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Coal Miners Union Seeks Voice in Move to Renewable Energy: Live Updates


A coal mine in Gillette, Wyo.
Credit…Mead Gruver/Associated Press

The country’s largest mine workers union signaled on Monday that it would accept a transition away from fossil fuels in exchange for new jobs in renewable energy, spending on technology to make coal cleaner and financial aid for miners who lose their jobs.

“There needs to be a tremendous investment here,” Cecil E. Roberts, the president of the United Mine Workers of America, said in an interview. “We always end up dealing with climate change, closing down coal mines. We never get to the second piece of it.”

The mine workers’ plan, which Mr. Roberts is presenting at an event with Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, calls for the creation of new jobs in Appalachia through tax credits that would subsidize the making of solar panel and wind turbine components, and by funding the reclamation of abandoned mines that pose a risk to public health.

The mine workers are also calling for spending on research on carbon capture and storage technology, which would allow coal-fired plants to store carbon dioxide underground rather than release it into the atmosphere, and for policies that allow coal plants to remain open if they commit to installing the technology.

The union wants the federal government to support miners who lose their jobs through retraining and by replacing their wages, health insurance and pensions.

Many of these proposals appear in President Biden’s $2.3 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan, including funding for research into carbon capture, which critics deride as prohibitively expensive, and money for reclaiming mines.

“Change is coming, whether we seek it or not,” stated a document that the mine workers union released on Monday, titled “Preserving Coal Country.” It notes that employment in the coal industry had dropped to about 44,000 as of last December, down from 92,000 at the end of 2011.

Mr. Roberts said the union would resist any climate legislation that did not help ensure a livelihood for its members.

“We’re on the side of job creation, of a future for our people,” he said. “If that isn’t part of the conversation at the end of the day, we’ll be hard pressed to be supportive.”

Journalists at Insider, the news site formerly called Business Insider, said on Monday that they had formed a union, joining a wave that has swept digital media companies.

A majority of more than 300 editorial workers, a group that includes reporters, editors and video journalists, voted in support, union representatives said.

Insider, which changed its name this year, was co-founded by Henry Blodget in 2007 as a business-focused publication with an emphasis on the tech industry. In recent years, it has expanded its areas of coverage.

Axel Springer, a digital publishing company based in Berlin, paid $343 million for a 97 percent stake in the company in 2015 and bought the remaining 3 percent in 2018. Mr. Blodget stayed on as chief executive. Insider, which has grown during the pandemic, bumped up the minimum annual salary for staff members to $60,000 in February.

The Insider Union is asking the company for voluntary recognition. It is represented by The NewsGuild of New York, which also represents editorial employees at The New York Times and other publications.

“I’ve seen how we’ve moved from the start-up energy of a young company into a much larger, much more formal corporation,” said Kim Renfro, an entertainment correspondent who has worked at Insider since 2014. “I see the union as being a natural part of that progress.”

William Antonelli, an editor at Insider, said that the union would focus on diversity and inclusion, pay equity and more transparency on how company executives rate employees.

Nicholas Carlson, Insider’s global editor in chief, said in a statement: “The satisfaction, job security and happiness of our journalists is extremely important to us. We will fully respect whatever decision our newsroom ultimately makes.”

The formation of a union at Insider is part of a broader industry trend, following organizing efforts at BuzzFeed News, Vice, The New Yorker and Vox Media. Last week, a group of more than 650 tech workers at The Times formed a union.

An English Premier League match in January between Arsenal and Newcastle. Arsenal is among the founding members of the new Super League.
Credit…Pool photo by Adam Davy

A dozen of Europe’s top soccer clubs announced plans to create a new league that would rival the longstanding Champions League, The New York Times’s Tariq Panja reports. The plan would concentrate the sport’s wealth with just a handful of teams — if it survives potential legal challenges.

The Super League, as it is known, was hatched in secrecy…



Read More: Coal Miners Union Seeks Voice in Move to Renewable Energy: Live Updates

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