This week on CounterSpin: In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, employees of Whole Foods—owned by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos—were asked to give their own accrued paid sick days to co-workers who had either contracted the virus or been forced to take time out of work. Bezos could have given every single worker unlimited paid sick leave without his bank account even noticing. But the move shows, for those who miss the message, that corporate capitalists really mean it: This is the system they support all the time, even when it means wealthy companies saying that life-saving equipment just isn’t sufficiently profitable for them to distribute, or that, yes, they’ll take “paycheck protection” money from the state and then fire workers anyway, or that actually protecting workers’ health in a pandemic just doesn’t serve their “bottom line,” so, no, they won’t do it.
Then if you’re confused or upset, here come corporate media saying, nope, that’s a completely valid point of view—and underscoring the idea that our “economy” means everyone is always on the edge of disaster, so you better show up for work, or else you’ll lose your healthcare, you won’t make your mortgage or your rent payments, you’ll be sick and on the street, and you know what? That’s just how it is.
Such a deep, encompassing, anti-human narrative calls for not just debunking points nibbling at the ankles, but a full-frontal assault on a story about how workers are powerless and deserve to be. An important part of a counter-narrative is provided by worker co-operatives: the way they treat workers, and productivity, and the balance of worker health and company success, in a pandemic and every day. We’ll talk about the complications co-ops pose to corporate media’s economic storyline with Jaisal Noor, senior reporter at the Real News Network.
Also on the show: The Keystone XL pipeline has evidently just been killed; Enbridge’s Line 3 is, as we speak, the center of a huge gathering in Minnesota—the Treaty People Gathering—to call attention to the myriad harms it likewise poses to people and to the environment. Fossil fuel companies’ onward march is under threat—maybe not as much as many of us would like, but obviously much more than they would like. As companies get increasingly desperate—and let’s not fool ourselves; no one’s headed to the poorhouse; it’s an industry that wants to make every last penny before they close shop—we can only expect their greenwashing to get smarter and more subtle. They’ve been working on that greenwashing for a long time, with a lot of smart people.
Part of their work right now is convincing you and me that fossil fuel companies are working hard to get to the net zero emissions standard that the Paris Accord calls for and, more broadly, to give us to understand that if we’re looking for a solution to climate disruption, we ought to honor and even privilege the participation of fossil fuel companies in that conversation. We’ll start to unpack that message, and shine a light on the messengers, with Duncan Meisel, campaign director at the climate-focused, behind-the-scenes ad group Clean Creatives.
The post Jaisal Noor on Worker Co-Ops, Duncan Meisel on Fossil Fuel Greenwashing appeared first on FAIR.
This content originally appeared on FAIR and was authored by Janine Jackson.