Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
Mindy Isser at In These Times writes—The unionization of environmental organizations is changing the climate justice movement for the better:
[…] Charlie Jiang, a climate campaigner at Greenpeace USA, an environmental nonprofit, told In These Times that staff there “have been organizing for quite some time, and the pandemic strengthened our resolve. We’re fighting for more clear and consistent policies and more organizational transparency.” The Greenpeace USA Workers Union, affiliated with Progressive Workers Union (PWU), was voluntarily recognized in August. Jiang said that union members “are looking ahead to meeting management with good faith at the bargaining table… We formed a union to fight for fair and better working conditions, and for a culture rooted in justice.”
Unions do far more than allow workers to collectively bargain. They give people the ability to practice democracy in the workplace, they have the power to change our political system, and they challenge corporate profit and power — making them potential allies for environmental organizations that do the same. Groups like Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and 350.org often fight big corporations over their dangerous disposal of chemical waste, fossil fuel emissions, factory farming and more. Workers for these corporations are the ones who handle toxic waste, breathe dirty air and process chicken at poultry plants.
Environmental groups and worker organizations are aligned on many issues, and some do work closely together. According to Rebecca Wolf, a senior organizer on the factory farm team at Food and Water Watch and a member of NPEU, “Our true focus is corporate control. Unionizing workers inherently beats back against corporate control and control of the food system. I see environmental organizations all the time in corporate partnerships, and we have a hard line against that.”
While unions are funded only by members’ dues money, many environmental organizations take money from corporate donors — some of which face off against unions in their own workplaces. This dynamic can create tension between staff and leadership at environmental organizations, which may have different priorities. […]
And while unions are able to win impressive gains around wages, benefits and a voice at work, their true power lies in their ability to shut down the economy if necessary. On the whole, workers at nonprofits and other progressive organizations are not necessarily in a strategic position to exert leverage to secure the biggest wins for the climate — their going on strike would not have a significant impact on the broader economy. Workers in logistics, healthcare and education have far more power to throw a wrench in how our economy and society functions. And building trades workers, who are likely to have more work if legislation like the Green New Deal is passed, could be very influential in climate policy. Their unions are large and powerful, and their members are construction workers and electricians, whose work will be directly impacted by both climate change and climate legislation. While building trades workers tend to be more conservative, the potential for more work and larger membership rolls could make them the deciding factor in the passage of a Green New Deal. […]
“Your forefathers crossed the great waters, and landed on this island. Their number were small. They found friends and not enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country for fear of wicked men and come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a small seat. We took pity on them, granted their request, and they sat down amongst us. We gave them corn and meat.They gave us poison in return. The white people hd now found our country. Tidings were carried back, and more came amongst us. Yet we did not fear them. We took them to be friends. They called us brothers. We believed them, and gave them a larger seat. At length their numbers have greatly increased. They wanted more land. They wanted our country.”
~~Red Jacket (Seneca) 1805
At Daily Kos on this date in 2006—Giving ’til it hurts (them):
Sen. Hillary Clinton transferred $2.1 million from her Senate re-election account to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on 10/5. She also gave $250K to the DCCC and $150K to the New York State Democratic Party. (Hotline sources) [I]s this in addition to the $1 million she was supposed to give earlier? It’s unclear, but either way, it shows that Clinton realizes the importance of this November’s elections. She had over $22 million CoH at the end of Q3, so she can afford it.
I’m struck at the sacrifices so many of us are making to help out the party and its various candidates. People are seriously dipping into their living expenses to try and make a difference this fall. So I get pissed seeing Dems without serious challengers, with fat campaign accounts, who aren’t contributing to the cause. If they expect the party rank and file to help fund its efforts, they need to lead by example.
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