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Industrial Workers of the World - Department 200 - Mining and Minerals



This is the news page for Department 200 - Mining and Minerals. This page displays *all* news items from this Department and its Unions. To see news only from a particular Union, click on the Union title below. For an overview of the IWW's Union structur



 



IWW Stands in Solidarity with Resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:41:02 +0000

By the elected delegates to the 2016 IWW Convention - Industrial Workers of the World, September 3, 2016

(image) The international convention of the Industrial Workers of the World just unanimously voted in favor of an “Emergency Resolution” in solidarity with the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline!

In the introduction the Chair of the convention acknowledged that the convention is being held on Ohlone land. We also strongly encouraged workers to organize solidarity actions, travel to Standing Rock, and materially support the struggle.

The Industrial Workers of the World stands in solidarity with the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We call on the labor movement and working class to take a stand against environmental racism and join the fight for a just transition as our collective future is at stake. We recognize that the capitalist system that oppresses the working class has always oppressed indigenous people of the World.

Therefore we feel that settlers and indigenous workers should unite to take direct action against colonial industrial capitalism and do everything in our power to restore justice to indigenous people and Mother Earth. An injury to one is an injury to all! #nodapl #sacredstonespiritcamp #redwarriorcamp #waterislife

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An Open Letter to the Labor Movement: Stand in Solidarity With #NoDAPL

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:35:05 +0000

September 4, 2016 Editor's Note: This appeal has been updated to address the attack on the demonstrators were attacked by private security led dogs. Fellow Workers: If you've not read or seen the news about the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the vast and growing opposition to it (#NoDAPL) by now, you've not been paying attention. According to One Account, Beneath the cover of the endless presidential election season, which in Iowa started a year and a half ago, the Texas-based company Dakota Access LLC (a division of the corporation Energy Transfer Partners [ETP]) has moved methodically ahead with its plan to build this ugly, winding, and ecocidal tube of death. The $4 billion, 1134-mile project would carry 540,000 barrels of largely fracked crude oil from North Dakota’s “Bakken oil patch” daily on a diagonal course through South Dakota, a Sioux Indian burial ground,18 Iowa counties, and a Native American reservation to Patoka, Illinois. It will link with another pipeline that will transport the black gold to terminals and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, several thousand indigenous tribal members (supported by over 160 tribes), land owners, environmentalists, climate justice activists, and supporters of #BlackLivesMatter have gathered together into two camps in rural North Dakota to organize nonviolent resistance to this massive project which will parallel and match the length of the infamous (but rejected by Presidential order) Keystone XL pipeline.  Several others have been protesting all along the pipeline's route over the past couple of weeks. These 1000s strong intrepid folks are supported nationally and internationally by 100,000s. The leaders in this effort have done all they can working "within the system" to oppose this project to no avail: Anti-pipeline activists have been playing by all the official local, state, and federal rules. They’ve gone through the established channels of law and procedure. They’ve worked the legal and regulatory machinery to the point of exhaustion. They’ve gone through all available avenues of reason and petition. They’ve written and delivered carefully worded petitions and given polite, fact-filled testimony to all the relevant public bodies. They’ve appealed to the IUB. They’ve appealed to the Army Corps of Engineers and to numerous other federal agencies and offices including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Advisory on Historic Preservation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration. They’ve sued in court, defending farmers’ traditional American-as-apple-pie private property rights...And it’s all been for naught because the state is stuck in the deep pockets of Big Carbon. Last week a long-awaited district court ruling in Des Moines gave DA, ETP, Enbridge, and Marathon and their big financial backers what they wanted. DA is free to complete construction on fifteen parcels where the farm owners had challenged the state’s right to enforce eminent domain on behalf of the Bakken snake. This project would represent a disaster for the world's climate. Already humanity is experiencing a climate emergency--as the increase in the Earth's average overall surface temperature has surpassed 1°C--brought on by fossil fuel capitalism. Every sensible scientific peer reviewed study dictates that in order to avoid the destruction of the ability of humanity (and much else living) to survive on our planet, the global increase must reach no higher than 2°C, at most (and most agree that an increase beyond 1.5°C would be bad enough). In order to do this, at least 80% of the known fossil fuel "reserves" must remain in the ground. This pipeline would make that prospect increasingly difficult, because it is designed to facilitate the continuing extraction of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. Worse than that, this pipeline represents the further colonization of indigenous lands, particularly that which lie adjacent to or solidly within the path of this project. [...]



Chevron: Actively preventing a transition to renewable energy.

Thu, 16 May 2013 18:23:55 +0000

By x363464 - May 16, 2013

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

(image) In 1950, Chevron, General Motors, and Firestone were charged and convicted of criminal conspiracy for their part in the General Motors streetcar conspiracy. In this scandal they purchased streetcar systems all over the United States in order to disassemble the industry and create bus lines. They did this to increase the demand for petroleum, automobiles and tires so that they could directly receive business and profits from their scheme.  Later Chevron began investing in alternative industries such as lithium car batteries. Chevron began to be limiting access to large NiMH batteries through its control of patent licenses. Many suspect they did this to remove a competitor to gasoline and suspicions were affirmed when Chevron began a lawsuit against Panasonic and Toyota because they started producing EV-95 batteries for electric cars.

