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Eco Unionist News

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #161

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, July 1, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

Abbott’s death-wish on industry: Freeze RET, ban wind, build coal - By Giles Parkinson, REnew Economy, June 27, 2017 - The facility was about to be cancelled because of the soaring cost of gas, but having locked in prices under its 100 per cent renewable scenario, it will now go ahead with some 1,300 jobs and the largest such facility in the country, supplying markets in Australia and overseas; [related]: Research finds huge majority of Australians want an energy system dominated by renewables - By The Climate Institute, REnew Economy, June 27, 2017.

AKG Thermotechnik fires union leaders in Turkey - By staff, IndustriALL, June 15, 2017 - Workers responded to the dismissal of union leaders by staying in the factory. Management called the police, who evicted the workers. A total of 25 workers have now been dismissed. The workers are maintaining a picket outside the plant.

Beyond the War on Coal - By Katie O'Reilly, Sierra, June 23, 2017 - Economic diversification in coal country is a really important conversation we wanted to address. One of the things that was really important to me was pointing out the fact that there are roughly 51,000 coal miners in the country—more people are employed by Whole Foods.

Cambodian female workers in Nike, Asics and Puma factories suffer mass faintings - By Karen McVeigh, The Guardian, June 24, 2017 - Poor ventilation and chemicals inside and outside factories contribute to the gruelling working environment, while workers at provincial factories can face exhausting journeys into work, standing for up to two hours in trucks; [related]: A Global Call to Action Against Nike - By staff, United Students Against Sweatshops, June 25, 2017.

Closing Navajo Nation’s coal plant is not justice - By Andrew Curley, High Country News, June 28, 2017 - When Indian Country’s largest coal-fired power plant shuts down, the Navajo Nation will sacrifice hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenues after decades of sacrificing its land, water, air, health and lives to provide energy to the residents of Arizona, California and Nevada.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Collapse of transmission tower in Newfoundland kills two workers - By Jeff Cottri, OHS Canada, June 27, 2017 - Construction of a transmission line was halted west of Come by Chance, N.L. on June 19, after two workers were killed by a transmission tower’s sudden collapse.

Colombia coal mine explosion kills 13 - By Andrew Topf, Mining.Com, June 25, 2017 - Thirteen coal miners have died in Colombia after an explosion at an illegal coal mine on Friday.

Concern that new Brexit minister supports removing asbestos laws - By Barckley Sumner, Unite the Union,  June 24, 2017 - Unite is demanding that the government now provide ‘cast-iron guarantees’ that asbestos regulations won’t be watered down.

Could a Trade Dispute with China Bring an End to U.S. Solar Boom? - By Marc Gunther, Yale Environment 360, June 27, 2017 - Most solar jobs in the United States are in sales and installation, not manufacturing, but tariffs could drive up the cost of solar and make it less competitive; [related]: CEO: US Solar Trade Case is a Job Killer - By Jennifer Runyon, Renewable Energy World, June 28, 2017 | Solar Costs Are Hitting Jaw-Dropping Lows in Every Region of the World - By Eric Wesoff and Stephen Lacey, GreenTech Media, June 27, 2017.

Death of a sanitary worker - By staff, Labour Watch Pakistan, June 22, 2017 - The workers are not provided any safety gear, equipment or formal training in what they do. They have to work under extremely hazardous and life-threatening conditions. Serious accidents are not uncommon in this trade; [related]: Sanitation workers clean our cities, but they are denied even minimum wage - By staff, City Today, June 25, 2017.

18 farm workers hospitalized for suspected insecticide exposure - By Sara Rubin, Monterey County Weekly, June 23, 2017 - By 7am, all 18 workers were in the emergency room at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, where medical staff called a "code triage," setting up a command center and a mobile decontamination shower trailer where workers were cleaned.

EPA accelerates purge of scientists - By Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress, June 21, 2017 - “This independent advice is needed now more than ever. By sacking dozens of scientific counselors, Pruitt is showing that he doesn’t value scientific input and the benefits it offers the public.”; [related]: Dozens of EPA Staffers Weigh In on the Damage Trump Has Inflicted - By Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones, June 22, 2017 | E.P.A. Official Pressured Scientist on Congressional Testimony, Emails Show - By Coral Davenport, New York Times, June 26, 2017 | EPA Pushes Actual Scientists Out The Door - By Natasha Geiling, Clean Technica, June 22, 2017 | EPA Veteran: “Scott Pruitt Is Taking the Agency in the Wrong Direction” - By Michael Cox, Sightline Institute, June 26, 2017 | GOP war on science: EPA chief of staff bullies scientist into mangling testimony - By Meteor Blades, Environmental Defense Fund, June 27, 2017 | A top scientist ‘felt bullied’ to downplay facts by EPA chief of staff - By Manola Secaira, Grist, June 27, 2017 | Trump and Pruitt’s Ax to EPA Budget Threatens Water, Air, Public Health  - By Ben Ratner, Environmental Working Group, June 27, 2017 | Trump Proposal Puts Americans at Greater Risk from Toxic Chemicals - By staff, Environmental Working Group, June 22, 2017 | When Trump’s agencies undermine small businesses supporting responsible energy - By Ben Ratner, Environmental Defense Fund, June 20, 2017.

