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'All These Changes Do Affect Jobs and Affect People'

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Polar bears used as a symbol of a climate disruption by the Boston Globe (5/31/17).

  • Climate change represents the first time in human history that we’ve had, as all of humanity, one problem that we need to face together, because it affects everyone on Earth.
  • Related: From the Archives | Pope Francis Focuses on the American Environmental Movement

Janine Jackson, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon.jpg FAIR Editor's Comment: Janine Jackson interviewed Dan Zukowski about climate disruption for the June 30, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Janine Jackson, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

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June 30, 2017 | Janine Jackson: Enough with the stranded polar bears! A recent letter writer to the Boston Globe took issue with the use of the iconic image of a polar bear stranded on floating ice to accompany a story on climate change. Besides being lazy, said Frederick Hewett of Cambridge, the image just sends an inaccurate message about climate disruption, which is happening everywhere—not just in the faraway Arctic—and the effects of which take myriad forms.

Getting reporters to pay attention to all of the stories of climate change is an urgent and ongoing effort. Our next guest is a contributor to that work. Dan Zukowski is an environmental writer. His work appears in EnviroNews as well as other outlets. He joins us now by phone from Maine. Welcome to CounterSpin, Dan Zukowski.

Janine Jackson <> is the program director of FAIR, and the co-host and co-producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin—a weekly program of media criticism airing on more than 150 stations around the country.

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From the Archives | Pope Francis Focuses on the American Environmental Movement, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Part 1: Pope Francis is actually bringing America’s environmentalism movement to its religious and moral roots.
    • Opponents of selfish greed and avarice, the common enemies of nature and mankind, would welcome Francis’s powerful words.
  • Part 2: 10 key excerpts from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment
    • Here are some of the key passages people will read closely, everything from climate change and global warming to abortion and population control.

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From the Archives | Do You Know Where Your Tomatoes Come From?

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  • “Harvesting tomatoes and other produce from the nation’s agricultural fields is arguably the worst job in the country,” journalist Chris Hedges writes in his book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.
  • Related: Why Women Who Pick and Process Your Food Face Daily Threats of Rape, Harassment and Wage Theft
  • Related: 1960: "Harvest of Shame"

Lauren Feeney, Moyers & Company

http://billmoyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/AP060330027743_immokalee.jpg Farmworkers pick tomatoes at Taylor & Fulton Tomatoes in Immokalee, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

July 20, 2012 | For workers in Immokalee, Florida, where nearly all of America’s winter tomatoes are grown, backbreaking labor under the heat of the Florida sun is only part of the drudgery. There’s often also toxic pesticides, sexual harassment, verbal and physical abuse — all for an average income of  less than $12,000 a year.



Nely Rodriguez is a 46-year-old mother of three who’s been working in the Immokalee fields since she came here from Mexico in 2000. But she’s not suffering silently under these unjust conditions. Nely is a member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a community organization that has taken on the corporate giants at the top of the food chain — with some remarkable victories.

Lauren Feeney is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and multimedia journalist whose work has appeared on air and online at PBS, Al Jazeera English and other outlets. A former producer for Moyers & Company, she was a contributor for PBS' Need to Know and led web teams for Wide Angle and Women, War & Peace. She is a graduate of Bard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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Why Women Who Pick and Process Your Food Face Daily Threats of Rape, Harassment and Wage Theft, Jill Richardson, AlterNet

• We all benefit from a hugely exploitative system, in which our dinner is now directly linked to violence against women.
• Immokalee's (FL) Tomato Pickers Still Reap 'Harvest of Shame'

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1960: "Harvest of Shame", Edward R. Murrow, CBS News


November 24, 2010 | Watch the entire original broadcast of one of the most celebrated documentaries of all time, 1960's "Harvest of Shame," in which Edward R. Murrow exposed the plight of America's farm workers.

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Gaither Stewart | When The Revolution Comes

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  • The Historical Gastonia Textile Mill Strikes Are Not Forgotten
  • Related: These Dockworkers Just Showed the Labor Movement How to Shut Down Fascists

 

Gaither Stewart, Dandelion Salad

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June 22, 2017 | When in the early part of this millennium I was writing a rather surrealistic novel, ASHEVILLE, about the town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina where I started out my life, I ran into the story of the Asheville-based self-professed Communist writer, Olive Tilford Dargan, of whom I had never heard before. Visiting then her gravesite in the little known Green Hills Cemetery in West Asheville and researching her and her activities I fell into a gossamer review of early 19th century labor struggles in the good old U.S. South.

