Interested in getting more involved with EWOC? Come to our new volunteer meeting Tuesday, August 24, at 8 p.m. ET! We will go over the different parts of EWOC and how you can plug in. Register in advance here.
Earlier this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their comprehensive assessment on climate science, a report from more than 200 climate scientists on the Earth’s health. It delivers maybe the starkest warning we’ve seen yet. The report concluded that global warming is currently on track to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius, which the IPCC warned would be catastrophic in a similar report back in 2018. Global warming, and the environmental disasters that come with it, is now effectively “locked in.”
The report also contained some good news: There is still time to take action on the climate crisis. If immediate, drastic steps are taken to reduce carbon emissions, they will yield “rapid and sustained effects to limit human-caused climate change.” Our future will be hotter, but it’s not hopeless.
It will take a movement to turn the drastic steps outlined in the report into reality. Decarbonizing our economy and society will require mass mobilization and action from people across the world. Building and strengthening organized labor will be a crucial part of this movement. Worker power is people power, and we will need militant and organized workers to transform our economy and change our world. A better future is possible, but only if we fight for it. The time to organize is now.
World of Work 🌎
USA: For the first time, average pay for restaurant and grocery workers has exceeded $15 an hour. Restaurant workers’ pay has risen 10% since before the pandemic, and 7% for grocery workers, which has contributed to the nearly 80% of US workers who now earn at least $15 an hour.
MI: A Michigan ballot drive seeks to raise the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15. With enough ballot signatures, the issue will appear on the 2022 general election ballot.
Chile: Rising copper prices around the globe have given Chilean miners additional leverage in fighting for better compensation and professional development policies. On Monday, mining company BHP and its workers extended contract talks by a day to stave off a strike at Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine.
Australia: If you believe that technology is only valuable insofar as it benefits society, then you might be a modern-day Luddite. Learn the true story of the Luddite uprisings, and why the cause is still relevant today.
USA: In the film industry, where 60-hour weeks are the norm, the pandemic has led to a shift in workers’ attitudes toward the typically grueling hours. Unions are negotiating for “reasonable rest” periods as workers become more vocal about the lack of breaks and time off.
New From Our Blog 🗣
Graduate workers at UT Austin have had to face dangerous working conditions and inadequate COVID protections over the last year, and now thousands will have their insurance benefits cut. Graduate workers Annie Bares and John Mellison talk about the ways they’ve been undervalued and underpaid for the EWOC blog. Read the full post here.