Firefighters' union has to be core participant in Grenfell inquiry, MPs told - By staff, Fire Brigades Union, June 22, 2017 - The union’s letter to MPs included references to cuts to the fire and rescue service, with a new figure obtained this week via a Freedom of Information request that 11,000 frontline firefighter jobs have been lost since 2010 – until recently the figure was 10,000. This equates to almost one fifth (20%) of the entire workforce, which the FBU know puts public safety at risk; [related]: Deregulation Taskforce Targeted Building Standards Before Grenfell Tower Blaze - By Zachary Davies Boren and Guy Shrubsole, Energydesk, June 27, 2017 | Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen - By Graham Peebles, CounterPunch, June 23, 2017 | Grenfell Tower residents evicted from hotel with just hours’ notice - By Radical Housing Network, Red Pepper, June 23, 2017 | NUT, FBU , ATL warn Government of current fire risks in schools - By Kevin Courtney, et. al., NUT, June 20, 2017 | Theresa May and the Tories are in Freefall - By Kenneth Surin, CounterPunch, June 27, 2017 | Unions call for 'urgent' clarity on fire-proof cladding and sprinklers in schools - By Charlotte Santry, TES, June 20, 2017 | Unions demand ‘urgent reassurances’ on school fire safety after Grenfell blaze - By Billy Camden, Schools Week, June 20, 2017 | Union passes no confidence motion in fire authority as firefighter posts, size of crews and fire audits all plummet - By Radical Housing Network, Fire Brigades Union, June 27, 2017 | Unite seeks action after sharp fall in construction inspections revealed - By staff, Unite, June 22, 2017.

Fossil Fuel CEOs Say They Just Want to Lift People Out of Poverty. Do You Believe Them? - By Justin Mikulka, DeSmog Blog, June 21, 2017 - For years the coal industry has also pushed the idea that it is motivated by a desire to help people in developing countries by providing them with coal-powered electricity. A viewing of John Oliver’s recent piece on the coal industry and its focus on some industry CEOs — along with their less-than-stellar history of prioritizing the safety and well-being of workers over profits — doesn’t really make that believable; [related]: End of coal: Failure to see it coming will hurt miners most - By Oliver Sartor and Andrzej Błachowicz, Climate Change News, June 25, 2017 | ‘Nobody wants to be part of a dying culture’: Reddit on the end of coal - By Jill Russo , Climate Change News, June 26, 2017 | 'There's No Such Thing as Clean Coal' - By Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch, June 26, 2017 | Trump’s energy week looks a lot like his health care bill. Disastrous - By David Turnbull, Oil Change International, June 27, 2017.

Germany Shows it’s Worth Fighting for Energy Democracy - By Arne Jungiohann and Craig Morris, Resilience, June 22, 2017 - The second take-away is that the German energy transition is an economic showcase. Renewables create jobs. In 2016, roughly 355,000 people worked in the German renewables sector.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #160 (Special Parexit Edition)

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, June 7, 2017

The reactions to President Donald J Trump's reckless and unstrategic decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement are numerous and range from condemnation to disdianful. We present an extensive but far from exhaustive collection here:

Trump's Decision

Fact Check

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #159

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, June 23, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

B.C. contractor exposed to asbestos blows whistle, says government made his life a 'nightmare' - By Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun, June 16, 2017 - When general contractor Don Garrett was invited to bid on plumbing work in Agassiz’s Kent Prison in 2008, he had no idea that such routine work would expose him to asbestos and touch off a nine-year battle that would cast him on the national stage as a whistleblower, make it impossible to obtain bonding, and cost him future contracts.

California’s water-stealing Delta Tunnels could be approved in September - By Dan Bacher, Red, Green, and Blue, June 15, 2017 - The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) must consider the findings of the official biological opinion during its June 22 meeting, in addition to hearing public outcry from Delta environmental justice communities, farmers, fishermen, and environmental groups, RTD noted.

Chilean mining minister responds to criticism over miners’ rescue - By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud, Mining.Com, June 14, 2017 - Last Friday, when the mine flooded following the collapse of a wall, the two miners were working in a gallery located some 1,300 metres from the entrance and 250 metres deep. Company officials believe they might have been able to seek refuge in an emergency shelter; [related]: Heavy snowfall disrupts rescue of workers trapped at Mandalay’s mine in Chile - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, June 16, 2017 | Mandalay’s mine fully flooded, trapped workers unlikely to be alive - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, June 18, 2017.

A Climate Cooling Proposal - By Peter Bane and Susan Butler, Resilience, June 15, 2017 - This is work for hundreds of millions of people presently unemployed, underemployed, or pursuing dangerous and destructive jobs.

Coal Falls Hard As Renewables Continue to Surge, Oil & Gas Giant BP Reports - By Adam Johnston, Clean Technica, June 15, 2017 - BP’s report only adds a further layer on why renewables are the way to go. If not for concerns to mitigate climate change concerns, then to advance 21st century industrial jobs in rust belt areas that desperately need high paying jobs; [related]: Forget coal, solar will soon be cheaper than natural gas power - By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, June 15, 2017 | How wind and solar will kill coal, sooner than Finkel suggests - By Giles Parkinson, REnew Economy, June 15, 2017 | UK coal collapse plays major role in lowering global emissions - By Lauri Myllyvirta and Joe Sandler Clarke, Greenpeace Energy Desk, June 14, 2017.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Deadly dust in the TTC - By Roger Schmidt, Rank and File, June 13, 2017 - As early as 2004 the TTC has tested and knows full well that the Wilson carhouse has airborne particulate matter tied to the “blowdown” to clean the underside of the revenue cars.

Demand for judicial inquiry into Umerkot sanitation worker’s death - By staff, Pakistan Labour Watch, June 15, 2017 - Rights activists under the aegis of Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network have demanded judicial inquiry into the death of a sanitary worker in Umerkot on June 1 reportedly because of negligence of doctors and failure of municipal committee to provide protective gear to its sanitation staff.

‘Dirty Fashion’ report reveals pollution in big brands’ supply chains - By Natasha Hurley, New Internationalist, June 20, 2017 - The Changing Markets investigation in China focused on factories in the eastern provinces of Hebei, Jianxi and Shandong. The investigation team found air and water pollution, evidence of worker fatalities in the factories, and stories of severe health impacts on residents living in the vicinity of the plants.

