Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 7, 2017
A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:
Afraid of losing their jobs, workers take over the business - By Anna-Catherine Brigida, Public Radio International, March 23, 2017 - Los Chanchitos is one of more than 300 Argentine businesses that have been occupied and converted into co-ops since the mid-1990s, when a crashing economy bankrupted thousands of companies. But now Argentina's co-op members are worried what might happen to their movement with a conservative government in power, rolling back some of the leftist policies that benefited them.
Agroecology, not Pesticides, is the Future for Food - By Eva Perroni, Foodtank, April 3, 2017 - The burden of these negative effects falls largely on farmers and agricultural workers, but also communities living near agricultural land, particularly those from impoverished areas. Children, especially those engaged in agricultural work, are most vulnerable to pesticide contamination, as exposure to even low levels of pesticides can dangerously harm their health and natural development.
Building an Army to Fight Runaway Inequality - By Dan DiMaggio, Labor Notes, April 4, 2017 - On a recent trip to the Bay Area, he led a training with the Sierra Club, the Steelworkers, and CWA, which even took up the thorny question of alliance-building between environmentalists and labor.
As China's Coal Mines Close, Miners Are Becoming Bolder In Voicing Demands - By Rob Schmitz, NPR, March 14, 2017 - "This is a dangerous job," he says. "Accidents have killed dozens of workers here. We've risked our lives for this mine and we earn just enough to afford cabbage. Now we won't be able to take care of our parents or children."
Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:
Cities and states tackle clean energy, climate after Trump halts environmental action - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, March 30, 2017 - The order may keep some plants online longer, but market forces are increasingly pushing marginal coal facilities to the brink. Adding to that, the coal industry is increasingly automated, so it's unclear how much a bump in production would impact employment.
Dairy workers call on Ben and Jerry’s to give them better hours and fair wages - By Esther Yu Hsi Lee, Think Progress, April 4, 2017 - In the state of Vermont and across the country, dairy workers and supporters of migrant farmworkers rallied outside the ice cream company’s storefronts on Tuesday to call attention to what they say are human rights abuses in the dairy supply chain.
Earth Day: Nearly 400 ‘March for Science’ Protests Scheduled Against Trump’s Climate Policies - By staff, Telesur, April 1, 2017 - The march signals a major political shift for scientists, who are often encouraged by their employers to refrain from publicly commenting on or participating in politics. But as Trump continues to implement policies that hurt the environment, political atheists are quickly becoming political activists.
Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’ - By Eric Wolff, Politico, march 29, 2017 - Employees of DOE’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy learned of the ban at a meeting Tuesday, the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order at EPA headquarters to reverse most of former President Barack Obama's climate regulatory initiatives.
Energy Department Tells Staff to Stop Using Phrase 'Climate Change' - By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch, March 30, 2017 - While a department spokeswoman denied any official language ban in the climate office or in the department as a whole, POLITICO's sources said that there is a general sense among DOE employees that such hot-button terms should be avoided in favor of words like "jobs" and "infrastructure" in light of the Trump administration's anti-environmental agenda.
The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s - By Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, March 31, 2017 - Experts in the industry have already pointed out, repeatedly, that the coal jobs are extremely unlikely to come back. The plight of the coal industry is more a function of changing energy markets and increased demand for natural gas than anything else.
EPA Proposal Cuts Hundreds of Climate Change Employees - By Emily Holden, Scientific American, April 4, 2017 - A memo detailing how U.S. EPA would cut its budget by one-third shows that the agency would eliminate hundreds of employees working on climate change, including 20 lawyers who provide support for the Clean Power Plan.
ELPC’s Learner Warns Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts to Transportation Bad for Midwest Economy - By Howard Learner, Chicago Tribune, March 29, 2017 - Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, said the proposed cuts are ironic, given Trump’s talk about investing in transportation infrastructure and jobs.
Even Under Trump, a U.S. Coal Giant Plots Cautious Comeback Plan - By Tim Loh, Bloomberg, April 4, 2017 - "As utilities continue retiring coal plants and renewable energy production soars, Peabody is betting on a coal revival that simply isn’t going to happen," Mary Anne Hitt, director of Sierra Club’s "Beyond Coal Campaign," said in a statement. "Peabody is once again putting workers, communities, and even its shareholders at risk."
Forget the war on coal. The war is on miners - By Emily Sanders, Grist, March 31, 2017 - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the mining, quarrying, and gas and oil extraction industries are nearly four times as likely to die on the job as the average U.S. worker. “Any time you work in the coal industry, your safety is at risk,” said Price. “There’s enough danger in the mines as it is. If you take away just one protection, it could be fatal.”
43,000 Audi Workers Ask Management To Build More Electric Cars - By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, March 31, 2017 - Seldom in the annals of history have workers sought to have such a direct involvement in a company’s internal policy decisions. “Our core factory must be prepared further for the future,” Audi’s top labor representative, Peter Mosch, told a gathering of 7,000 workers on Wednesday.