In February, the International Union of Electronic Workers – Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) held actions at Walmart locations around the U.S. to save jobs for workers who manufacture LED light bulbs produced by Walmart, who recently announced plans to move production to China.
In the first year of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the ensuing Coronavirus Depression, “people power” played a little-acknowledged but critical role–recounted in the previous commentaries in this series–in protecting health and economic wellbeing. Despite change in the national political context, they are continuing into the Biden era. Movements utilizing people power direct action may be just as important in this era.
With nearly eight hours of testimony by more than 50 essential workers and riders, both live and pre-recorded, the Community Hearing on Transit Equity, which took place on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, provided an intentional space for those wanting to share their plights brought on by transit service cuts during the pandemic and with greater threats to transit funding.
Claudette Colvin was no standard 15-year old. When she was that age, she sat down on a Montgomery, Alabama bus and refused to give up her seat to a white person. She was arrested and wrongfully charged with assault and battery. Despite being just 15 at the time of her arrest, Colvin was booked into a cell in Montgomery’s adult jail. When Colvin’s pastor, Reverend H.H. Johnson bailed her out the evening of her arrest, he told her that she had “just brought the revolution to Montgomery.”
After many months of Republican stonewalling the HEROES Act, in December, Congress finally passed a totally inadequate bill to address the hardship of people hit by the COVID-19 depression. Now newly elected president Joe Biden is proposing new legislation–aptly dubbed the Rescue Act.
The Biden administration is preparing its Build Back Better program. The initial focus will undoubtedly be on recovery–from both the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis. But Build Back Better opens the possibility for major commitments both to climate protection and to protection of worker rights and racial justice.
There is a massive pipeline underway in northern Minnesota that violates Indigenous rights and would carry the pollution equivalent to 50 coal power plants. Sign the petition to call for the immediate stop of Line 3
Labor-climate advocates in Connecticut have just proposed a Climate and Community Investment Act. Modeled on a similar bill in New York, its goal is to be sure green jobs created in Connecticut are good jobs, and that they are filled by Connecticut workers. Advocates describe it as an economic relief bill.
A project of the Partnership for Working Families, the Green Workers Alliance was recently launched to organize current and potential “green workers” to win policies that can create good jobs by fighting climate change.
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has announced that New York State’s Common Retirement Fund, valued at over $226 billion, will decarbonize by 2040. The plan includes interim trajectory goals, rigorous reporting, staff hiring, and transparency.