88,000 American Solar Jobs Are Under Threat From Suniva’s Trade Case, Says SEIA - By Stephen Lacey, GreenTech Media, June 16, 2017 - There are more than 250,000 people working in America's solar industry. A bad investment by a single financier could kill a third of those jobs in one fell swoop; [related]: US Solar Industry Could Lose 88,000 Jobs If Government Rules In Suniva’s Favor - By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, June 16, 2017 | Throwing shade at the sun - By Nathanael Johnson, Grist, June 19, 2017.

Elon Musk Left Worker Safety On Autopilot Too Long - By David Marquet, Forbes, June 4, 2017 - The UAW are using the safety record as part of their campaign to encourage Tesla workers to unionize. The argument is that union factories are safer because union workers can speak up about safety violations without fear of losing their jobs. There maybe something to that.

Emergency procedure shake-up at Viva Energy - By Kathleen Jessop, Bay 93.9 Geelong, June 20, 2017 - There were concerns from the Australian Workers Union that the CFA may not deal with emergencies as well as the Refinery's Emergency Response Group, who are much more familiar with the layout of the area; [related] VIVA MUST GUARANTEE EMERGENCY RESPONSE - By staff, AWU, June 20, 2017.

Employers: Drop the dresscodes and let your employees off wearing suits during the heatwave, begs the TUC - By Emma Haslett, City AM, June 19, 2017 - The Trades Union Congress (TUC) called on employers to let staff off wearing suits so they can "work through the heatwave as comfortably as possible"; [related]: Let workers shed suits in hot weather, says trade union body - By staff, BBC, June 19, 2017.

Empower Kentucky Plan Would Create Jobs, Boost Energy Efficiency - By Elizabeth E. Payne, Appalachian Voices, June 15, 2017 - The plan seeks to create jobs and improve health and climate outcomes by focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy and by charging a fee for carbon dioxide pollution.

50+ Interviews With EPA Staff: Trump Poses 'Greatest Threat' to Agency in 47-Year History - By Lorraine Crow, EcoWatch, June 20, 2017 - The group's stunning analysis, The EPA Under Siege, draws on institutional history and the insight of more than 50 interviews with long-term EPA staff, who are unidentified in the report for their protection. The report's authors have identified plummeting morale, mutual distrust between political appointees and career staff, and paralysis of operations within the EPA under current Administrator Scott Pruitt; [related]: Behind the Trumpocene - By Nikhil Swaminathan, Grist, June 20, 2017 | EPA Gives Notice to Dozens of Scientific Advisory Board Members, Plans to Offer Buyout to 1,200 Employees - By Climate Nexus, EcoWatch, June 21, 2017 | Public Records Sought Over Massive Interior Senior Staffing Shake-up - By Taylor McKinnon, Common Dreams, June 21, 2017.

Global front rising up against Uber through the courts and trade unions - By Rachel Knaebel, Equal Times, June 13, 2017 - In addition to the legal battles led by various authorities and taxi drivers, Uber is being fought on another front, by Uber drivers themselves, who are starting to organise to secure better pay and working conditions; [related]: Why Companies Like Uber Get Away With Bad Behavior - By Randall Stross, New York Times, June 13, 2017 | Is the Uber phenomenon killing transit in Sacramento? - By Tony Bizjak, Sacramento Bee, June 19, 2017.

GMO Film Narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Blatant Case of Monsanto Corporate Propaganda - By Stacy Malkan, EcoWatch, June 20, 2017 - There is no mention of the carcinogenicity concerns that are engulfing Monsanto in an international science scandal, or the many farmers who are suing Monsanto alleging they got cancer from the company's glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide.

GOP lawmakers challenge Trump’s plan to slash EPA budget - By Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, June 15, 2017 - The Trump administration, in its fiscal year 2018 budget, proposed a 31 percent cut to the EPA’s budget, or $2.4 billion below current funding levels. The agency would lose 3,800 employees under the budget proposal; [related]: Congress to Pruitt: EPA Cuts Are Way Too Extreme - By Climate Nexus, EcoWatch, June 16, 2017 | DOE will shutter office focused on international clean energy development - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, June 16, 2017 | Pruitt faces bipartisan criticism over White House plan to gut EPA - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, June 16, 2017 | New email and meeting records show Scott Pruitt is tight with the fossil fuel industry - By Samantha Page, ThinkProgress, June 16, 2017.

Grenfell Tower tragedy: why? - By Mick Brooks, Labour Representation Committee, June 16, 2017 - You cannot close 10 fire stations and slash nearly 600 firefighter jobs without compromising public safety.” When questioned about the closure of frontline services in London at the London Assembly, Johnson told his critics to “get stuffed”; [related]: After Grenfell: ending the murderous war on our protections - By Christine Berry, Red Pepper, June 19, 2017 | After the London Inferno, a Question For Laissez-faire Zealots: Is a Human Life Worth No More Than $100? - By Eamonn Fingleton, CounterPunch, June 19, 2017 | British people respond to Grenfell Fire and call for Social Housing - By Richard Mellor, Facts for Working People, June 17, 2017 | Collective rage, collective care - By David Berrie, People and Nature, June 19, 2017 | Day of Rage: London Marchers Denounce 'Corporate Manslaughter' of Grenfell Tower Victims - By Jon Queally, Common Dreams, June 21, 2017 | Factcheck: Grenfell Tower fire and the Daily Mail’s ‘green targets’ claim - By Leo Hickman, Carbon Brief, June 16, 2017 | A feeling of persecution that runs deep - By Al Mikey, People and Nature, June 19, 2017 | Grenfell Fire: Disaster and Explosive Mood - By John Reimann, Oakland Socialist, June 17, 2017 | The Grenfell fire must be the end of this Tory government; our lives are not safe in their hands - By Jane Shallice, Red Pepper, June 18, 2017 | Grenfell Tower Fire: A Market Driven Disaster - By Richard Mellor, Facts for Working People, June 16, 2017 | Grenfell Tower: Theresa May’s Katrina Moment - By Patrick Cockburn, CounterPunch, June 19, 2017 | Grenfell Tower tragedy shows the Tory government is illegitimate - By Andy Stowe, Socialist Action, June 20, 2017 | In the aftermath of this disaster, we must fight to restore respect and democracy for council tenants - By Glyn Robbins, Red Pepper, June 19, 2017 | Local government conference remembers Grenfell Tower - By staff, Unison, June 18, 2017 | The Monopoly board of the city: Grenfell Tower - where was the HCA, government housing regulator?? - By Red Marriott, libcom.org, Jun 19 2017 | Revealed: How counselling services for firefighters have been cut back - By staff, Fire Brigades Union, June 15, 2017 | A system that let working class people burn - By Corey Oakley, Red Flag, June 19, 2017 | A Tragic Inferno in London Reflects the Terrorism of the Global Free Market - By Stephen Martin, CounterPunch, June 20, 2017 | Why the Grenfell Tower fire means everything must change - By Faiza Shaheen, Red Pepper, June 18, 2017.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #158

