Apr 29, 2022
In an act of solidarity with Chevron workers fighting for a new labor contract as executives boast of a record-breaking quarter, Greenpeace USA campaigners joined United Steelworkers Local 5 union members on Friday to expand the picket line onto the waters of San Francisco Bay.
"The only way we can break these companies' stranglehold on our wallets, our communities, and the planet is by standing together in the call for a livable future."
Nearly 500 workers from Chevron's oil refinery in Richmond, California have been on strike for more than a month in what USW Local 5 vice president B.K. White calls "a movement of working people rising up to challenge a corporation."
Chevron announced Friday that its profits surged to $6.3 billion during the first three months of 2022--four times as much as the fossil fuel giant pulled in over the same period last year, as Common Dreamsreported. That prompted fresh calls from progressives for a windfall tax to prevent further price gouging and war profiteering by Big Oil and underscored one of the reasons why workers are demanding better pay.
"What's the answer to corporate greed?" Greenpeace asked on social media. "Solidarity!"
\u201cGood morning \ud83c\udf04 from our floating picket line! \u270a\n\nI'm Ben from @greenpeaceusa \ud83d\udc4b. We're out here with oil workers from United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5 expanding their picket line from land to sea at @Chevron refinery in Richmond where they are on strike.\n\nWhy? #solidarity #1u\u201d— Ben Smith (@Ben Smith) 1651254179
"This a message to Chevron and corporations everywhere--when workers are battling executives for their fair share, Greenpeace USA will be standing alongside," Tefere Gebre, the group's chief program officer, said in a statement. "Workers shouldn't have to go on strike to get a fair contract from greedy fossil fuel companies making record profits. They deserve to be heard."
\u201cHappening now. \u2066@greenpeaceusa\u2069 activists are joining \u2066@steelworkers\u2069 local 5 members who are demanding a fair contact from \u2066@Chevron\u2069 who just reported record profits. #StopChevronGreed\u201d— Tefere Gebre (@Tefere Gebre) 1651251081
"Fossil fuel executives and their lobbyists have maintained their dominance by pretending to have the best interest of workers and communities at heart," said Gebre. "That's why we're out here floating with fossil fuel workers. The only way we can break these companies' stranglehold on our wallets, our communities, and the planet is by standing together in the call for a livable future."
Gebre, who moved from the AFL-CIO to Greenpeace earlier this year, added that his vision "was not to exit the labor movement, but to bring the workers' movement to the climate justice movement."
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