Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 17, 2017
News of interest to green unionists:
Alabama's largest solar farm completed - By Bruce Lieberman, Yale Climate Connections, March 9, 2017 - During construction, it employed over 350 workers, and most of those were from the local area.
An open letter to America's coal miners, and to America - By Mark Sumner, Daily Kos, March 8, 2017 - I worked in coal mining for 32 years. I won’t go so far as to call myself a miner, because only a fraction of that was spent actually loading explosives in a surface mine, or working construction underground. Most of my time I was that other thing, a “company man.”
Atenco, Mexico: Campesinos opposed to the New Airport Violently Attacked - By anonymous, It's Going Down, March 10, 2017 - A group of between 30 and 40 people violently attacked members of the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) and others of the state of Mexico that are opposing the construction of the new international airport of Mexico City. This violent group was armed and shot on various occasions at campesinos that were protesting with a road blockade in Tocuila.
Chicago Teachers Union hosts International Women’s Day Protest - By Mark Ugolini, Socialist Action, March 12, 2017 - Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 308 leader Deborah Cosey-Lane addressed the plight of Chicago transit workers who have been without a contract for over 14 months. “We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired!” she said, after describing working conditions of woman drivers, who are forced to endure unsafe and demeaning rules, working long hours, and being denied bathroom facilities and breaks.
‘Close To A Miracle’ More People Weren’t Hurt In Newburgh Train Derailment - By staff, CBS New York, March 8, 2017 - “During that derailment, the freight cars and the tankers, they struck two pieces of CSX maintenance equipment that were on an adjacent track,” Mazzone said, adding that two employees who were operating the equipment were treated for injuries.
Coal employment prospects bleak and bleaker - By Bruce Lieberman, Yale Climate Connections, March 8, 2017 - Coal, despite what President Trump promises, will continue to be in decline — and it’s not because the federal government is regulating it out of existence.
The Crisis in the ATU: Labour Shoots Itself in the Foot - By Sam Gindin and Herman Rosenfeld, The Bullet, March 14, 2017 - A sign of the tragic disarray of the Canadian labour movement is the extent to which its misadventures keep piling up. As the turmoil within the union representing the Ontario government's unionized employees (Ontario Public Service Employees Union – OPSEU) hits the press, the chaos continues in Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). The 10,500 members in that local – over a third of the ATU's Canadian membership – operate and maintain Toronto's transit system, North America's third largest public transit system, behind only New York and Mexico City. As with OPSEU, the acrimonious story is not about a tough strike or a response to an anti-union government. Rather, at a time when the union should be leading the charge to address popular frustrations with the failures in the city's transit system, the local is preoccupied with a messy internal battle.
Even if Symbolic, Chicago Fossil Fuel Divestment Could Send "Powerful Signal" - By Kari Lydersen, Truthout, March 15, 2017 - "There's a good argument to save the pension funds and pensioners when the carbon bubble bursts," said Coble. "It's like musical chairs, you don't want to be left holding these bonds when the music ends."
Expanded wind tower production in Portland shows Vic Renewable Energy Target already creating jobs - By Pat Simons, Yes2Renewables, March 10, 2017 - Friends of the Earth say expanded wind turbine tower production at Keppel Prince in Portland — Australia’s leading wind turbine tower maker – demonstrates that the Andrews government’s commitment to ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Targets is already creating jobs in regional communities.
A fading future for the tar sands - By Adam Scott, Oil Change International, March 10, 2017 - Oil majors are dumping Canada’s tar sands assets and investors are walking away from new projects.
5 Remarkable Moments from Bernie Sanders' Town Hall in the Heart of Coal Country - By Alexandra Rosenmann, Alternet, March 14, 2017 - Sanders wants to make sure America's coal country "heroes" get the pensions they deserve, an issue highlighted in a Van Jones "Messy Truth" segment last week.
FTAs and Agriculture: New Edition of Nyeleni Newsletter is out! - By staff, La Via Campesina, March 15, 2017 - FTAs aren’t just about ‘trade’. They’re comprehensive agreements to lock in free market capitalism, strengthen the power of global corporations, finance, and powerful governments, and advance their geopolitical objectives. There are direct links between FTAs, climate change, ecological devastation, and violations of Indigenous Peoples’, workers’ and farmers’ rights.
Freeport’s Cerro Verde copper mine in Peru hit by strike - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, March 10, 2017 - Workers at Freeport-McMoRan's (NYSE:FCX) Cerro Verde copper mine in Peru began Friday an indefinite strike over wages, adding pressures to a stressed global copper market already affected by stoppages at two of the world’s biggest copper operations.
Freight Train Derails Along Newburgh Waterfront - By Leonard Sparks, Times Herald-Record, March 9, 2017 - A CSX train carrying hazardous materials derailed Tuesday after striking a forklift being driven across the tracks by a steel company employee, leaving an engine resting across Water Street, injuring two and alarming local officials who long feared a derailment.The 77-car train derailed about 3:15 p.m. as an employee for Steelways Inc. drove the lift across Water Street, which separates the company’s main waterfront site from a property where massive steel tubes for the Delaware Aqueduct bypass tunnel project are being stored.
'Healthcare is a Right': Bernie Sanders Finds Common Ground in Trump Country - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, March 14, 2017 - Sanders also advocated for retired miners—many of whom suffer from black lung disease and other ailments from a lifetime of mining coal—to receive the pensions and healthcare benefits currently tied up in Congress. He specifically called out Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who represents voters in coal country, for advocating for coal company executives over their workers. One audience member—another retired miner—agreed with Sanders' assessment, telling the senator that "I think it's ironic that a senator from the Northeast takes care of my benefits better than someone like Mitch McConnell."