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, June 14, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

Baltimore Residents Call for Action on Oil Trains, Commemorate 1-Year Anniversary of Train Derailment - By Kenyetta Whitfield, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, June 14, 2017 - David McClure, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1300, said: “Each day our 2,500 MTA workers transport the people of Baltimore to work, school, the doctor, or wherever they need to go. And our riders’ safety is our number one priority. I repeat, it’s our number one priority. And now it’s time for the City Council to put the safety and health of the people first. It’s time to put a stop these trains from carrying dangerous crude oil and other hazardous cargo travelling through these densely-populated neighborhoods before we have a disaster on our hands.”; [related]: Baltimoreans Call for Action on Oil Trains on Derailment Anniversary - By Taylor Smith-Hams, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, June 14, 2017.

‘Coal is dead’ and oil faces ‘peak demand,’ says world’s largest investment group - By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, June 8, 2017 - President Donald Trump famously campaigned on restoring coal jobs, and has continued to reiterate that commitment as president, but the economic reality makes that a futile effort; [related]: All the ways this White House props up coal - By Brian Sewell, Appalachian Voices, June 13, 2017 | Global renewables rise from the ashes of coal’s collapse - By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, June 13, 2017 | New Coal Mine Opens, Employs Just 70 People - By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch, June 13, 2017 | Pittsburgh and Paris join over 200 cities and states rejecting Trump on climate - By Dana Nuccitelli, The Guardian, June 8, 2017 | The Trump administration’s false coal stats, explained - By Jonathan Thompson, High Country News, June 7, 2017 | World Coal Consumption Experienced a Record Drop in 2016 - By staff, YaleEnvironment360, June 14, 2017 | World coal production falls off a cliff - By Andrew Topf, Mining.Com, June 13, 2017.

As coal production declines, Montana sees drop in coal jobs, plans for more - By Holly K. Michels, Helena Independent Record, June 11, 2017 - In the past year, though, the numbers have declined, mirroring a drop in production that could be an indicator of what’s to come. 

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Company fined €300k for health and safety breaches in relation to Corrib worker's death - By staff, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, June 13, 2017 - He had been working on a tunnel boring machine (TBM) that was being used to construct an underground channel to bring gas from the Corrib field to the onshore processing terminal.

Exposing the injustices that lie beneath the Canadian dinner table - By Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun, June 8, 2017 - Clearly, farm work can be dangerous in Canada. The collection of essays gathered by Shirley A. McDonald of University of B.C. Okanagan and Athabasca University’s Bob Barnetson for this book illustrate that many of the deaths and injuries that occur on Canadian farms and in our meat packing plants could be avoided if the workers had a strong union or if safety regulations and inspections in the industry were improved.

Farmworker union reaches tentative contract deal with Sakuma berry farms - By Jim Brunner, Seattle Times, June 11, 2017 - Just in time for the strawberry harvest, leaders of a union representing hundreds of farmworkers have reached a tentative contract agreement with Sakuma Brothers Farms in Skagit County.

Five Indian farmers killed during protest - By news agencies, Al Jazeera, June 6, 2017 - The spokesperson of a farming union said police had fired on the protesters in Mandasur city, marking an escalation of violence as a rural strike demanding debt relief spread.

Forced to Endure Extreme Heat, Prisoners Are Casualties of Texas' Climate Denial, Documents Show - By Candice Bernd, Truthout, June 12, 2017 - At this point, even unions representing prison guards, many of who have also experienced heat-related illnesses and injuries while on duty, have been supportive of lawsuits over extreme heat in TDCJ units.

Former EPA Staffers Hit Back at “Severe”, “Unprecedented” and “Orwellian” Cuts - By Andy Rowell, Oil Change International, June 14, 2017 - The "deep cuts would slash the Environmental Protection Agency's Budget 42%," leaving the EPA with the smallest workforce since the early eighties; [related]: Former EPA Employees Are So Worried About Trump’s Plans, They Formed Their Own Alt-EPA - By Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post, June 12, 2017.

Fossil fuel interests seek to kneecap North Carolina’s growing solar industry - By Molly Taft, Laura A. Shepard, and Monika Sharma, ThinkProgress, June 12, 2017 - Solar companies created thousands of jobs on the back of a decades-old law. Now, the state’s utility wants to rewrite it.

Honduran Melon Workers Push for Union Rights - By John Walsh, Labor Notes, June 12, 2017 - Seeking to improve their wages and working conditions, melon workers in the politically marginalized southwestern corner of Honduras are fighting to win recognition and a contract for their young union, a local of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares (STAS, the Union of Agricultural and Related Workers).

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #157

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, June 9, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

America's Toxic Prisons: The Environmental Injustices of Mass Incarceration - By Candice Bernd, Zoe Loftus-Farren and Maureen Nandini Mitra, Truthout, June 1, 2017 - "The problem is, the intersection of environmental justice and mass incarceration runs right into the teeth of prisoners not being considered worthy of justice."

