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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #131

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 17, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Canada’s Capstone to hire back laid-off workers thanks to copper price rally - Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, December 13, 2016 - The recent and sustained rally in copper prices has prompted Canadian Capstone Mining (TSX:CS) to attempt hiring back most of the workers it had to lay off in October at its Minto mine, Yukon's only copper operation.

Canada’s Kirkland Lake halts gold mine in Australia, leaves up to 150 jobless - Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, December 12, 2016 - The cease of operations at Victoria's largest gold mine will leave about 150 workers without a job, the company said, adding that it will keep a team of between 15 to 20 people to maintain the site, monitor the environment and continue exploration.

Coal and conflict in the UK - By Richard, London Mining Network, December 7, 2016 - Most of us at LMN believe we have to minimise all kinds of mining. We need to reuse and recycle metals as much as possible and ensure that good design enables more rational use. We have to cut energy use and ensure that the energy we do use is much more efficiently used. The mining industry is enormously destructive, full of corruption, and its critics around the world are subjected to all kinds of violence and harassment. At LMN we honour and support many who are working to stop the world’s mining frontiers advancing, among them African women resisting coal, oil and uranium, whom you can assist in making a film. But there has been much news recently about job losses in the mining industry and their terrible impacts on mine workers and their communities. We have to find ways of halting destructive mining projects while ensuring that mine workers and their communities are not treated like waste material. They also deserve our respect and our solidarity. We need to stand with our friends in global mine workers’ union IndustriALL in their work towards a Just Transition.

Coal Under The Bus, Part Infinity: Trump Likes Rex Tillerson For Sec’y Of State - By Tina Casey, Clean Technica, December 12, 2016 - The Intertubes have been buzzing all weekend with news that Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson has nailed down the position of Secretary of State in the forthcoming Trump Administration, and for good reason. Aside from that one thing about climate change and that other thing about Exxon Mobil’s lobbying on behalf of Russia, Tillerson would be in a good position to pull the rug out from under the global coal industry.

Community Benefits Agreement for Light Rail Transit a model for good jobs through infrastructure development - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, December 9, 2016 - A Community Benefits Agreement for the Eglinton Crosstown  Light Rail Transit project in Toronto is expected to create around 300 jobs for youth, women and minority workers from the low income areas the project traverses.

Environmentalism Was Once a Social-Justice Movement - By Jedediah Purdy, The Atlantic, December 7, 2016 - The incoming Trump administration is likely to see the greatest revival of environmentalism as a confrontational, grassroots, sometimes radical movement since at least 1970, when more than a million people took part in the first Earth Day.

For fossil fuel-reliant towns, a solar alternative grows - By Lyndsey Gilpin, High Country News, November 15, 2016 - During his final semester at Delta High School, on Colorado’s Western Slope, Zac Carter enrolled in a new course called Introduction to Photovoltaics, where he could learn the basics of the solar industry. Some of Carter’s family works in the energy industry, and he’s always been interested in electricity. This year, though, he’s watched close family friends struggle to find jobs after being laid off by the nearby West Elk coal mine. By the time he turned 18, he knew a future in fossil fuels wasn’t viable.

Global Solidarity pouring in for Karnataka Farmers demanding loan waiver - By staff, La Via Campesina, December 13, 2016 - On the 30th of November, farmers from across the state of Karnataka in India, took to a unique protest outside “UB City”, one of Bangalore’s most expensive properties owned by controversial businessman Vijay Mallya. The farmers demanded that the commercial complex be auctioned off and the money from the proceeds be used to clear the loans that small farmers owe to cooperatives in the state.

Hundreds of Scientists and Supporters Gather to Rally Against Attacks on Science - By Ashley Braun, DeSmog Blog, December 13, 2016 - On a gray afternoon in downtown San Francisco, hundreds of scientists and supporters held a rally to “champion the role of science in society,” while the news of President-elect Donald Trump's latest cabinet appointment of a fossil fuel industry ally and climate denier, Rick Perry, reverberated through the air like the bells of a nearby church.

Internal Memo Sparks Fears of Climate 'Witch Hunt' Under President Trump - By Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, December 9, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump's Energy Department transition team has reportedly been asking for the names of civil servants that have worked on environmental policies under President Barack Obama, sparking fears of a coming "climate purge" by the incoming Trump administration.

IEA cuts coal demand forecast for fifth year in a row - By Megan Darby, Climate Change News, December 12, 2016 - In the US, the world’s third largest coal market, there was a massive 15% drop in consumption in 2015. While the report does not directly address the impacts of Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency, it highlights market factors driving coal off the system. For all Trump’s promise to put miners back to work, those economic trends are not expected to change.

Murdering and bombing of Syrian citizens has to cease immediately: a political solution with the Syrian people has to be found - By staff, La Via Campesina, December 9, 2016 - "We call upon other social movements and organizations to pressure their governments to undertake any effort to stop this war on the Syrian people and build a political process towards the reconstruction and peace and democracy."

New study of Comprehensive Wealth shows Canada’s fossil fuel economy is unsustainable - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, December 12, 2016 - In a pioneering report, the International Institute for Sustainable Development in December released the first national study of “comprehensive wealth”, by examining  Statistics Canada data from 1980 to 2013. The concept of comprehensive wealth goes beyond the usual wealth measure of Gross Domestic Product and also includes natural, human and social capital.

Plans falter for West Coast coal terminals - By Sarah Tory, High Country News, December 12, 2016 - Though Chambers applauded Oakland’s decision to ban coal exports, he feels badly for places like Carbon County that hitched themselves to a single commodity. “They’re struggling, too,” he says. West Oakland can empathize. Like Carbon County, it needs jobs — but not, Chambers believes, at the expense of human health.

Qld Government Bill to outlaw 100% FIFO won’t apply to Adani mine: Lock the Gate inquiry submission backs CFMEU push for local jobs - By staff, Lock the Gate Alliance, December 12, 2016 - Lock the Gate Alliance has hit out at the Queensland Government for letting the Adani company get away with proposing a wholly “fly-in fly-out” (FIFO) workforce for its controversial Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland, despite having a Bill in parliament to prohibit the practice.

Stealth Weather Service Forecasting Downsize - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, December 8, 2016 - This planned loss of local forecasting would be paired with an increased reliance on a centralized, automated system called “NWS Evolve” which is described as “a collaborative forecast process” based upon a “central, common starting point without local grid editing.” The plan, however, does not explain how centralized forecasting can replace knowledge of local phenomena, terrain and infrastructure which the current network of forecast offices now provides.

SunPower Slashes Its Workforce 25%, Closes Production and Cuts Capital Spend 50% in Restructuring - By Stephen Lacey, GreenTechMedia, December 7, 2016 - This morning, the company said it will shut down its 700-megawatt Fab 2 in the Philippines, shed up to 2,500 workers and cut capital spend by 50 percent. The goal is to generate $300 million in cash by the end of 2017.

