean Technica, May 28, 2017 - Automation has put many more coal workers out of business as well. Despite the intricacies of this unstoppable trend, the topic of coal jobs was exploited by Trump and his team to help get elected. Trump will not save many coal jobs and certainly won’t bring any back, but that promise in the midst of the collapse of coal was one of many little keys to Trump’s win.

U.S. Senators Ask: What’s Up at OSHA? - By Paul Feldman, Fair Warning, May 30, 2017 - Labor advocates say highlighting abuses is a crucial tool to deter bad employers because OSHA is so thinly staffed that, according to union researchers, it would take the agency 145 years working at its normal pace to inspect every workplace under its jurisdiction just once.

What Happened When 700 New York Chemical Plant Workers Walked Off Their Jobs - By Carla Javier, Fusion, May 25, 2017 - Seven-hundred workers walked out of the Momentive chemical plant in upstate New York one week before Donald Trump was elected president.

When some US firms move production overseas, they also offshore their pollution - By Yue Maggie Zhou, The Conversation, May 18, 2017 - Companies that offshore pollution to less-regulated countries are taking advantage of those nations’ lower environmental and labor standards and letting the host countries bear the associated social costs.

Wind Project in Wyoming Envisions Coal Miners as Trainees - By Diane Cardwell, New York Times, May 21, 2017 - On Thursday at an energy conference in Wyoming, the company announced plans for a free training program for one of the nation’s fastest-growing jobs: wind farm technician. And it is aiming the program at coal miners having trouble finding work, as well as those from other industries.

Wind, solar cheaper than coal and gas, so let’s get on with it - By Sophie Vorrath, REnew Economy, May 25, 2017 - As former Clean Energy Finance Corp chief Oliver Yates writes today, building more renewables is the most sure-fire way of reducing costs to consumers and industry and protecting jobs. He wants the Victoria renewable energy target’s auction to start soon.

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.

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