Monthly Archives: November 2009

Insulation action as deaths go through the roof

On 24 November, a 19-year-old died from heat stress, the day after working in the suffocating heat of a ceiling cavity in a home in Sydney, Australia. It was the first day on the job for the teenager, who was installing insulation. On 18 November, a 16-year-old worker died when he was electrocuted installing ceiling […]
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Global employment rules – good for green jobs

The greening of industry, through the creation of new green jobs and the transformation of old grubby ones, will run a lot more smoothly and equitably if global rules are beefed up and more effectively enforced, a new report concludes. The November 2009 discussion paper from the Global Union Research Network (GURN), looks at how the […]
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Where do your gizmos go to die?

You are staring right now at a computer screen, one of the gaggle of can’t-live-without state-of-the-art electronic gizmos you cherish for a year or two then discard. These electronic must-haves provide a new type of not-so-durable consumer product complete with built-in obsolescence. The perpetual technological turnover underpins the cash turnover of e-companies everywhere. Whether the resulting […]
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It’s Euro life, but not as you know it

Lifestyles in Europe will change dramatically over the next 10 years — with people enjoying greater prosperity, holding better jobs that use new skills and “going green” at work and at home — at least they will if proposals announced at the European Parliament on 25 November gain support. A paper from the parliament’s influential […]
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First lead, now mercury makes a toxic comeback

The world could be facing an epidemic of poisonings by highly toxic metals you’d be forgiven for thinking were a hazard of yesteryear – and all in the name of the environment. The problem arises from new uses for the toxins in “green” products or from a disregard for health and safety in recycling and […]
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BP, the killer they like to forgive

This week UK magazine the New Statesman announced its ranking of  ’20 green heroes and villains.’ Among the ‘panel of environmental experts’ judging the awards was John Browne, the UK peer whose reputation was earned at the helm of global petrochemicals giant BP. Lord Browne may be especially well qualified to assess environmental villainy. In […]
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Unions worldwide lead the leaders

The global labour movement urged President Obama and other world leaders at this month’s meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to take strong stands on issues of jobs, trade imbalances, currency policy, workers’ rights and climate change. With 59 million people expected to be unemployed worldwide by the end of the year, trade union […]
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Real will produces real sustainable jobs

While there will be arguments about climate change until the sun goes out, one fact is indisputable – the decline of traditional industries and the rise of precarious work mean jobs aren’t what they used to be. Some have no work, some have too much work and some have work but not the essential employment […]
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Green construction builds the economy

Green building will support 7.9 million US jobs and pump $554 billion (£336bn) into the American economy – including $396 billion (£240bn) in wages – over the next four years (2009-2013), according to a new study from the US Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton. The study also determined that green construction spending currently […]
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Green jobs aren’t just for white men

Efforts in the US to see that women and people of colour also benefit from the green jobs bonanza appear to be bearing fruit. A report in Working In These Times notes: “‘Green jobs’ has become the latest buzz-word, with stimulus monies pouring into green job creation programmes around the country. There is a window of […]
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