"There can be no Declaration on the Rights of Peasants without the right to land" - By staff, La Via Campesina, December 6, 2016 - La Via Campesina speaks for the Right to Land and other Natural Resources in the process of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas

Towards a popular vote on food sovereignty in Switzerland - By staff, La Via Campesina, December 6, 2016 - On the 17 November 2016, Henry Saragih (Serikat Petani – Indonesia, La Via Campesina) and Ramona Duminicioiu (Eco Ruralis – Romania, European Coordination Via Campesina) spoke at the Palais des Nations in Geneva about the reasons why the Right to Land and other Natural Resources is crucial for the Declaration of the Rights of Peasants.

Trade deals threaten peasant farmer’s stewardship of seed biodiversity - By staff, World Rainforest Movement, December 8, 2016 - The good news amidst the decade-long aggressive corporate encroachment on farmers’ control over the seeds they use is that opposition against trade and intellectual property right deals is growing by the day, and mobilisations against the privatisation of biodiversity are a central part of this opposition. In many countries, such as in Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Guatemala, social movements have successfully challenged new seed laws. In others, new trade deals are increasingly being contested from the streets. Here lies our strength to keep biodiversity in the hand of indigenous peoples, peasant farmers and local communities.

Trudeau's pipeline approvals spark protests across Canada - By Jenny Uechi, National Observer, November 30, 2016 - Mike Palecek, president of the National Union of Postal Workers, criticized the prime minister for speaking about Indigenous reconciliation after being elected last year, and approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline despite opposition from a number of key First Nations along the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion route.

UNFCC Report on Just Transition highlights the work of the ACW - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, December 9, 2016 - A new technical report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( UNFCCC) “will deepen the international community’s understanding of the need to consider the impact of climate policies on workers, and the essential role that labour unions have in combatting climate change,” according to Carla Lipsig Mummé, in a press release  at the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Climate Change (ACW) website.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #130

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 10, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Canada's Diavik mine axes 51 jobs - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, November 30, 2016 - Diavik Diamond Mines, the company that runs the iconic operation of the same name in Canada's Northwest Territories, has axed 51 jobs due to what the firm called “challenging” market conditions, CBC News reported.

Despite Mass Protests, Constitutional Amendment to Freeze Public Expenditures for Two Decades in Brazil May Pass on December 13 - By Nour El-Youssef, RioonWatch, December 5, 2016 - On Tuesday, November 29 protests erupted outside Brazil’s Congress in Brasília as the Senate approved a proposal to amend the constitution that would authorize the implementation of harsh austerity measures. If passed, the proposal put forward by Brazilian Interim President Michel Temer will establish a low ceiling on all federal government expenditures for the next twenty years. An estimated 10,000 demonstrators, including teachers, students, public workers and landless laborers, voiced dissent and pressured Congress to vote against the proposal. Three cars were set on fire, and police used teargas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Donald Trump Taps Billionaire Who Owned Deadly Coal Mine For Commerce Secretary - Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post, November 17, 2016 - After Wilbur Ross sold the coal company in 2011, its new owners laid off hundreds of workers.

EU vote signals a Fossil Free future for workplace pension funds - By staff, Fossil Free, November 30, 2016 - EU institutions have reached a deal on a reform of the IORPs (Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision) Directive that affects workplace pension funds holding assets worth EUR 3.2 trillion on behalf of around 75 million citizens of the Union.

Explosion in Chinese coal mine leaves 32 dead - By Andrew Topf, Mining.Com, December 4, 2016 - Thirty-two miners were killed in a gas explosion that ripped through a coal mine in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia on Saturday. Of 181 miners working underground in the mine operated by Baoma Mining, 149 survived, said Xinhua via South China Morning Post.

The Fashion Revolution: Turn to the left - Bryony Moore, Red Pepper, November 2016 - The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh in April 2013 shocked the world. The building had been illegally extended and on 24 April the whole thing collapsed; 1,138 garment workers lost their lives and hundreds more were left with injuries that rendered them incapable of returning to work.

Guards' strike and drivers' action hit Southern rail but bosses run to the courts - By Raymie Kiernan, Socialist Worker, December 6, 2016 - Southern rail was hit by a three-day train guards’ strike and a drivers’ overtime ban from Tuesday of this week.

Healthcare Workers have Highest Rates of Asthma, according to CDC - By Bonnie Castillo, National Nurses United, December 6, 2016 - According to a new Centers for Disease Control study, the healthcare and social assistance industry has the highest percentage of workers with asthma — 10.7% of workers in this industry reported having asthma.

The Huge Costs of Trump’s Energy Plans - By Dean Baker, CounterPunch, December 1, 2016 - In the last two years, North Dakota has lost almost half its jobs in the oil and coal industries. The losses aren’t the fault of pesky environmentalists worried about groundwater contamination and global warming. They’re the result of collapsing world energy prices.

Kinder Morgan: The fight starts now! - By Brad Hornick, Rabble.Ca, November 29, 2016 - The words of the late poet Leonard Cohen had become a refuge for me, like many others over the last weeks: everybody knows the dice are loaded and the fight is fixed. We all have this broken feeling that their dog just died, that the politicians are talking to their pockets; that the boat is leaking, the captain lied, and the deal is rotten. That's how it goes!

Life and Politics in Appalachia - By Kenneth Surin, CounterPunch, December 1, 2016 - Politically, the town is a liberal oasis in a desert of Republicanism.  In the recent presidential election, Clinton beat Trump by just over 1% in the county where this college town is located (the county went narrowly for Romney in 2012 and Obama in 2008), while losing to Trump by whopping 20-40% margins in all the surrounding counties.   In these overwhelmingly rural counties rusty and dented trucks sporting Virginia’s Tea Party “Don’t Tread on Me” license plates are a common sight.

Local Green Energy Authority Quietly Launches in Alameda County - By Darwin BondGraham, East Bay Express, December 1, 2016 - The Oakland City Council voted last Tuesday to become part of a regional green energy authority, joining twelve other cities in Alameda County. Together the cities represent 90 percent of the county's total electrical load. "Without sounding trite, the future is bright for the power authority," said Victor Uno of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Massacre in Nicaragua - By Courtney Parker, International Cry, December 5, 2016 - In a shocking escalation of the ongoing violent conflict devastating the Indigenous binational autonomous nation of Moskitia, a Mayanga family of three was killed in a brutal attack by ‘Colonos’ at the Llano Sucio site of the Alamikamba community in the Awala Prinsu territory on November 27, 2016. The attack sent shockwaves through the already war torn territories of Moskitia.

Mining accidents in China to spike as country digs more coal - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, November 30, 2016 - According to the country’s Work Safety Committee of the State Council, a government agency, the recent and sharp rally in coal prices has prompted an increase in potentially dangerous mining activity, which unfortunately it’s already taking its toll.

NUMSA demands payment of bonuses by PetroSA - By Irvin Jim, NUMSA, December 5, 2016 - Workers at PetroSA are furious that the company is not paying staff their annual bonus for the second year running, while paying out huge bonuses to top executives.