Here I want to share this bit of labor history—its passion, its shortcomings and failures, to shed some light on what might be the future. But first some words by and about Dargan. Back during one of the fervid witch hunts of native Communists, she wrote this in a novel.

Gaither Stewart, Writer, Dandelion Salad

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These Dockworkers Just Showed the Labor Movement How to Shut Down Fascists, Peter Cole, In These Times

http://inthesetimes.com/images/working/ILWU.jpg.png ILWU Local 10 members gather to denounce fascism and white supremacy. (Courtesy of Ed Ferris, ILWU Local 10 President)  

  • The labor movement has been greatly weakened by decades of anti-unionism, but the ILWU and Local 10 remain unbowed. Other unions should follow their lead. And, for the 89 percent of American workers not in unions, they must be reminded that individual acts of resistance—while noble—are nowhere as effective as collective action. Sadly, there will be many more opportunities to act.
  • Related: Special Report | What You Never Knew About American Labor Unions

 

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Jeff Bezos Screws Over Workers At Amazon. Now He Wants To Do The Same At The Washington Post.

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  • Can Silicon Valley’s anti-labor attitude survive actual contact with a labor union?
  • Related: Report: How Amazon's Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities

Paul Blumenthal, HuffPost 

10/12/2017 | Like most of the industry titans in the world of big tech, Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos is no fan of labor unions. Since 1994, he’s fended away every effort by Amazon warehouse workers to unionize.

But when Bezos purchased The Washington Post in 2013, he inherited more than 1,200 workers unionized with the Washington-Baltimore News Guild. That union now claims that Bezos and Washington Post management are trying to gut protections and benefits for workers in the latest contract negotiations.

Paul Blumenthal is a reporter at HuffPost. His work has appeared on PBS' Frontline, MSNBC, CNN and The New York Times.

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https://ilsr.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Amazon-Report-Cover_border-320x412.png Report: How Amazon's Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities, Olivia LaVecchia, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

• Amazon is far more than a big, aggressive retailer. As we show in this report, Amazon increasingly controls the underlying infrastructure of the economy. Its Marketplace for third-party sellers has become the dominant platform for digital commerce. Its Amazon Web Services division provides the cloud computing backbone for much of the country, powering everyone from Netflix to the CIA. 
• Our new report, Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities, aims to pull back this cloak of invisibility.

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These Dockworkers Just Showed the Labor Movement How to Shut Down Fascists

Local 10 members gather to denounce fascism and white supremacy. (Courtesy of Ed Ferris, ILWU Local 10 President)  

  • The labor movement has been greatly weakened by decades of anti-unionism, but the ILWU and Local 10 remain unbowed. Other unions should follow their lead. And, for the 89 percent of American workers not in unions, they must be reminded that individual acts of resistance—while noble—are nowhere as effective as collective action. Sadly, there will be many more opportunities to act.
  • Related: Special Report | What You Never Knew About American Labor Unions

Peter Cole, In These Times

August 29, 2017 | What role should the labor movement play in beating back the resurgence of fascism? Resistance, while a powerful concept, is far too vague. Local 10, the San Francisco Bay Area branch of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)—and perhaps the most radical union in the United States—demonstrates what can be done.

This past week, the San Francisco Bay Area—long a center of unionism, social justice movements and radicalism—took center stage. Patriot Prayer is a right-wing organization with a demonstrated history of inciting racist violence, most obviously in Portland, Ore., while ironically asserting peaceful intentions. The far-right group declared it would rally in San Francisco on Saturday.

Peter Cole is a Professor of History at Western Illinois University. He is the author of Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive Era Philadelphia and is currently at work on a book entitled Dockworker Power: Race, Technology & Unions in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a Research Associate in the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has published extensively on labor history and politics.

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Special Report | What You Never Knew About American Labor Unions, Seth Persily, Policulous
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Anyone who’s been paying attention to the state of union membership in the United States knows that unions have seen a tremendous decline since the 1960s. Whether you’re for or against them, taking a look at the stories below there can be no doubt that unions are rapidly becoming a disappearing facet of American working life.


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Special Report | What You Never Knew About American Labor Unions

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Anyone who’s been paying attention to the state of union membership in the United States knows that unions have seen a tremendous decline since the 1960s. Whether you’re for or against them, taking a look at the stories below there can be no doubt that unions are rapidly becoming a disappearing facet of American working life.