Bosses responsible for killing mineworkers should go to jail - By staff, CFMEU, June 2016 - The latest shameful deal was struck on 11 May by the Queensland Government and mining giant Anglo and allowed three mining bosses to walk free after their involvement in the fatality of coal mineworker Ian Downes in December 2014.

Call for Minister Lynham to resign after black lung comments - By Elisa Fernandes, CFMEU, May 2017 - The union’s Mining and Energy Division General Secretary Andrew Vickers said while the report was a huge leap forward in the debate about the best response to this issue, black lung victims had expressed anger and dismay at the response of Minister Anthony Lynham; [related]: Black lung inquiry finds 'catastrophic failure' in public administration in Queensland - By Leonie Mellor, Rachel Riga and staff, ABC (Australia) News, May 28, 2017.

CFMEU raises light rail works safety concerns, uninducted workers sent home - By Finbar O'Mallon, The Canberra Times, June 2, 2017 - A series of safety failures on light rail project construction sites have allegedly been discovered during a union inspection, including unfilled water crash barriers.

Coal industry begs Congress to save carbon capture from Trump - By Zack Colman, Climate Change News, June 7, 2017 - The moves contrast with campaign images of Trump touting coal miners as the archetypal American worker and repeated references to “clean coal” on the campaign trail.

Coal Jobs Return To Wyoming - By Madelyn Beck, Inside Energy, June 5, 2017 -  Geno Palazzari, spokesman for the city of Gillette, said mines’ peak employment rates probably aren’t coming back, but people may still stick around, helping the community move forward.

Coal to solar switch could save 52,000 US lives per year - By Brian Bienkowski, The Daily Climate, June 5, 2017 - There are now about 260,000 solar jobs in the U.S., compared to just 51,000 in coal mining.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Construction Site: 3 workers die falling from 10th floor - By staff, Daily Star, June 7, 2017 - Lack of safety measures once again led to a tragic accident in the capital's Siddheshwari area, where three construction workers died after they fell from an under-construction building yesterday.

Detection of illegal asbestos imports triple, but still no prosecutions - By staff, CFMEU, May 2017 - The Australian Border Force has made 40 detections of products laced with deadly asbestos so far this year, a threefold increase on 2015-2016 figures.

Electric Trains Everywhere: A Solution to Crumbling Roads and Climate Crisis - By Stephen Miller, Yes! Magazine, May 30, 2017 - Solutionary Rail could not move forward without acknowledging this, and at the proposal’s moral center is a commitment to a just transition—a shift to a sustainable economy that addresses the inequities and injustices currently borne by laborers and marginalized people. The rights of workers and Native people had to be part of the equation, Moyer says.

EPA chief exaggerates growth of coal jobs by tens of thousands - By Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, June 5, 2017 - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates there are currently a total of 51,000 jobs in the coal mining industry, almost equal to the number of employees Pruitt stated the industry had grown by over the last few months; [related]: Gazette editorial: The president’s betrayal of coal country - Editorial, Charleston Gazette-Mail, June 1, 2017 | EPA chief accused of ‘promoting global warming’ with unwavering support for fossil fuels - By Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, June 6, 2017 | Trump Says “Go!”: Part 3 - By Joel Stronberg, Civil Notion, June 7, 2017.

EPA forges ahead with staff reduction, buyouts to meet 'changing mission requirements' - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, June 5, 2017 - The White House's proposed budget for the agency would cut its funding more than 31%. EPA has about 15,000 employees but President Trump wants to reduce that by about 3,200.

Face to face with the Wendy's bosses - By Pranav Jani, Socialist Worker, June 2, 2017 - As the Alliance for Fair Food (AFF) reported, Benitez and 26 other supporters, including myself, went into the meeting to confront Wendy's corporate leadership about its refusal to join the Fair Food Program (FFP) established by the CIW and allies as a monitoring program to prevent abuse of farmworkers by the fast-food industry.

Fight for 15 confronts McDonald’s stockholders meeting - By Ann Montague, Socialist Action, May 30, 2017 - The marchers connected their struggle with McDonald’s to the struggle for clean air and water. McDonald’s is the largest global buyer of beef, pork, tomatoes, and lettuce. They are responsible for farmworkers’ exposure to toxic chemicals and the environmental impacts of mass agriculture.

Five workers exposed to radioactive materials at Ibaraki nuclear facility - By staff, Japan Times, June 7, 2017 - The Japan Atomic Energy Agency said up to 24 becquerels of radioactive materials were found inside the noses of three of the workers, prompting the agency to check whether they face the danger of internal exposure to radiation.

Genetically Engineered Trees Conference Met with Protest in Chile - By staff, The Campaign to STOP GE Trees, June 5, 2017 - Anne Petermann, International Coordinator for the Campaign to STOP GE Trees stated, “Chile’s forestry model, advanced under the Pinochet dictatorship, has already resulted in wide ranging impacts.  It has displaced Mapuche communities from their ancestral lands, driving many communities into poverty and depleting their fresh water supply.”; [related]: Plantations Save the Day! (Or not…); Plantaciones Salvan el Dia! (O nó …) - By staff, Global Justice Ecology Project, June 7, 2017.

Groups Appeal EPA’s Refusal To Ban Dangerous Pesticide - By Virginia Ruiz, Common Dreams, June 6, 2017 - A dozen health, labor and civil rights organizations represented by Earthjustice filed an administrative appeal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Monday, urging the federal government to ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used agricultural pesticide that has been linked to reduced IQ, loss of working memory and attention deficit disorder in children; [related]: Concerned citizens across the country reject EPA’s approval of brain-harming pesticide - By Audrey Fox, Friends of the Earth, June 6, 2017 | Seven States Challenge Trump EPA Decision Approving Brain-damaging Pesticide - By Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity, June 6, 2017 | 7 States Challenge Trump EPA Over Toxic Pesticide - By Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, EcoWatch, June 6, 2017.

