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E-M:/ Labor/Environment Connection: Announcing Labor Note's Annual Detroit Conference on April 20-22, 2001



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Enviro-Mich message from joonmck <joonmck@gateway.net>
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Dear EMers,

Acres of Diamonds in Your Own Backyard Number Two: Labor Notes Magazine
in Detroit. Since 1979 Labor Notes has sought to put "movement" back
into the labor movement. Their monthly magazine (263 issues thus far
published) serves as a comprehensive chronicler of the U.S. labor
movement AND in these millennial times is becoming an emergent forum for
environmentalists as well. 

At its upcoming annual conference ("Can Labor Change the World?" at the
Cobo Conference Center on April 20-22, 2001) Labor Notes will include
speakers from groups like the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras
(Marta Ojeda) and the "Coalition for Sustainable Jobs and the
Environment." See their conference announcement at:

http://www.labornotes.org/conference.html

Thinking out of the box, as they say, requires that environmentalists
show up at conferences such as this one. The WTO protests in Seattle
underscored the importance of an ENVIRONMENT/LABOR alliances in the
fight against transnationals and their apologists like Governor Engler.
Workers are on the front lines of our toxic culture. Whether it's
painting autos at a local body shop; throwing one's back out on the GM
line, or cleaning up our hazardous wastes, workers feel the full force
of environmental trauma on a daily basis. 

As many of you already know, the WTO protests had representatives from
organized labor (AFL/CIO; SEIU) as well as the environment (Sierra Club;
Friends of the Earth). They observed that the WTO is a  kind of global
security force for transnational corporations whose mission is "to stuff
unwanted products, like genetically engineered foods, down our throats,"
as Jeffrey St. Clair put it. See:

http://www.counterpunch.org/seattlediary.html.

The labor/environment linkage is present at the Labor Education and
Research Center at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. For
those of you interested in reading an interesting review of the
connection (e.g. Precautionary Principle; Clean production, chemical
phase out/banning and "Just Transition", Safety, Health, and the
Environment), I recommend the article at:

http://www.evergreen.edu/user/Labor_Center/PamEdwardsPaper1.htm

Yours,
 
Brian McKenna
Environmentalist &
Anthropologist

"If there are connections everywhere, why do we persist in turning
dynamic, interconnected phenomena into static, disconnected things?" 
        -- Eric R. Wolf, Anthropologist (1923-1999


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