The Disparate Devastation of Hurricane Florence

By Billy Corriher

Gallons of rain Hurricane Florence dropped on the Carolinas: at least 8 trillion

Number of people killed in the disaster: at least 37

Conservative estimate of the financial damage caused by the storm: $17 billion

Of the 18 North Carolina counties that have been officially declared disaster areas, number where the percent of the population that’s nonwhite exceeds the statewide average of 31.5 percent: 9

Percent of the population that’s nonwhite in Robeson County, one of the hardest-hit areas and a center of the state’s Native American population: over 67

In North Carolina, number of times higher the proportions of African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians living within three miles of an industrial hog operation are, respectively, than the proportion of whites: 1.54, 1.39, 2.18

Minimum number of lagoons — massive open-air pits where hog waste is stored — that were overtopped by the flooding, sending feces and urine into downstream communities: 21

Minimum number of lagoons at imminent risk of spilling waste: 89

Tons of toxic coal ash held in open-air pits at Duke Energy’s shuttered H.F. Lee power plant near Goldsboro, North Carolina, that were completely submerged by Florence’s floodwaters: 1 million

Percentage points by which the concentration of people of color living within three miles of coal-fired power plant exceeds their presence in the overall U.S. population: 3

In U.S. counties that experienced at least $10 billion in damages from natural disasters between 1999 and 2013, the average increase in wealth for white people, according to a study released last month: $126,000

The average decrease in wealth for nonwhites: $10,000 to $29,000

According to the same study, the disaster-related increase in the black-white wealth gap during that period in Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston: $87,000

Rank of Florence among the wettest storms to ever strike the East Coast, with the wetness linked to warmer ocean waters due to climate change: 1

If nothing is done to address the problem, the number of people worldwide that the World Bank estimates will be driven to extreme poverty by climate change and related extreme weather events: 100 million

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Reposted from Inequality.org

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work