Reasons why, we, the Severe Weather And Natural Disasters (SWAND) Labor Union, are asking for more consideration in 2021

  1. We want our work contract to be clearer on work times and travel requests.
  2. We’ve been working overtime and are asking for some time off — tornados We’re giving it everything — in 1994, John traveled more than 8000 miles through the eastern Pacific Ocean for 31 days straight, without a break. Because of that, he missed his kid’s very first day at elementary school, and his wife, hurricane Tina, divorced him. The fact that John was also considered to be taking on the job of both a Typhoon AND a Hurricane sheds the light on how blurry our functions and statuses as Natural Disasters are. For that matter, we want our work contracts to specify any special need for traveling as well as detailed functions.
  3. We want more vacations.
  4. Our productivity keeps increasing. Five out of ten of the deadliest natural disasters to have ever happened took place in the 20th century or later, showing a betterment in our technique and constant effort towards being more efficient. Ever since the Industrial Revolution took place, productivism has also become part of our lives. Many of us are every day closer to burnout. Just ask Maria, who reached her 9 000th acres of land burnt to the ground last November. All indicators show our success rates are getting higher and we are overachieving regarding our KPIs as we keep on destroying more land and killing more people each year. Thus, we call for more time off.
  5. We don’t want to be instrumentalized anymore.
  6. It is in several lobbies’ (the Fans and Air Conditioning Lobby, the Return of the Buried Plague in Siberian Thermafrost Lobby, and the Anti-Polar Bears Lobby are just a few of them) interest that we keep doing our job — we’re starting to feel like we’re being used without getting the big paycheck in the end.
  7. We want to renegotiate our work hours.
  8. When most of us got into the business at the end of the Last Glacial Period, none of us had signed for all the work that’s coming on in the next years to come. Our workload seems to increase each year and we demand either that more recruits are brought into the industry (mild tropical storms could be taken in as trainees, for example), or that the amount of work be cut down (how many floods need there be each year anyway?).
  9. that much work when we first started at the end of the glacial era (look for it). We are expected to work more and more / increase our workload in the coming years with no new rights in sight
  10. We demand more recognition for our work.
  11. Work done needs to be recognized — climate change deniers and other skeptics are just detrimental to our reputation and are responsible for bringing morale down in the troops. As hard as we work, we demand that our existence be acknowledged and recognized by all. We ask climate change skeptics to not minimize our work and acknowledge our existence.
  12. We want better work conditions.
  13. With the term « eco-anxiety » being coined, we have seen a surge in mistrust from humans towards our kind. Most humans have become very fearful of us when they are not merely expressing hate towards our profession. Some humans have referred to us as « fucking Hurricane James », or « goddamn Fire Andrew » while we were on the job. We demand better care for these issues, as some of us have hit depression hard, making it rain and snow over several states for consecutive numbers of days.
  14. We want to change the way we are given names.
  15. Some of us do not identify as binary, and, as a consequence, don’t feel comfortable with the way storms, hurricanes, fires and tornados are consciously named without prior consultation of those primarily concerned. We’re tired of being given names like Rita, Henry, James, Maria… that don’t reflect the way we identify as Severe Weather Individuals and Naturals Disasters. We would like to see genderless names such as the one given to our fellow ice storm Nina (her birth name with which she recently declared she doesn’t wish to use anymore) in January 2019 — AKA Polar Vortex — hit the news more often. Thanks.
  16. We demand immediate raises and more funding.
  17. Some inhabitants of Proxima Centauri, the nearest galaxy to ours, by whom we’ve recently been contracted by, promised a raise if we were to work with them at the elimination of the human race. The research and the number of means and labor necessary for such a task justify an increase in workforce expenses.

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Emilie Fenaughty

Emilie Fenaughty

French-American writer. Comedian. Traveller. Witch. Featured on VICE (fr) — or how I got paid to investigate life instead of going to therapy. Paris//Chicago