People’s Climate Movement Groups Call for Urgent Action for Standing Rock - By various, Labor Network for Sustainability, December 5, 2016 - The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline brings together two critically important struggles for environmental justice: the centuries long struggle for respect for the sovereignty of Native tribes and the global battle to curtail the climate crisis. These issues are intertwined, and the outcome of the struggle at Standing Rock will heavily impact what lies ahead on both fronts.

Pipeline protesters in West Texas asking for help from Standing Rock - By David Hunn, FuelFix, December 6, 2016 - Protesters were arrested in West Texas on Tuesday morning near a pipeline being built from the Permian Basin to Mexico...Former oil field worker Arajoe Battista chained himself to a fence there but was not arrested, the sheriff’s office said.

The Repression and Criminalization of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement Must Stop - By various, Global Justice Ecology Project, November 30, 2016 - Early on the morning of November 4, armed police raided the “Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes” (ENFF) in Guararema, Sao Paulo, detained members of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) members and fired live ammunition. The ENFF school is owned and run by the Landless Workers Movement (MST).

Towards a Working-Class Environmentalism - By Erik Loomis, New Republic, December 5, 2016 - The environmental movement has somehow become synonymous with elite technocratic liberalism. That doesn’t have to be the case. [Editor's note: the author of this piece hastily glosses over the class struggle history of Earth First! in the timber wars of northwestern California, so we recommend checking the record on our site for detailed information.]

Trump’s Lies Threaten Wind Techs: Fastest-Growing US Job - By Susan Kraemer, Clean Technica, December 5, 2016 - As of December 2015, there were more than 8,800 wind techs — guys who climb wind turbines to perform maintenance — and wind techs are the single fastest-growing job in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, approximately 21,000 of all ~88,000 US wind jobs are manufacturing jobs, largely in the Rust Belt.

Trump Monument Revocations Would Be Monumental Mess - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, December 5, 2016 - “Having a President Trump take the unprecedented step of trying to unilaterally revoke monuments is guaranteed to trigger lawsuits that will likely remain unresolved during his tenure,” concluded PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that even if the presidential proclamation is rescinded, it is unclear whether the presidential withdrawal of these lands from drilling and mining remains in effect. “Congresspersons who bellyache about national monuments set aside for the American people over the last generation have only themselves to blame for abdicating the constructive and dynamic role in national monuments played by past Congresses.”

Tube workers in dispute as bosses’ cuts take their toll - By staff, Socialist Worker, December 6, 2016 - Tube drivers’ strikes on London Underground’s Piccadilly and Hammersmith & City lines, set for Tuesday, were suspended by the workers’ RMT union.

US Oil Sands lays off staff, defers Utah mine startup - By staff, Calgary Herald, December 5, 2016 - The Calgary company developing an oilsands mine in Utah says it has delayed the project’s startup and temporarily laid off most of its Canadian and American employees while it secures new financing.

Why U.S. Coal Industry and Its Jobs Are Not Coming Back - By James Van Nostrand, Yale e360, December 1, 2016 - President-elect Donald J. Trump has vowed to revive U.S. coal production and bring back thousands of jobs. But it’s basic economics and international concern about climate change that have crushed the American coal industry, not environmental regulations.

Workers’ Climate Plan four-week report - By Lyndsey Easton, Iron and Earth, November 29, 2016 - Four weeks ago Iron & Earth concluded a whirlwind engagement tour in Edmonton, Alberta. It started with a Visioning Workshop where we we invited both our committed members and prospective allies to engage with our core leadership team and each other to learn about everything we do, identify key priorities and contribute ideas for the next phase of our work.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #129

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 2, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

About 500 iron ore jobs to go at Rio Tinto - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, November 21, 2016 - World's second largest miner Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) is cutting more jobs across its iron ore division in Western Australia as part of a major restructuring of its most profitable division, announced in June.

A Bold Clean-Up Plan for Alberta’s Giant Oil Industry Pollution Liabilities - By Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, November 4, 2016 - Regan Boychuk and Brent O’Neil have a bold proposal to put Alberta back to work and onto a more sustainable path.

Canadian government announces a phase-out of “traditional” coal-fired electricity by 2030 - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, November 21, 2016 - The CBC article quotes Warren Mabee, a researcher with the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Climate Change project and the associate director of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy: he states that many workers in coal mines will be laid off  “while others will shift to extracting metallurgical coal, which is used in the steel-making process.”  It is important to note that the government press release explicitly promises:“ The Government of Canada will work with provinces and labour organizations to ensure workers affected by the accelerated phase-out of traditional coal power are involved in a successful transition to the low-carbon economy of the future.”

Coal Entrenches Poverty, Drives Climate Change - By Lyndal Rowlands, Truthout, November 21, 2016 - Coal power does more to harm the world's poor than to help them, even before the devastating impacts of climate change are taken into account, according to a recent report published by 12 international development organisations.

Death toll rises on Turkish mine cave-in as BBC journalist detained - By Andrew Topf, Mining.Com, November 27, 2016 - It appears the Turkish government is attempting to suppress criticism of a mine disaster last weekend that killed 12 miners and left four still missing.

Drivers vote for walkouts as Southern rail's crisis grows - By Raymie Kiernan, Socialist Worker, November 29, 2016 - Train Drivers on Southern rail have voted by 87 percent to strike. The firm has claimed that “unofficial industrial action” will cost it £38 million this year. But it is in the firm’s interest to use this “estimated” figure as an excuse for failing to hit targets—and possibly avoid fines.

Factoring sustainable labour into the sustainable food equation - By Anna Rohleder, Sustainable Food Trust, November 10, 2016 - What makes food sustainable? It’s a complicated equation that encompasses the thriving microbial life of soil, rich biodiversity, balanced ecosystems and land and water free from pollution. But, in addition to a healthy environment, it’s increasingly about people – the people who produce and make your food.

Fall in Exxon stock leads employee to sue over company’s 401(k) - By LM Sixel, FuelFix, November 29, 2016 - A retired engineer from Exxon Mobil Corp. alleges the giant energy company violated its responsibility to protect employee financial interests by continuing to offer Exxon Mobil stock for its 401(k) retirement plan while knowing the company’s stock was artificially inflated in value, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Houston last week.

Farmworkers on Edge After Trump Elected President - By Brian Barth, Modern Farmer, November 10, 2016 - One of the great ironies in the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States is that the agricultural heartland of the country voted overwhelmingly for a candidate who pledged to deport millions of undocumented workers, a move that would undermine the agricultural workforce and ripple out in the food economy in unforeseen, but likely negative, ways.

Former Coal Worker Finds New Career in Solar - By Diana Madson, Yale Climate Connections, November 22, 2016 - The renewable energy industry not only benefits the environment, it can also grow the economy.

4 workers killed in Cuba bridge collapse - By Andrew Topf, Mining.Com, November 23, 2016 - Tragedy struck Canadian company Sherritt (TSX:S) on Tuesday, with news that a bridge collapsed, killing four workers.