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 350.org 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, 350.org, 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".

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.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #154

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, May 19, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

Book Review: How Electrical Workers Powered Up Their Union - By Eve Ottenberg, Labor Notes, May 12, 2017 - The enemy is strong. But Union Power shows what ordinary people can do to try to better their circumstances, and how we should regard the anti- union ideology that saturates our culture.

Center for Biological Diversity Strikes Back After Pruitt and Zinke Fire Science Boards - By Dan Zukowski, EnviroNews, May 10, 2017 - Some of the dismissed BSC members, and the union representing EPA employees, fear that industry-selected replacements will hamper independent science at the agency.

The coal executive jailed for a deadly mining disaster still says he’s innocent - By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Grist, May 12, 2017 - Over a year ago, Don Blankenship — former CEO of Massey Energy — was convicted of a misdemeanor after a 2010 explosion at the company’s West Virginia Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 miners.

This Coal Plant Just Became the 253rd Since 2010 to Announce Retirement - By Sierra Club, EcoWatch, May 17, 2017 - "Expanded, homegrown, low-cost solar also would bring good-paying jobs that people like those who have worked faithfully at St. John's Power Park could count on to keep taking care of their families," Larson said. 

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Coastal Liberals Look Out: The Working Class Is the New Face of Activism - By Michael Bible, Vice, May 3 2017 - But coal mining is more about the culture and less and less about the jobs." He said Appalachia has a case of Stockholm syndrome with the coal industry.

The Coming Crisis for the World’s Farmers - By Jill Richardson, CounterPunch, May 12, 2017 - The points he made were common sense: The majority of the world’s poor in the Global South are farmers, and the changing climate is already making it harder for them to produce the food they need. If nothing changes, the refugees already pouring into Europe will just be the warm-up act for the flood that will come later.

Construction Companies’ Owner Is Charged in Laborer’s Death - By Alan Feuer, New York Times, May 10, 2017 - The owner of two Brooklyn construction companies was charged with manslaughter on Wednesday because the authorities said he ignored complaints about a poorly maintained retaining wall that collapsed at a work site in 2015, killing an 18-year-old laborer and injuring two others.

Dirty deal lets Anglo bosses off the hook for death of miner - By staff, CFMEU, May 14, 2017 - The Queensland Government today accepted a dirty deal that allows three mining bosses to walk free after their involvement in the fatality of coal mineworker Mr Ian Downes.

Electric Car Workers Accuse Tesla of Low Pay and Intimidation - By  By David Dayen, Capital and Main, April 7, 2017 - (T)hough its products epitomize the future, workers like Richard Ortiz say Tesla’s labor conditions are mired in the past.

Eskom says plan to mothball power plants only a 'scenario' - By staff, Reuters, May 5, 2017 - South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and other unions have threatened strike action over the proposals, which would threaten thousands of jobs in the coal-producing eastern province of Mpumalanga.

Final action-packed weekend of Global Divestment Mobilisation - By staff, Fossil Free, May 13, 2017 - In England, Town Halls will be pressured to divest Local Government Pension Funds, with events including a giant map linking climate impacts to families in Birmingham, a ‘Renewables Ark’ in Bradford highlighting local flood risk and a series of 14 rolling rallies across London’s Town Halls to take on a fossil fuel monster.

As Food and Farmworkers Retreat, Guestworker Program Poised to Grow - By Christina Cooke, CivilEats, April 11, 2017 - The American food system relies heavily on the work of people born outside U.S. borders, many of whom are undocumented—and living on edge. In fact, 73 percent of the 2.5 million farmworkers planting, cultivating, and harvesting our crops each season are foreign-born, mostly in Mexico. And between 30 percent and 70 percent are undocumented, according to various sources.

FS rescuers expected to retrieve more bodies from mine - By Mia Lindeque, EWN, May 16, 2017 - Free State police say rescue workers are expected to retrieve more bodies from a Welkom mine in the wake of an explosion there last week; [related]: 24 bodies pulled from Free State mine - By African News Agency, The Citizen, May 17, 2017.

Global Nurses United Organizes Global Week of Action in Honor of International Nurses’ Week - By staff, National Nurses United, May 12, 2017 - They marched for “decent work, a $15 minimum wage and the right to join a union, but it also means challenging racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia, while championing equity, social justice, and a green economy.”

Göttingen withdraws funds from coal, oil and gas companies - By staff, Fossil Free, May 13, 2017 - Göttingen has decided to divest from all investments in the fossil fuel sector because of the industries continued pursuit of climate-wrecking business activities. A meeting of the city council’s finance committee today approved a motion that had been submitted last week.

Health and safety protections for workers are at risk from government’s Brexit plans, says TUC - By staff, TUC, May 17, 2017 - The TUC has published a new briefing, Protecting Health and Safety after Brexit, which warns trade unionists and working people that health and safety protections are at risk from the government’s Brexit plans.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #153

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, May 12, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

After a series of court wins, the question remains: Can Trump bring back coal? - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, May 8, 2017 - Plausible ranges for domestic coal mining employment range from 70,000 to 90,000 in 2020, and 64,000 to 94,000 in 2025 and 2030, "lower than anything the US experienced before 2015," researchers concluded. "President Trump’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations will not materially improve economic conditions in America’s coal communities."

Bucking Trump, US cities press ahead on clean energy, climate goals - By Jackie Snow , Utility Dive, May 4, 2017 - A study published by the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) Climate Corps program found that the solar and wind industries are each creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy.

Bus drivers union says Winnipeg Transit putting drivers at risk - By staff, CBC News, May 9, 2017 - The union for Winnipeg's transit operators is questioning whether the city is truly concerned about the safety of bus drivers.