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Occupy the Workplace: Solidarity with Workers of Vio.Me (Thessaloniki, Greece)

Wed, 27 Feb 2013 02:18:11 +0000

(image) The International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) congratulates the workers of Viomichaniki Metaleftiki (Industrial Mining) for taking control over their factory and restarting production after having occupied it for more than 20 months.
 
After fighting for the payment of their stolen wages since May 2011, the workers have now decided in a direct-democratic assembly to collectively organize production without bosses. They have brought the factory back into operation, shifting to the production of building materials that are not toxic or damaging for the environment. The IWW International Solidarity Commission is in full support of this move.
 
As the world plunges deeper into economic and ecological crisis, the workers at Vio.Me have shown us the way forward. Instead of waiting for the state to decrease unemployment, instead of leaving their fate in the hands of the capitalist legal system or state bureaucrats, the workers of Vio.Me decided to take the factory into their own hands and to operate it themselves. The Vio.ME workers have given us all a living example of workers’ power and have lit the way for all of us in the struggle against capitalism throughout the world. It is now up to all of us to take the next steps in our own workplaces and struggles. Let this be one of millions of workplace takeovers to come across Greece and the world.
 
The IWW is committed to a grassroots, global resistance to the employing class. We aim to work with others to build a movement that can defeat the capitalists and construct a new world based workers control of the means of production and a radically democratic economy. We salute the seizure of the Vio.Me factory as a step in the right direction, and pledge our solidarity and our commitment to stand at the side of all workers in the struggle for the emancipation of the working class, for the creation of a world without bosses!
 

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Trailer Park Evicted to Make Room for Fracking

Mon, 09 Jul 2012 04:05:38 +0000

The following campaign involved members of the IWW and Earth First!

By Xian Chiang-Waren - Mother Jones June 22, 2012

When the 32 families of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, found out that they were losing their homes to the state's latest fracking operation, the news didn't come from their landlord, or an eviction notice in the mail—they read about it in their morning paper.

The February 18 article, published in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, nonchalantly detailed the approval of three natural gas projects in Lycoming County, PA, including a water withdrawal station that would pipe millions of gallons of water from the Susquehanna River to fracking stations in the mountains further north. The article noted that an "added benefit" of the plans was "the removal of mobile homes," which were located in a potential flood plain.

Later that afternoon, Riverdale's landlord came by and confirmed what residents had already read in the paper: The property had been sold to Aqua America, a water company dedicated to fracking. The full magnitude of the blow came days later, when the eviction notices arrived, informing the residents that they had until May 1 to relocate so that work on the site could begin in June. Each family was offered $2,500 if they got off the property by April 1; $1,500 if they moved by May 1; and zero compensation after that. It wasn't nearly enough; lawyers for Riverdale residents later estimated that the cost of moving each trailer was, on average, between $8,000 to $10,000.

For communities on the Rust Belt, it's one of the oldest stories in the book: A new industry comes in and needs to build roadways or pipelines, and poor communities have to get out of its way. "This happens all the time in Pennsylvania," said Alex Lotorto, a Pennsylvania activist and delegate for the union group Industrial Workers of the World. "Industry comes in and uses our skilled labor. Then both government and industry end up abusing us because honestly, nobody even thinks about the people north of I-80."

But in Riverdale, something unexpected happened: People decided they weren't going to go quietly.

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Solidarity to the striking workers at the Elliniki Halivourgia steel mill near Athens, Greece from the IWW's International Solidarity Commission

Sun, 11 Mar 2012 19:17:03 +0000

By the IWW's International Solidarity Commission - March 8, 2012

The International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) sends a message of solidarity to the striking workers at the Elliniki Halivourgia steel mill near Athens, Greece.

Despite a record increase in profits, the company announced its plans to cut the workers' pay by 40%. After a General Assembly of the workers unanimously rejected these cuts, management retaliated by firing 34 workers. Unintimidated, the workers went on strike, occupying their factory and demanding the re-hiring of their co-workers and the cancellation of the pay cuts.

Greece has become the centre of the global struggle against the capitalist crisis, and the flames of your struggle inspire other workers the world over. Rather then acquiesce to the official lie of a nation united in necessary sacrifice for the common good, you have exposed the truth that the working class are not the cause of the crisis and will not pay for it.

The ISC applauds the brave actions of these steelworkers and urges other workers in similar circumstances to look to the example being set at Elliniki Halivourgia.

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27 miners missing after New Zealand explosion

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 09:58:30 +0000

27 miners missing after New Zealand explosion
By the CNN Wire Staff
November 19, 2010 -- Updated 0829 GMT (1629 HKT)

(CNN) -- Twenty-seven miners were missing hours after an underground explosion on New Zealand's west coast, company officials said Friday.