From Across the Country, Gifts of Tiny Houses Arrive for Standing Rock - By Jane Braxton Little, Yes! Magazine, November 23, 2016 - “This feels like a new America I want to be a part of,” said Musselwhite, 41, a carpenter and woodworker based in a rural community tucked into the mountains that cross the Oregon-California border.

If Trump Goes Hard on Immigration, Who Will Grow, Process, and Serve Our Food? - By Elizabeth Grossman, CivilEats, November 29, 2016 -  We know that farmers overwhelmingly supported President-Elect Donald Trump in this election. But how does that support square with how his immigration policy could impact the agricultural workforce? And perhaps the more pointed question might be: If Trump goes through with his campaign promises, who exactly will provide the bulk of the labor that goes into producing our food?

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #128

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, November 23, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

The arc of the moral universe is still ours to bend… - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, November 11, 2016 - We have had occasion to quote those words, attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, many a time over the 25 years that we have been organizing here in Immokalee.  The quotation reminds us that, though at times it might seem that progress has grown unbearably slow or even ground to a halt, it never truly stops, and that, when viewed from a sufficient distance, the trajectory of history bends only one way — toward greater freedom and equality.

Art of the deal: how Trump can win by playing climate game - By Guy Edwards and Tory Hoffmeister, Climate Change News, November 20, 2016 - If Trump’s goal is to do good for American workers by promoting US interests, a decision to quit the new global climate regime would be misguided

CN employees speaking out against chronic workplace fatigue - By Jeff Cottr, Occupational Health & Safety Canada, October 18, 2016 - Railroad workers with the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) are attempting to bring public awareness to the issue of chronic workplace fatigue in the industry. A group of CN employees — including engineers, conductors and yardmen — with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Division 796 participated in an information picket in Edmonton’s Grand Trunk Park on Oct. 5.

Coal Industry Must Face ‘Managed Decline’ If Countries Are Serious About Paris Agreement Climate Targets - By Mat Hope, DeSmog Blog, November 14, 2016 - There is no role for new coal power if countries are going to meet their climate targets, campaigners today told the international climate talks in Marrakech; [related]: Climate deal must offer hope for coal miners, says German minister - By Ed King, Climate Change News, November 15, 2016 - A poorly managed transition from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy and industry will lead to a rise in populist and illiberal political forces.

Did Canada show up at COP22? - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, November 20, 2016 - The UN COP22 meetings began in Marakkesh on November 7, and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President on November 8 threatened to derail progress.  Yet as the Climate Change News stated on Nov. 18:  “ An oasis of climate commitment in a desert of Trump panic, the UN talks made steady progress on putting the Paris Agreement into action” .  For COP22 coverage, the most complete compilation of day by day events, side events, and documents is at the IISD website ; see also the official COP22 website ; or the news compilations of The Guardian  newspaper , Climate Home , or Democracy Now . There is  even a compilation of the almost 1 million tweets from delegates at Marakkesh.

The Divestment Movement: a climate policy game changer? - By Tim Pfefferle and Jakob Ache, Green European Journal, November 14, 2016 -  For several years now the divestment movement across the globe has been running campaigns aiming to withdraw investment from fossil energy sources – with surprising success. How much does the success of the discussions going on at COP 22 depend on divestment? Will it give new impetus to the climate protection movement

Eighty-six years after Ohio’s worst mining disaster scars persist, but life goes on - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, November 15, 2016 - In 1930, the town of Millfield, in Ohio, was shaken by a devastating coal mine explosion, considered the worst mine disaster in the history of the state to date and which killed 82 people.

Electronics brands and factories must commit to improve labour standards - By Gale Raj-Reichert, New Internationalist, November 7, 2016 - The global electronics industry is one of the largest industrial sectors in the world economy. It makes up close to one-quarter of globally traded manufactured products and is estimated to generate more revenue and employ more workers than any other manufacturing sector. A key feature of the industry is its extensive use of outsourcing by brand firms such as Apple to suppliers, such as Foxconn.

German trade unions condemn the impact of digitalisation on working conditions - By staff, European Trade Union Institute, November 18, 2016 - The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) publishes an annual report on developments in ‘quality of work’. In the latest edition of this report, published on 10 November, the DGB expresses its concern at the impact of an increasingly digital economy on working conditions.

The Grand Finale! Wendy’s protests from Miami to Chicago highlight final Behind the Braids tour, Weekend of Action… - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, November 17th, 2016 - Hundreds of farmworkers and Fair Food allies, new and old, let Wendy’s know nothing will deter the Fair Food Nation as the Wendy’s Boycott heads into the new season in high gear!

[Green] Union Resolutions - By staff, Labor Network for Sustainability, November 2016 - (a select list of) Climate Change Resolutions and Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) Resolutions from various unions.

If There Are No Nurses, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution - By Becky Bond and Zack Exley, The Leap, November 17, 2016 - Nursing as a profession is based on the values of caring, compassion, and community, and nurses are powerful allies who will attract countless others to your cause. They possess a down-to-earth professionalism that is sincere and authentic, and they have firsthand knowledge of the life-or-death stakes of the most urgent issues of the day, from income inequality to immigration reform to climate change.

Landslide in Turkey kills at least 5 miners, traps 11 - By Andrew Topf, Mining.Com, November 20, 2016 - At least five miners are dead and 11 are trapped after a landslide swept through a copper mine in southeastern Turkey.

McConnell finally admits ending ‘war on coal’ might not bring back jobs - By Josh Israel, ThinkProgress, November 12, 2016 - Now that his endorsed presidential candidate is poised to deregulate energy, McConnell has already changed his tune.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #127

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, November 11, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Anadarko cutting 58 jobs in East Texas - By Collin Eaton, FuelFix, November 7, 2016 - Anadarko Petroleum Corp. may shed more than 50 jobs and shut down three offices in East Texas if it sells off its Carthage oil field for $1 billion by the end of the year.

“Behind the Braids” Wendy’s Boycott Tours hit the Mid-Atlantic! - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, November 7th, 2016 - Instead of deterring consumers from standing with farmworkers, Wendy’s recent public statement of half-truths, innuendo and outright fabrications fueled both ire and energy among hundreds of consumer allies on the fourth “Behind the Braids” tour, which criss-crossed the Mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. 

Davey Hopper: union man - By Huw Beynon, Red Pepper, November 2016 - Dave Hopper – or Davey as he was universally known to his friends – was secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, once the Northern Area of the National Union of Mineworkers. To celebrate his life, with talk and music, a wake was held in the Sacriston Miners’ Club on 28 July, followed by a humanist service at the historic Redhills miners’ hall the following day. There were no hymns – the music was provided by Bob Marley and Paul Robeson – and Jeremy Corbyn spoke on both occasions. The service was chaired by former Unison general secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe and attended by over 700 people, half inside the hall and the remainder outside, in and around a marquee surrounded by trade union banners.