California Rail Electrification Funding Trump’s Transportation Secretary Wanted To Kill Gets Funded In New Budget Deal - By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, May 4, 2017 - Approval of the 2017 budget and execution of a Full Funding Grant Agreement by the Federal Transit Administration would allow construction to begin immediately. The project is expected to create more than 9,600 new construction jobs.

Coal Jobs Prove Lucrative, but Not for Those in the Mines - By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, May 2, 2017 - Though employment in coal mining has been growing since the fall after a long period of decline, the numbers have been minuscule — a net increase of 100 jobs in the latest jobs report for March. Since September, overall employment has increased by 1,700 to just over 50,000 workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the work is a far cry from the stable, well-paying union jobs that were once the industry’s norm.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

Dead and dying workers, death threats and disappearing water: Anglo American’s marathon AGM - By Richard, London Mining Network, May 3, 2017 - He said that the company needs to act with integrity and to respect the life and livelihoods of communities affected by its operations, its workers and the natural environment.

Dispelling the Spin: NYC Comptroller Reacts as #DivestNY Pressure Mounts - By staff, Fossil Free, May 8, 2017 - It is financially prudent to divest from oil, gas, and coal.  Increasingly fossil fuel investments are being seen as financially risky particularly as medium or long term holdings, which is the traditional time horizon for pension funds to invest their assets; [related]: New Yorkers take to state Capitol to lobby for Divestment Act - By staff, Fossil Free, May 9, 2017

Dozens trapped, two killed in Iranian coal mine explosion - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, May 3, 2017 - Two coal miners have died and more than 50 remain trapped after an explosion in a mine located in Iran's northern Golestan province.

Emergency Declared After Tunnel Collapse at Toxic Hanford Nuke Site - By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, May 9, 2017 - A tunnel was damaged on Tuesday at a plutonium handling facility at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, leading authorities to evacuate some workers at the site and instruct others to take cover, a spokesperson for the site said in a release; [related]: Emergency Declared at Nuclear Waste Site in Washington State  - By Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch, May 9, 2017 | Evacuation: Emergency Declared at Hanford After Tunnel Collapses onto Nuclear Waste - By staff, EnviroNews, May 9, 2017 | Hanford’s Nuclear Option - By Joshua Frank, CounterPunch, May 10, 2017 | Hanford tunnel collapses onto rail cars storing radioactive wastes - by staff, Beyond Nuclear, May 9, 2017 | Hanford Workers Being Told to Take Cover! - By Stacy Lee, KEYW 98.3 FM, May 9, 2017 | There’s an ongoing emergency at the largest nuclear waste storage site in the U.S - By staff, Grist, May 10, 2017 | Tunnel Collapses at Washington Nuclear Waste Plant; No Radiation Released - By Tom James and Scott DiSavino, Reuters, May 9, 2017 | Workers at Washington nuclear waste plant take cover after apparent tunnel damage - By Charles Digges, Bellona, May 9, 2017

EPA dismisses half of key board’s scientific advisers; Interior suspends more than 200 advisory panels - By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Washington Post,  May 8, 2017 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cleaned house on its scientific review board last week, dismissing at least five scientists on its 18-member Board of Scientific Counselors; [related]: E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board - By Coral Davenport, New York Times, May 7, 2017 | EPA Fires Scientists - By Climate Nexus, EcoWatch, May 8, 2017 | "Today, I Was Trumped": Pruitt's EPA Axes Half of Key Scientific Review Panel - By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, May 8, 2017 | Scott Pruitt removes scientists from EPA advisory panels to make room for industry advocates - By Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, May 8, 2017

Exploitation and Abuse at the Chicken Plant - By Michael Grabell, New Yorker, May 8, 2017 - Case Farms plants are among the most dangerous workplaces in America. In 2015 alone, federal workplace-safety inspectors fined the company nearly two million dollars, and in the past seven years it has been cited for two hundred and forty violations.

Exxon Mobil's outdated equipment and procedures led to Torrance explosion, agency says - By Ivan PennIvan Penn, Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2017 - “At the Torrance refinery, workers did not have proper protocols to ensure safety when deviating from normal operating procedures,” she said. “Not only do procedures need to be on the books, but workers must be trained in them and management must put into practice what is on paper.”

Federal Report Slams ExxonMobil for Safety Gaps in LA Refinery Explosion, While Activists Say Risks Remain - By Larry Buhl, DeSmog Blog, May 5, 2017 - The explosion on the morning of February 18, 2015 released thousands of pounds of acid and caused chemical ash to rain on a heavily populated community for hours. Eight workers had to be decontaminated, and four were sent to hospitals with minor injuries.

5 Life-Saving Environmental Rules Industry Just Asked Trump to Attack - By Keith Gaby, EcoWatch, May 8, 2017 - The Trump administration seems to view all health and environmental safeguards as potentially suspicious. That's in spite of strong data showing that environmental rules actually help the economy—by preventing illness, missed school days, worker absence, productivity problems and early death.

5 of the Fastest Growing Jobs in Clean Energy -  By Daron Christopher, Renewable Energy World, May 10, 2017 - A recent U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) report on jobs and the economy found that 6.4 million Americans work in the energy sector, with 300,000 jobs added last year. A huge percentage of these new jobs are in renewable energy and efficiency.

Four reasons why NUMSA rejects Cyril Ramaphosa’s un-apology for Marikana - By Irvin Jim, NUMSA, May 9, 2017 - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, (NUMSA) rejects the un-apology made by the Deputy President of the country and the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, regarding his role in the Marikana Massacre. Ramaphosa was the chairperson of Lonmin mines, at the time of the massacre and Deputy president of the country.