Two other miners had emerged from the the Pike River coal mine in Atarau, authorities said.

About three hours after the blast, police said no fatalities had been reported. Emergency workers were going into the mine, TV New Zealand said.

The two miners who had surfaced arrived at the Grey Base Hospital, an hour away, with non-life-threatening injuries, TV New Zealand said. They had moderate blast injuries, with one being treated in the emergency room and the other in a ward.

Emergency crews had interviewed the two miners, trying to determine what happened. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, police said.

According to early accounts, an electrician went into the mine to investigate a power outage and discovered a driver who had been blown off his loader about 1,500 meters [0.9 mile] into the mine shaft.

A special mine rescue team was among the many emergency workers on the scene.

Communications underground were "terminated" when the explosion happened, Pike River CEO Peter Whittall said.

The entrance to the mine is about 2.2 kilometers along and then branches out, police said. The power outage might have compromised ventilation inside the mine.

Smoke hung outside the mine, trees were charred and a hut had been blown off a hill, TV New Zealand said.

There are two routes out of the mine, Whittall said. Unlike the Chilean mine where 33 miners were rescued in mid-October, the Pike River mine has steep terrain, and the shafts run horizontally into the hill, not vertically into the ground, he told TV New Zealand.

The remote mine is about 50 kilometers [31 miles] northeast of Greymouth, police said.

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“We’ve Been Robbed Long Enough. It’s Time to Strike” : Remember the 1916 Strike on Minnesota’s Iron Range

Tue, 30 May 2006 16:10:00 +0000

(image) By Jeff Pilacinski, Twin Cities GMB

On Saturday, June 3 we remember the valiant struggle of over 15,000 fellow workers and through our continued agitating in 2006, carry their fighting spirit forward. This date marks the 90th anniversary of the great mine workers strike on Minnesota’s Mesabi, Cuyuna, and Vermillion Iron Ranges – a strike that threatened the economic grip of the U.S. Steel war profiteers and strained relations between several prominent Wobbly organizers and the union’s general headquarters.

After a large uprising was crushed with the help of immigrant strike breakers in 1907, Minnesota mine workers were poised to confront the steel trust once again. In a report to the Minneapolis headquarters of the IWW’s Agricultural Workers Organization dated May 2, 1916, one organizer had “never before found the time so ripe for organization and action as just now.” The appeal from one Minnesota miner in the May 13, 1916 issue of the Industrial Worker summarized the workers’ discontent best as “the spirit of revolt is growing among the workers on the Iron Range,” and that there was a need for “workers who have an understanding of the tactics and methods of the IWW and who would go on the job, and agitate and organize on the job.” Less than a month later, an Italian worker at the St. James underground mine in Aurora opened his pay envelope and raged over his meager earnings under the corrupt contract system, whereby wages were based upon the load of ore dug and supplies used, not hours worked. By the time other miners arrived at the St. James for the night shift, production at the mine was halted. All pits in Aurora were soon shut down as the strikers proclaimed, “We’ve been robbed long enough. It’s time to strike.”

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Never Again? Sago Just the Latest Coal Disaster

Fri, 03 Feb 2006 08:27:00 +0000

By Richard Myers - Industrial Worker, February 2006

(image) One miner is injured in an explosion and will soon die. Twelve miners walk through the mine without necessary information or direction, their lives also in mortal danger.

The communication system has failed and ventilation controls were damaged during an explosion, allowing the buildup of dangerous gases. The emergency response is deficient, it fails to protect and evacuate miners at risk.

But this was not the Sago Mine in West Virginia. This was Brookwood, in Alabama, September of 2001. There had been a methane explosion, injuring four miners. Three were carried to safety. A second, larger explosion took the lives of the miner immobilized in the first blast, and twelve would-be rescuers. It was one disaster in an endless thread of disasters, a continuing calamity across the ages.

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The True Cost of Coal

Wed, 29 Jun 2005 06:28:26 +0000

By Geoffrey Frost - Industrial Worker, June 2005. 

Several Wobblies in Pittsburgh and in Appalachia are working to support Mountain Justice Summer. Mountain Justice Summer is a campaign to stop Mountaintop Removal (MTR) mining, an environmentally devastating mining practice.

Mountaintop removal is what it sounds like: coal companies blast off the tops of mountains to get at thin seams of coal that are hauled off to fire the power plants. MTR is how the power companies provide "cheap" energy to the rest of the United States. Of course, it doesn't really come cheap. Mountaintop removal is the neoliberal vision fulfilled: a handful of poorly paid, non-union workers destroying one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth to fuel power plants that spew out yet more pollution upon the usually poor working-class communities around them, all the while stoking the furnace of global warming that causes the deaths of thousands upon thousands of working people each year and is only growing worse.

This is the cheap energy that dooms our children to asthma, mercury poisoning, and perhaps no future at all. This is the "cheap" energy demanded by our government.s financiers to fuel their uninhibited accumulation of wealth at the expense of all else.

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