In June, more than 100 Wal-Mart workers went on strike to protest low wages paid by the billionaire Walton family, the richest family in the world. The Waltons own Wal-Mart and pay barely above minimum wage. The strikers, including Aubretia Edick, who works at the Chicopee Wal-Mart, drove to Arkansas and held a protest rally at Wal-Mart’s annual shareholder meeting. The workers’ right to strike is protected by federal law. But Wal-Mart broke the law and fired 10 of the strikers. Edick’s boss told her after the strike that if she went on strike again she will be fired.
The last time that a nuclear power plant was ordered and built in the United States was in 1973. There are 61 nuclear power plants in the nation. On June 7, the owner of the San Onofre nuclear power plant said it will close the plant permanently. San Onofre is about 60 miles from downtown Los Angeles. “This nation does not need nuclear power,” Shaun Burnie told the Los Angeles Times. He works for Friends of the Earth www.foe.org which for decades fought to close San Onofre.
On August 10, activists in kayaks and canoes will protest near the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which is on the Connecticut river. The public is invited to join the protest. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts.
The event is being organized by the same group that organized a protest against Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro last year that drew 1,500 people, 137 of whom were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. The group’s web site is www.SAGEalliance.net. More information is available by calling Deb Katz of www.NukeBusters.org at (413) 339-5781.
The president of one of the biggest unions in western Massachusetts will face a challenger in an election next month. UAW Local 2322 is based in Holyoke and represents about 3,000 workers. The local has eight full-time employees. It is a subsidiary of the UAW union based in Detroit, Michigan, which represents about 390,000 workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Eight women were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone’s throw from New Hampshire. The women who were arrested are all from Massachusetts. Their names, and the dates they were arrested, are: April 15, Priscilla Lynch of Conway and Hattie Nestel of Athol; April 16, Judy Wolters of Northfield and Connie Harvard of Northampton; April 17, Marcia Gagliardi of Athol and Anneke Corbett of Northampton; April 18, Frances Crowe of Northampton and Ellen Graves of West Springfield.
On March 30 in Brattleboro, there will be a march and rally to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone’s throw from New Hampshire. One of the groups that’s organizing the upcoming march and rally has a web site at www.NukeBusters.org.
Rallies for justice, peace, and the environment are planned for the Valley on February 13, 14, and 15. Workers at Stop & Shop grocery stores are negotiating a new union contract. Their current contract expires February 23. On February 13, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m., the workers and members of the public will hold rallies outside Stop & Shop stores at:
Belchertown: 40 George Hannum St.
Chicopee: 672 Memorial Dr.
East Longmeadow: 470 North Main St.
Feeding Hills: 1282 Springfield St.
Greenfield: 89 French King Highway.
The last time that a nuclear power plant was ordered and built in the United States was in 1973. There are 62 nuclear power plants in the nation. On February 5, the owner of the Crystal River nuclear power plant in Florida said it would permanently close the plant immediately. “We have been working to close Crystal River for years,” Jen Rennicks told the Valley Post on February 7. She works for an environmental group, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy www.CleanEnergy.org.
Residents of South Hadley are protesting a garbage landfill in their town. South Hadley borders Amherst and Holyoke. The landfill is run by a corporation that’s based in Florida. Advanced Disposal Corporation (AD) of Jacksonville, Florida had $351 million in sales last year.
On January 24, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection said AD violated the law at the South Hadley dump. The company has been landfilling material that should be recycled. AD makes money by the ton for landfilling, not for recycling.
Six women will be in court in Brattleboro on November 27 and 28 for non-violent civil disobedience at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to 90 days in prison and a $500 fine. “We are charging them with misdemeanor trespass,” Steve Brown told the Valley Post. He is a Deputy Windham County State’s Attorney in Brattleboro: www.prosecutors.vermont.gov.