Deadly pipeline blast gets safety board investigation - By Alejandro Dávila Fragoso, Think Progress, November 5, 2016 - The deadly explosion in a Colonial Pipeline gasoline line in Alabama that killed one man and seriously injured four is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the agency said Friday; [related]: Pipeline Explosion in Alabama Kills 1, Injures 5 as Gas Prices Rise - By Derek Scarlino, Love and Rage, November 1, 2016 - A deadly Colonial Pipeline explosion in Helena, AL, outside of Birmingham, on Monday also ignited separate wildfires in the affected area. | What Happens When the Most Important Pipeline in the U.S. Explodes - By Matthew Philips, Bloomberg, November 4, 2016 - On Monday, a construction crew in Alabama triggered a massive explosion when a track-hoe struck the biggest fuel pipeline in the U.S. The blast killed one person, injured several, and sparked a wildfire that burned for nearly a day across 31 acres.

Hazelwood to close as energy transition gathers pace in Australia - By Giles Parkinson & Sophie Vorrath, REnew Economy, November 3, 2016 - The dirtiest power station in Australia – and by some estimates the dirtiest among the world’s developed countries – the 1.5GW Hazelwood brown coal generator in Victoria is to close in five months after its owners finally bowed to the inevitable.

In GOP Country, a Small Labor Organization Offers a Model for Fighting Trumpism - By Sarah Jaffe, The Nation, November 4, 2016 - The Workers’ Project in Indiana has been uniting undocumented immigrants with white union workers since long before Trump hit the campaign trail.

More wind workers in Portland shows local manufacturers ready for #VRET - By Pat Simons, Yes2Renewables, November 4, 2016 - In a sign of how the upcoming Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) can benefit the state’s manufacturing industry through greater local content, Australia’s top wind manufacturer yesterday announced it will put on  50 new workers at the Keppel Prince wind tower factory in Portland.

Obama is pledging more than $2 million to train coal miners to pilot drones - By April Glaser, Recode, October 28, 2016 - As the U.S. transitions to more sustainable forms of energy, the Obama administration has been steadily investing in retraining programs for people who used to work for the once-booming American coal industry, where states like West Virginia and Kentucky are losing thousands of jobs a year.

SEPTA workers strike back - Joe Cleffie, Socialist Worker, November 7, 2016 - NEARLY 5,000 transit workers recently engaged in a strike in Philadelphia, bringing the subways, trolleys and buses of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)--which each day serve more than 900,000 commuters--to a halt.

Why worker-led monitoring is needed to challenge electronic sweatshops - By David Foust Rodríguez, New Internationalist, November 2, 2016 - Since the seventies, and particularly from the nineties onwards, transnational Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies have established a discourse of corporate social responsibility, accompanied by voluntary codes of conduct, verified by social audits contracted with specialized for-profit firms. However, these codes are limited in their ability to protect workers from labour abuses, exposure to toxic chemicals, poverty wages, and other problems endemic to current business models. A real alternative is monitoring by workers, for workers – funded by public purchasers in the Global North, who use the goods we make in the Global South.

A Workers Plan to Transition to Renewable Energy Jobs, based on workers’ views - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, November 1, 2016 - A Workers Climate Plan, submitted to the federal government its climate change consultations in September, was more publicly launched on November 1  at a solar panel installation training facility in Edmonton, Alberta.  The report by Iron and Earth  is much more than a publicity stunt: it offers serious policy suggestions, and also “gives voice to the workers” by reporting the results of a survey of opinions of Alberta’s energy sector workers.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #126

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, October 28, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Armed militants pose ongoing, dangerous threat to government employees working to protect America’s public lands - By staff, Center for Western Priorities, October 28, 2016 - The militant occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is but one of many instances of militia groups threatening the safety of public land managers. And while the Bundy family and their devotees fall far outside mainstream public opinion on Western public lands, militants remain committed to using public lands and government employees to express their anti-government sentiments.

Deepwater Horizon Continues to Impact Public Health - By S. E. Smith, Truthout, October 25, 2016 - It's hard to believe that the Deepwater Horizon incident, which discharged over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, happened six years ago. What's not hard to believe is that the environmental health implications of the spill are stubbornly lingering.

15 dead, several trapped in coal mining explosion in western China - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, November 1, 2016 - Rescuers in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing were still trying to locate Tuesday 18 missing miners feared dead after being trapped underground following a gas explosion that killed 15 others on Monday.

Ky. says 'pencils down,' but one group is writing a plan - By Emily Holden, E&E Publishing, October 25, 2016 - Late last year, when it became clear incoming Republican Gov. Matt Bevin didn't want to plan for federal climate regulations, a small group of Kentuckians decided to take things into their own hands.

Local Police Set Up Alcohol, Drug Checkpoint for Cove Point LNG Construction Workers - By Mark Hand, DC Media Group, October 26, 2016 - The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office set up the checkpoint on Sept. 23 on a county-owned road that construction workers drive on as they head to a privately owned parking and project staging area, named Offsite Area A. Each day, after parking their vehicles, the workers are then transported in buses to the Cove Point construction site in Lusby, Md.

NYC school bus worker strike averted after talks to settle healthcare contract - By Erin Durkin and Reuven Blau, New York Daily News, October 31, 2016 - The union representing school bus drivers and attendants who work for Jofaz Transportation and Y&M Transit reached a tentative contract agreement just after 10 p.m. Monday.

Northeast “Behind the Braids” Tour heads north to Providence, Boston! - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers. All rights reserved,  October 28th, 2016 - After wrapping up a powerful visit to New York — which kicked off with a high-spirited march led by the ever-boisterous Lower East Side Girls Club and concluded with a stirring evening vigil outside the luxurious hedge fund offices of Wendy’s Board Chairman, Nelson Peltz — the Northeast “Behind the Braids” Tour headed up I-95 to spread the Fair Food word throughout historic New England!

November 16 marks the global day of action against trade union repression - By Piergiorgio Moro and Jiselle Hanna, Rabble.Ca, October 28, 2016 - Labour updates of workers' struggles from the Asia-Pacific region.

1 dead, 5 injured in gas pipeline explosion - By Samantha Page, Think Progress, October 31, 2016; [related]: 1 Dead, Several Injured in Colonial Pipeline Explosion - By Dan Zukowski, EcoWatch, November 1, 2016 | America’s OPEC, Part II: New Gas Pipeline Mess In Alabama - By Tina Casey, Clean Technica, November 2, 2016 - A gasoline pipeline in central Alabama exploded Monday night, killing one pipeline worker and injuring five others. The ensuing fire burned 32 acres of nearby woodlands, and residents in a 3-mile radius were evacuated Monday afternoon, according to a statement from Gov. Robert Bentley.

RMT CALLS FOR GENERAL STRIKE! - By staff, Workers' Revolutionary Party, November 2, 2016 - RMT leaders yesterday responded defiantly to Southern rail’s threat that if guards strike and do not sign new contracts by Friday, they will be considered to have sacked themselves.