From Hero to Villain: Lessons About Energy From ‘The Dark Knight’ - By Matthew Klippenstein, GreenTech Media, May 9, 2017 - In the last few weeks alone, Tesla employees filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, relating to their efforts to form a union. German workers also demanded higher wages.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #152

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, May 5, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

In the Age of Trump, Can Labor Unite? - By Alexandra Bradbury, In These Times, April 26, 2017 - Besides economics, the trainings deal with racism, the prison system and the history of U.S. social movements, with an emphasis on getting out of “silos” to ally with movements besides labor. Some sessions include community participants, and one goal is to feed new activists into local coalitions like Sustainable Staten Island, which includes unions of nurses and university staff, an immigrant rights group, a peace group and an anti-police brutality group.

Because 'Solidarity Is Key,' Labor Leaders Amplify Call for Peoples Climate March - By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, April 26, 2017 - Days before the Peoples Climate March, a number of labor leaders are helping to amplify the mobilization, joining the chorus demanding an "economic policy that works for working people and the planet."

Can Coal Make A Comeback? No. No It Can’t - Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, April 28, 2017 - A new report published by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy has concluded that no amount of regulatory rollbacks and policy decisions made by Donald Trump’s administration will be able to succeed in bringing back coal jobs.

Climate March Draws Thousands of Protesters Alarmed by Trump’s Environmental Agenda - By Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, April 29, 2017 - The marchers in Washington included Hollywood celebrities and stars of the political left like former Vice President Al Gore and the business magnate Richard Branson. The front of their ranks, though, was reserved for ordinary people: the immigrants, indigenous people, laborers, coastal dwellers and children, who organizers say are most vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers news:

DC ATU 698 Union walkout, board grilling on safety, leave Metro GM Wiedefeld on the defensive - By Faiz Siddiqui and Robert McCartney,  Associated Press, April 27, 2017 - As board members scrutinized Wiedefeld’s progress on safety, scores of union workers stormed out of the agency’s headquarters chanting “Who moves this city? We move this city!” in the latest example of rising tensions between the two sides during contentious labor negotiations; [related]: Metro Workers Turn Backs on WMATA Board, Walk Out of Meeting - By Dan Taylor, Washington DC Patch, April 27, 2017.

Feds launch national dialogue on energy future - By Mark Brooks, The Climate Examiner, April 26, 2017 - The overall aim is to develop a comprehensive long-term, multi-generational energy strategy. At the launch, the minister set out four criteria for this new energy system: addressing climate change, keeping energy affordable, providing jobs, and ensuring the international competitiveness of domestic industry.

Fired track workers sue Metro for discrimination, hostile work environment - By Martine Powers, Washington Post, May 2, 2017 - The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges that Metro had no evidence that the workers — two track walkers, two supervisors, and one maintenance manager — committed any wrongdoing. Instead, the workers’ lawyers argue, Metro officials sought to blame rank-and-file workers, who are predominantly black, and protect higher-ranking officials within the agency.

Five things you need to know about President Trump’s executive order on national monuments - By Jesse Prentice-Dunn, Westwise, April 26, 2017 - According to a report released this week by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generated $887 billion in consumer spending, supporting 7.6 million direct jobs.

Food Workers Take On Fowl Play at Tyson—And Win Better Conditions - By Bruce Vail, In These Times, April 28, 2017 - A consumer pressure campaign against labor abuses in the chicken-processing industry has produced some initial results, with a detailed pledge this week from Tyson Foods to build a better workplace for its 95,000 employees.

From Peoples Climate March to May Day: Resistance is Here to Stay! - By Thanu Yakupitiyage, 350.org, April 30, 2017 - On May 1st, immigrants and allies all over the country will rise up in resistance to demonstrate the power, resilience and strength of immigrants in America. On May 1st in cities, towns and communities across the country immigrant leaders of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) will Rise Up! in resistance to demonstrate the power, resilience and strength of immigrant communities in America.

Granddaughter of coal breaker becomes local leader against climate change - By Samantha Page, Think Progress, April 29, 2017 - From 2014 to 2015 alone, coal jobs in Pennsylvania dropped 16 percent — and that latest data comes after decades of steadily decreasing employment in coal mining, due in large part to automation, but increasingly because of economic pressure from natural gas and renewable energy.

How environmental NGOs are shifting conversation on climate and energy - By Monica Trauzzi, E&E News, May 1, 2017 - When it comes to solar energy development that's about jobs. When it comes to wind power development that's about jobs. We understand the president's concerns with job creation, but when it comes to clean energy that's where the new jobs are being created. Again, politicians on both sides of the aisle understand that, as does the public.

Indiana’s governor just signed a law that will cripple the state’s solar industry - By Jeremy Deaton and Laura A. Shepard, Think Progress, May 2, 2017 - In Indiana, solar employs nearly three times as many people as natural gas, according to the Department of Energy. You might think, given the numbers, that legislators would want to protect the state’s nascent solar industry. You would be wrong.

Last ride for the West’s iconic trains? - By Forrest Whitman, High Country News, May 2, 2017 - Elaine Chao, our new secretary of Transportation, is cutting the California high-speed rail initiative. That kills 9,600 good jobs. 

Longview coal terminal is a road to nowhere - By Clark Williams-Derry, Seattle Times, April 26, 2017 - The reality is that the economic prospects for West Coast coal exports have collapsed. China’s demand for coal, which once seemed limitless, has been falling for three consecutive years.

Luddites have been getting a bad rap for 200 years. But, turns out, they were right - Michael J. Coren, Quartz, April 30, 2017 - Clive Thompson, an author and journalist at the New York Times Magazine and Wired, revisited Luddite’s history in an article for The Smithsonian to see what it could teach us. As machine learning and robotics consume manufacturing and white-collar jobs alike, the 200-year-old rebellion’s implications for automation are more relevant than ever, says Thompson... [related]: When Robots Take All of Our Jobs, Remember the Luddites - By Clive Thompson, Smithsonian, January 2017.

May Day Statement - By Irvin Jim, NUMSA, May 1, 2017 - (This statement includes "Just Transition" demands).

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