BARACK OBAMA has once again delayed a decision on final approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The move, announced quietly on April 18 as Washington was winding down for the Easter weekend, is clearly designed to avoid a contentious issue until after the November elections. "Approving the pipeline before the election would rankle Obama's allies and donors in the environmental community," the Washington Postnoted, "but nixing it could be politically damaging to vulnerable Democrats running this year in conservative-leaning areas."
In an era in which our political system is dominated by plutocracy, grassroots social movements are essential for progressive change. But too often our movements find themselves at loggerheads over the seemingly conflicting need to preserve our environment and the need for jobs and economic development. How can we find common ground?
Chrysler Corporation announced last month that it plans to invest $3.5 billion to retool its assembly plants in Windsor and Brampton, Ontario and produce new lines of vehicles. But it set two big conditions—that the federal and Ontario governments provide $700 million in subsidies, and that the union of assembly line employees, Unifor, accept wage concessions, notably lower salaries for new hires. Unifor and the two levels of government agreed to the subsidy demand. We believe this a wrong choice for society, including for autoworkers.
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions will throw millions of people out of work! That claim has made many working people reluctant to support action to slow climate change. But is it true?
A report written in 2011 by Jonathan Neale for the European Transport Workers Federation argues the opposite, that changing the ways that goods and people are moved can reduce emissions from the transport sector by 80% while creating over 12 million new jobs – 7 million in transportation and 5 million in renewable energy.
VANCOUVER, Feb. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The president of Canada's largest union in the private sector today reaffirmed his organization's opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and other energy projects that don't create Canadian jobs.
The old argument that unions must choose between jobs and the environment is losing its grip, as climate change becomes more evident and more urgent. More unions than ever have signed up to join environmentalists for a demonstration in Washington, D.C. against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Sunday.
Declining domestic demand (due to cheaper natural gas and stiffer regulations) and heavy opposition to coal exports on the U.S. West Coast have increased pressure to export American thermal coal through Metro Vancouver ports. Those proposals have faced stiff opposition north of the border too -- but not from some unions. Recently the ILWU, U.S.W, IUOE and the BC Building Trades co-authored an op-ed that was critical of Metro Vancouver community, local government and health authority concerns about potential risks posed by plans to export up to eight million tonnes per year of U.S.
ILWU Canada President Mark Gordienko announced December 20 on the waterfront union's website and in the mainstream media the offer of a "$2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of masked intruders who violently occupied Port Metro Vancouver’s office on Mon
For those of us in the labour movement, tis the season to ponder what good our unions can do in the upcoming year and to renew our commitment to a key principle: What we desire for ourselves we wish for all. At this time of year, while many of us focus on gifts, it is easy to desire the latest gadget, that new car or even a remodelled bathroom. But, most of us would agree, in the grand scheme of human priorities, certain fundamentals are more important than simply acquiring more things.