SEPTA strike begins - By Jason Laughlin, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 1, 2016; [related]: Philadelphia SEPTA TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown Predicted Strike in 2014, by Steve Zeltser, Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, November 1, 2016 | No deal reached as SEPTA strike enters 2nd day - By Jason Laughlin, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 2, 2016 - Despite last minute negotiations and a visit from Democratic heavy-hitter Congressman Bob Brady, 4,738 SEPTA workers walked off the job Monday night, beginning a strike that halted subways, trolleys and buses in Philadelphia.

Volkswagen: Job Cuts Coming With Shift To EVs, But No Forced Dismissals - By James Ayre, Clean Technica, November 2, 2016 - One of the background factors related to German auto manufacturer inaction with regard to electric vehicles, a factor that isn’t often publicly acknowledged, is that if the companies in question did make a rapid transition to electric vehicles, then there would be huge layoffs as many jobs and core skills became unnecessary.

We must stand with Standing Rock - By Brian Ward, Socialist Worker, October 31, 2016 - Brian Ward reports on the latest wave of repression and mass arrests aimed at the anti-pipeline protesters in Standing Rock.

What’s happening with all the global trade deals? - By Zachary Davies Boren, Greenpeace Energydesk, October 24, 2016 - Free trade deals around the world are in crisis, just as the UK is preparing to negotiate a clutch of new agreements that would replace its membership of the European Union.

Why Dakota Is the New Keystone - By Bill McKibben, New York Times, October 28, 2016 - The Native Americans who have spent the last months in peaceful protest against an oil pipeline along the banks of the Missouri are standing up for tribal rights. They’re also standing up for clean water, environmental justice and a working climate. And it’s time that everyone else joined in.

Wyoming Worker Safety Remains A Concern - By Bob Beck, Wyoming Public Media, October 28, 2016 - A study from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services shows that while workplace fatalities have decreased overall, there has not been a significant trend in (oil and gas related) workplace deaths for almost 25 years.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #125

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, October 28, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Another audit faults reclamation illegal irrigator subsidies - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, October 25, 2016 - A new federal audit report finds the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has cost taxpayers millions by failing to collect for nearly a decade moneys owed by Klamath Basin irrigators. This comes on the heels of another audit finding that Reclamation has “wasted” millions more in illegal payments to these same irrigators. Both audits are fueling calls by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and others to hold individual Reclamation officials to account and to reform the troubled agency.

Baker Hughes posts loss after cutting 2,000 more jobs - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, October 25, 2016 - Baker Hughes reported a $429 million net loss for the third quarter after cutting an additional 2,000 jobs.

The “Behind the Braids” Northeast Tour takes New York by storm! - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, October 24, 2016 - Last week, just as the Northeast Behind the Braids Tour was arriving in New York City, Wendy’s Public Relations department released the company’s most direct response yet to the Campaign for Fair Food.  And yet somehow, with more than three years to come up with a plausible defense since the Wendy’s campaign began in earnest in 2013, the recalcitrant hamburger giant still managed to swing and miss…. badly.

Brussels defeats toxic EU-Canada trade deal, CETA - By Oliver Tickel, The Ecologist, October 24, 2016 - The city of Brussels, capital of Europe, has joined with other Belgian regions to defeat the CETA 'free trade' deal between the EU and Canada, in an unprecedented victory for civil society and campaigners against the EU's 'by the corporations, for the corporations' trade agenda.

Canada Pension Plan: improved benefits, but still exposed to fossil fuel risk - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, October 22, 2016 - Canada has launched a new campaign, Time to Climate Risk-proof the CPP,  which reveals that approximately 22% of the Canadian portfolio is invested in  fossil fuel producers or pipeline companies, including coal.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 people. Then BP made you and me pay for it - By Alex Doukas, Oil Change International, October 20, 2016 - In 2010, oil giant BP was responsible for a disaster that killed 11 people and caused one of the worst oil spills in history – all because of the company’s greed and negligence. That’s one clear message presented in Deepwater Horizon, the new film that chronicles the timeline of the disaster and honors the heroism of the oil rig workers caught up in it.

Eritreans accuse Canadian company of forced labour in mine - By Redeye Collective, Rabble.Ca, October 19, 2016 - B.C. Supreme Court is allowing three Eritrean refugees to proceed with a civil lawsuit against the Canadian mining company Nevsun, which they say knowingly used forced labour in its operations. Matt Eisenbrandt is legal director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice and a member of the Etritreans' legal team. Matt Eisenbrandt speaks with Redeye host Esther Hsieh.

Far more hunting inside Denali than on its boundary - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, October 26, 2016 - Each year, hunters and trappers cut deeply into the populations of large mammals inside Denali National Park and Preserve, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) figures released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Surprisingly, the toll on both predators and game animals inside the park is several times what occurs on its boundary.

'Final Death Blow' to CETA as Delegates Hold Firm Against Pro-Corporate Deal - By Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, October 21, 2016 - Dealing what campaigners say is the final "death blow" to the pro-corporate Canada-European Union trade deal, negotiations collapsed on Friday after representatives from the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to agree to a deal that continues ignore democracy in favor of multi-national corporations.

FMC Technologies cuts 1,000 jobs, more on the way - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, October 20, 2016 - Oilfield equipment maker FMC Technologies warned that more job cuts are on the way through the end of the year after eliminating another 1,000 jobs in the third quarter.

GE Tree Company ArborGen Promotes Unfair Labor Practices - By Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project, October 20, 2016 - In an email dated 15 September 2016, Andrew Baum, President and CEO of ArborGen, urged people to contact their representatives to renew the H-2B Guestworker program’s “Returning Worker Exemption” which he called “a vital piece of legislation that will greatly influence the success of the coming planting season for forestry.”  The H-2B program has been heavily criticized for stripping migrant workers of any rights.

Hobbled by bankruptcy, Key Energy promises to pay employees and vendors - By David Hunn, FuelFix, October 26, 2016 - Key Energy Services has promised to pay employees, vendors and some creditors in full as it works through bankruptcy.

How Britain’s black miners are reclaiming their place in history - By Frances Perraudin, The Guardian, October 24, 2016 - Taylor moved to the UK from Jamaica in 1954 when he was 26, and spent 25 years working as a miner. Now he has joined about 20 men who are involved in a project that aims to record the experiences of black miners in the UK – Coal Miners of African Heritage: Narratives from Nottinghamshire.

How to offset the hardship from carbon pricing - By Toby Sanger, Ottawa Citizen, October 6, 2016 - While putting a price on carbon is an important step, governments will have to do much more to reduce carbon greenhouse gas emissions and ensure carbon pricing measures are effective and equitable.

Lawsuit to bare full range of EPA radiation rollback - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, October 24, 2016 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is illegally withholding the specific effects of its pending plan to dramatically hike permissible radiation exposure in our drinking water, according to a federal lawsuit filed today Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). While EPA is poised to allow vastly greater radioactive contamination than allowed by the Safe Drinking Water Act, it has refused to disclose just how much higher levels the public could be exposed to for the great majority of radionuclides that would be expected to contaminate water supplies.