Seth Persily, Policulous 

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Fall, 2017 |

Decline in Union Membership Has Matched the Decline in Middle-Class Wages
As union membership has fallen, so too has the ability of the working-class to negotiate competitive wages. The result is that with the dramatic decline of unions we have seen an equally dramatic increase of income inequality, with the richest one-tenth of one-percent of Americans now owning as much wealth as the bottom ninety-percent combined.
Read more … 


First, Let's Explore the Impact on Our Economy
Economists generally agree that extreme disparities in wealth and income are unsustainable in a capitalist economy. Indeed, America learned this lesson in the 1920s. Without a thriving middle-class that could afford to buy consumer goods which fuel corporate profits, the American economy became unsustainable.
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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Labor%20Getting%20Its%20Fair%20Share%20of%20the%20Pie.jpgExtreme Disparities In Wealth Lead To Extreme Disparities In Power
Extreme disparities in wealth strain a healthy democracy because it inevitably leads to extreme disparities in power. Just as we are living in an age of unprecedented wealth, we are also living in an age of unprecedented power. We can all feel it. The system seems rigged.
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Extreme Disparities In Wealth Strain Our Democracy
There is no doubt that current disparities in wealth and income are wreaking havoc on our Democracy. Take a look around. Middle-class wages have stagnated for years. People are angry. Our country is divided. We are turning on each other.
Read more … 

https://policulous.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/avatar_user_3_1502812900-96x96.jpg Seth Persily is the Editor of Policulous.com. He has served on the Boards of Georgia Equality, YouthPride, and GLAAD.

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Rightwing Alliance Plots Assault to 'Defund and Defang' America's Unions

Teachers in California protest against a Wisconsin law affecting public-sector collective bargaining. Union membership among public-sector workers is about 35%. Photograph: Robert Durell/AP

  • It ain't about negotiating union collective bargaining agreements and resolving grievances any more (Actually, militant unions never were about such goals!)!
  • Conservative campaign aims to strike ‘mortal blow’ on government unions.
  • This is ‘A once-in-a-lifetime chance to reverse the failed policies of the American left’.

Ed Pilkington, The Guardian (US) 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Labor%20Getting%20Its%20Fair%20Share%20of%20the%20Pie.jpg August 30, 2017 | Rightwing activists across the US have launched a nationwide campaign to undermine progressive politicians by depriving them of a major source of support and funding – public sector unions.

A network of conservative thinktanks with outposts in all 50 states has embarked on a “breakthrough” campaign designed to strike a “mortal blow” against the American left. The aim is to “defund and defang” unions representing government employees as the first step towards ensuring the permanent collapse of progressive politics.

Ed Pilkington is the chief reporter for The Guardian (US). He is a former national and foreign editor of the paper, and author of Beyond the Mother Country

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Foxconn Comes to Wisconsin: A Bad Deal for Workers and the Environment

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In exchange for $3 billion from the state government, electronics giant Foxconn will build a massive factory in Wisconsin. What’s good for big business is good for the rest of us. Right?

Willis and Jacob Druker, Socialist Alternative <>

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Labor%20Getting%20Its%20Fair%20Share%20of%20the%20Pie.jpgAugust 23, 2017 | Given who’s promoting the Foxconn deal, workers have a good reason to be skeptical. The plan, if fulfilled, would be seen as a political victory for President Trump as well as Wisconsin’s right-wing Governor Scott Walker, both of whom campaigned on boosting American manufacturing. Walker has spent his seven years as governor attacking workers’ rights and living standards. Meanwhile, Foxconn, the multinational corporation known for manufacturing the iPhone, is even better known for the high rate of worker suicide in its Chinese factories. Despite the populist rhetoric behind the Foxconn deal, it’s more about corporate welfare than anything that would benefit WIsconsin workers.

Foxconn’s recently announced plan entails building a 1,000 acre facility in southeastern Wisconsin. The facility, which would be located in either Racine or Kenosha counties, would cost $10 billion, and would open in 2020. It would immediately employ 3,000 people and could grow to 13,000. It would produce LCD screens, used in smartphones and flat-screen TVs. Foxconn is also reportedly considering building a secondary facility near Madison.

Willis and Jacob Druker, Socialist Alternative: a national organization fighting in our workplaces, communities, and campuses against the exploitation and injustices people face every day. We spearheaded the campaign to elect Kshama Sawant to Seattle City Council in 2013, the first independent socialist elected in a major U.S. city in decades.

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