We dedicate this issue of Making a Living on a Living Planet to Charles “Chaz” Tsyaktati Wheelock, one of the co-founders of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN).
Whether they are healthcare workers, bus drivers, janitors, factory workers, or firefighters, people who are declared “essential workers” and are therefore required to go to work in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic face many of the same threats.
by Carly Ebben Eaton | Apr 16, 2020 There are a ton of parallels between the leadup to the current crisis and the non-response to the climate crisis. Recently, I learned that the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed is 4 years (for mumps). The average time to...
The first Earth Day in 1970 had very significant support from the United Automobile Workers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which included money, staff time, printing, and other related resources. Denis Hayes, organizer of the first Earth Day told Labor Network for Sustainability President Joe Uehlein that the first Earth Day would not have happened without labor support. Some of the larger Earth Day planning retreats/meetings were held at the UAW’s Black Lake training center in upstate Michigan.
As reported in The Hill, a letter to president Donald Trump from more than 100 unions, advocacy organizations, and environmental groups demanded that the administration immediately provide equipment to hospital workers, cleaning staff, restaurant workers, manufacturers, and others who cannot work from home.
More than 70 unions, civil rights groups, transit organizations, and coalitions in the labor and environmental justice movements led by the Labor Network for Sustainability and Institute for Policy Studies are campaigning to include funding for transit workers in the HEROES Act now before Congress.
At the end of March, it seemed for a minute like Earth Day to May Day actions would be non-existent with the devastating spread of COVID-19—especially with executive orders throughout the states that suspended (and rightfully so) live events to mandate social distancing.
Carly Ebben Eaton is Development Director for the Labor Network for Sustainability. She has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University, focused on the chemistry of nitrogen oxides, ozone, and aerosol particle production, and the impacts of this chemistry on air quality and climate.
The need for a large-scale Just Transition for workers and communities has never been more urgent as more than 30 million workers have applied for unemployment in the past month. Many face the likelihood that they will never go back to their previous jobs. The Coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis developing as a result offer an important barometer of whether and how we are prepared socially, politically and economically for massive changes to our economy. The shift to the green economy we need in order to confront the climate crisis will require economic shifts on a similar scale.