Leader of Honduran Campesino Movement Assassinated - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, October 19, 2016 - A prominent Honduran leader of a rural land rights movement was killed on Monday night in what supporters claim was an assassination organized by wealthy landowners.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #124

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, October 19, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Anti-Mining Campesino Shot Dead by Police in Peru - By No a la Mina, translated by Earth First! Journal, October 17, 2016 - At least one person died on Friday [October 14] in an Andean region of Peru after a confrontation between police and community members who blocked the main access road into the copper mine Las Bambas, one of the largest in the country, owned by MMG Ltd,  a subsidiary of Chinese firm Minmetals. The community members protested the large amounts of dust and noise which the trucks cause as they transport copper from the mine.

Enbridge cuts jobs in Houston and Canada - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, October 19, 2016 - Calgary-based Enbridge on Wednesday eliminated 160 U.S. jobs, including about 45 in Houston, as part of the Canadian pipeline giant’s 5 percent workforce reduction overall.

For Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations - By staff, La Via Campesina, October 14, 2016 - As we celebrate [Food Sovereignty Day], we push forward for a radical transformation towards a fair and decent food system for all, based on principles of food sovereignty, which recognizes peoples’ needs, accords dignity and respects nature, and put people above profits!

General Electric cutting 255 Houston jobs; keeping Channelview complex open - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, October 17, 2016 - GE is among many local manufacturers that have cut jobs as the oil bust reduced the demand for equipment, components and other goods. Houston area manufacturers have cut 25,000 jobs — about one in 10 — since the summer of 2014, when oil prices began their slide.

Inside DuPont and Monsanto's Migrant Labor Camps - Special Investigation, By Robert Holly, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, In These Times, September 20, 2016 - An in-depth investigation reveals that multibillion-dollar Big Ag corporations—including DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto—as well as small-scale farmers routinely use labor recruiters who crowd migrant workers in housing riddled with health and safety violations, such as bed bug infestations and a lack of running water. A newly built public database of housing inspection records exposes the dramatic scope of the problem: When state inspectors visit migrant labor camps, they find violations as much as 60 percent of the time.

Klamath Irrigators Illegal Piggy Bank Broken Up - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, October 13, 2016; [related]: The Klamath's Irrigation Elite is busted! - By Felice Pace, KlamBlog, October 13, 2016 - A federal water agency misspent millions of dollars intended for fish and wildlife and drought relief in the Klamath Basin on irrigator subsidies, according to new audit report which confirms charges leveled last year by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The federal agency, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, disputes these findings and, while the payments have ended, it refuses to change its practices to prevent future abuse or to recoup moneys illegally spent.

Luminant cutting 132 Texas jobs with mine closure - By Jordan Blum, FuelFix, October 17, 2016 - As coal power plants continue to struggle financially with natural gas and renewable power gaining market share, many Texas coal plants are only operating during select summer and winter months when demand is strongest. As such, Luminant is closing one of the four lignite coal mines that feeds its Martin Lake power plant. Because of a collective bargaining agreement, some of the job cuts are coming from the other mines that will remain in production as Luminant consolidates operations.

Oakland Port Trucking Boss Embroiled in Controversy - By Darwin BondGraham, East Bay Express, October 18, 2016 - Illegal soil dumping, junk on Caltrans property, expensive labor and investor fraud lawsuits, and a recent eviction from Port property are just some of Bill Aboudi's problems.

Statoil reports injuries at the Sture terminal - By staff, OilVoice, October 13, 2016 - Five people were sent to Haukeland Hospital after having been exposed to H2S gas (hydrogen sulfide)...The five people were exposed to H2S gas while working at a treatment facility for oily water inside the terminal area.

There’s a Nationwide Boycott of Wendy’s Underway - By Michelle Chen, The Nation, October 10, 2016; [related]: “Boot the Braids!” rings out across campuses throughout the Midwest and Southeast!- By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, October 14th, 2016 - For over a decade the small coalition of farmworkers and community activists have taken on the giants of Big Ag and built a new system of labor protection. Now they’re taking the fight to a Goliath in red pigtails. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)—an internationally renowned farmworker group (and leading early labor ally of one former presidential candidate)—is leading a nationwide boycott of Wendy’s, to pressure the fast-food giant to participate in a “worker-led social responsibility” system that links corporate accountability with labor justice from farm to table.

Travay pou Klima dan Moris; climate jobs in Mauritius - By Jonathan Neale, Global Climate Jobs, October 15, 2016 - The Centre for Alternative Research and Studies held the first workshop for trade unionists in Mauritius on climate jobs in August.

Workers In Green Certified Buildings Are Healthier And Happier - By Stephen Hanley, Green Building Elements, October 16, 2016 - People who work in a building certified green by the US Green Building Council enjoy several advantages over those who work in high performance buildings that are not green certified. Researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health and State University of New York’s Upstate Medical University studyied 109 workers at 10 buildings in 5 cities across the U.S. They discovered that working in a green certified buildings correlates with higher cognitive function scores, fewer sick building symptoms, and higher sleep quality scores.

EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #123

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, October 12, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

BART to pay $300,000 in wrongful death suit for worker killed in 2013 - Erin Baldassari, Bay Area News Group, October 5, 2016 - Union Busting BART management and board to pay $300,000 in wrongful death suit for scab worker killed in 2013.

Bulgaria coal miners stay underground to protest layoffs, delayed salaries - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, October 12, 2016 - More than 100 Bulgarian coal miners are refusing to come up to the surface from a mine located in the southwest of the country, in an attempt to renegotiate conditions of their planned layoffs and delayed salaries.

Drilling through danger: Worker safety is compromised when a drilling site turns into a web of subcontractors - By Monte Whaley and John Ingold, Denver Post, September 25-28, 2016

Hawaii solar sector on the 'brink of collapse' as employment dips 42% - By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, October 7, 2016 [and] Solar workforce in isles declines 42 percent - By Kathryn Mykleseth, Honolulu Star Advertiser, October 6, 2016 - Hawaii's solar industry appears to be in trouble, with employment in the sector taking a hit since the end of net retail rate net metering and the state's largest utility reaching the capacity cap on a popular successor program. According to the Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA), there are more than two dozen solar companies operating and almost all have cut jobs since the state lowered remuneration rates last year. The sector has lost about 450 jobs, with total employment now just above 600.

How D.C. Drivers Put the Brakes on Unsafe Buses - By Samantha Winslow, Labor Notes, October 6, 2016 - How can you force city leaders to confront the effects of privatization? Subcontracted bus drivers in Washington, D.C., did it through their contract campaign.

New website on carcinogens at work - By staff, European Trade Union Institute, October 10, 2016 - People interested in the issue of workers' exposure to carcinogens can find useful information and resources on This website was developed as part of the European "Roadmap on Carcinogens" campaign, a joint initiative by the EU Council presidencies of 2016 (Netherlands) and 2018 (Austria), the European Commission, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and the European social partners (the European Trade Union Confederation and BusinessEurope).

No Fines, No Follow-Up After Massive Explosion At Wyoming Natural Gas Plant - By Stephanie Joyce, Wyoming Public Radio, October 5, 2016 - In 2014, a massive explosion tore through the Williams natural gas processing plant in Opal. It forced the evacuation of the southwestern Wyoming town and caused a spike in the price of natural gas. Wyoming’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation in the aftermath and found a number of safety violations. But the agency never collected the corresponding fines and never released a final report about the investigation.

"Our rights, our needs, our identities have been defined on behalf of us, but not by us", Tanmay Joshi, a young farmer from India - By staff, La Via Campesina, October 6, 2016 - At the recently concluded Global Consultation on Farmers' Rights in Bali, organsied by the Ministry of Indonesia with the support of the Ministry of Norway and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), Tanmay Joshi, a young farmer from the state of Maharshtra in India spoke passionately. Here is the full text of this speech.

Pet coke transport workers vote to join ILWU - By staff, ILWU, October 7, 2016 - JBA Transport workers who haul petroleum coke from California oil refineries to storage facilities and docks voted overwhelmingly to join the ILWU on September 1.

6 years after Deepwater Horizon oil spill, thousands of people are still sick - By Linda Marsa, Newsweek, October 10, 2016 - The oil spill, the worst in maritime history, dumped 4.2 million barrels of oil, and officials released 1.8 million gallons of Corexit, a chemical dispersant used to break up the oil, into the Gulf before the well was sealed. Six years later, controversy still rages about the wisdom of carpet-bombing the Gulf with these chemicals, and newly released documents reveal that government scientists expressed concern at the time about the health consequences of mixing such large quantities of dispersants with the millions of barrels of sweet crude. Occupational health experts now believe it created a toxic mix that sickened thousands of locals—including some of the 47,000 people that worked in some capacity on BP’s cleanup operation—crippling them with chemically induced illnesses that doctors are unable to treat.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: WA Unions, Greens protest as senate inquiry hearings held in Perth - By staff, Perth Now, October 5, 2016 - With public hearings held in Perth by the senate inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, protests opposing the deal have rallied on. The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, UnionsWA and The Greens voiced their opposition on Wednesday outside state parliament.

Work stoppage ends at 20-MW Lower Modi Khola hydropower facility - By Gregory B. Poindexter, Renewable Energy World, October 5, 2016 - Construction resumed Oct. 4 on tunnel works after a brief work stoppage that began on Sept. 28 at the 20-MW Lower Modi Khola run-of-river hydropower facility.

Whither EcoUnionist News?

By x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, October 5, 2016

Whither EcoUnionist News and all of its supplements? - You may have noticed that there has not been a new installment of this feature since issue #122. That is because our web admin, who has diligently compiled and published this feature, without interruption, on a weekly basis, for almost two years, has determined that the sheer workload has overwhelmed his ability to consistently produce a quality product. He writes:

After some hard soul searching, much reflection, and no shortage of handwringing that I have decided to terminate the (mostly) weekly "EcoUnionist News" Feature and all of its subsets (Capital Blight News and Carbon Bubble News) as well as the very voluminous special supplements, such as #NoDAPL News on

This is a very hard decision for me to make, because I strongly believe that the feature potentially serves a useful purpose, namely providing a "link dump" of news that is relevant to our organizing, or hoped-for-organizing that is simply not available anywhere else.

However, the feature has become simply too large for me to handle, often taking up two or even three days of my time to produce, which I do on top of maintaining (which involves posting other relevant, full-length articles), doing IWW EUC work, having a full-time job, participating in several other related green-unionisty type political activity, and having something of a life, little though my spare time has been outside of all of that. In fact, it's getting to the point that EcoUnionist News is too much of a task for me to handle, even if I were to drop all other activities. As you may have noticed, the feature often includes upwards of 100-plus articles each week. Until recently, I had been reading every single one of them. I had managed to do this even during the busiest days of the No Coal in Oakland campaign, which has been victorious (so far) and been an inspiring example of green-union organizing of the type that the three of us who founded the IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus had only dreamed about just three years ago.

However, in recent weeks, especially with the IWW Convention and the #NoDAPL campaign exploding on the scene, I have been including articles that I have not read carefully or even at all, and though I am pretty sure all of them have been meritous, the potential for growing sloppiness increases, and frankly, it's an indicator that the idea is a case of my having bit off more than I can chew. 

The items I have included in EcoUnionist News are (in my opinion) almost always either items that, while of some use to Green Unionists, do not make the cut as suitable full-length articles for or they're from sources where obtaining permission (such as mainstream capitalist periodicals) would be time consuming and challenging. Reading all of them has been extremely time consuming (though I have been able to take advantage of downtime where I work, such as breaks, to cover some of that). Still, I have been setting aside longer, likely much more relevant documents that deal directly with green unionism, just transition, and the like, because of the time I have instead focused on EcoUnionist News, and my "GRIL" pile is only getting bigger.

I have been weighing the options for a while now, and I have concluded that the best use of my time is to end the EcoUnionist News effort for now and focus more closely on posting the full length articles and reading the longer, more in depth items in my GRIL pile that deal with green unionism and just transition which would be a benefit to

As for the items that will not be posted, most of these are still available, syndicated through the RSS feeds we feature on, here.   

I still will focus primarily on information and news myself (or whatever local campaign comes my way that helps us build the ideas of green unionism and where my help is requested), but for now the weekly EcoUnionist News feature has been put on ice. 

That said, our web admin has agreed to publish a much shorter list of "EcoWobbles", news items that are not quite suitable as full articles, but are of (in his opinion) of compelling interest to green unionists. So with that in mind, here are the first five such items:

An Alternative to Trident: Peace ships from Barrow - By Peter Doyle, Facts For Working People, September 26, 2016 -  This article is a contribution to the debate in the Labour Party about whether or not a Labour government should spend money to renew British nuclear submarines, now reaching the end of their useful life. The author suggests an intriguing idea for a just transition.

European trade unions' experts evaluate and plan the next steps on health and safety at work - By staff, European Trade Union Institute, September 29, 2016 - European trade unions' experts evaluate and plan the next steps on health and safety at work.

Honoring a dirty job and a beautiful one, too - By Amy Muldoon, Socialist Worker, October 5, 2016 - The author recommends an exhibition in New York City that will make you think twice about the actual pillars that a modern city rests on.

Kiteline Radio: Dear Marius episode - By Cindy A Crabb, Kiteline Radio, September 28, 2016 …We begin our show with updates on the National Prison Strike, and then devote the entire episode to Marius Mason, a friend and former Bloomington resident currently serving a 22 year sentence for acts of ecological defense. We hear messages from people to and about Marius, listen to some of Marius’s music and poetry, and learn about his case.

Strike continues at Anglo American’s Australian coal mine - By staff, Mining.Com, October 3, 2016 - 140 workers at Anglo American’s German Creek coal mine in Australia remain on strike over their trade union enterprise agreement (EBA), which expired in April 2014 and is being negotiated ever since.


The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.