Workers Struggles

Over 700 Joliet, Illinois nurses go on strike for better wages and safe working conditions

By Benjamin Mateus and Kate Randall, 6 July 2020

Strikes of health care workers are part of a growing global response of workers across industries to the dangers posed by government back-to-work drives.

New Jersey growers refuse to test migrant farm workers for COVID-19

By Erik Schreiber, 6 July 2020

The decision not to test these laborers, many of whom have traveled from states with rising rates of infection, creates the conditions for a public health disaster.

How corporations and government finance the German trade unions

By Ulrich Rippert and Marianne Arens, 6 July 2020

With the pandemic, which has led to the deepest international economic crisis since the 1930s, the role of unions as tools of the corporations is taking on a new dimension.

Thousands of delivery workers strike across Brazil and other Latin American countries

By Brunna Machado and Letícia Silva, 4 July 2020

Thousands of delivery workers engaged in a strike on Wednesday to demand better working conditions in more than 10 Brazilian capitals, as well as in cities in Argentina and Mexico.

Zimbabwe nurses strike as economic crisis brings threat of second coup and military dictatorship

By Stephan McCoy, 4 July 2020

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is preparing to confront mounting opposition in the working class through dictatorial forms of rule and the abrogation of democratic rights—even as it is threatened by the possibility of a coup.

Bath Iron shipyard workers face stepped-up attacks as strike continues

By Shannon Jones, 4 July 2020

Management is mobilizing additional strikebreakers as the walkout by 4,300 workers at the Bath Iron Works heads toward its third week.

Riverside, California: HCA nurses strike continues as coronavirus takes its toll

By Alex Johnson, 4 July 2020

According to health officials, the confirmed active case count in Riverside bloated to 10,059 on Thursday, compared to 9,532 on Wednesday. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 stands at 465.

HPAE union betrays New Jersey nurses’ fight for PPE and better pay

By Erik Schreiber, 4 July 2020

New Jersey nurses must not allow their struggles to be strangled by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union.

UAW and General Motors downplay outbreaks of COVID-19 at US auto plants

By Jessica Goldstein, 4 July 2020

As the UAW and auto corporations to play down the health crisis, workers’ anger is at breaking point as they demand the plants be shut down for their safety.

French unions collaborate with employers to impose mass layoffs as COVID-19 crisis deepens

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2020

As an international wave of layoffs and plant closures comes in France, the trade unions are working closely with the Macron government and employers to suppress workers’ opposition to this assault.

City University of New York lays off 2,800 adjuncts in wave of austerity

By Elliott Murtagh, 4 July 2020

These actions will have a devastating effect on the largest urban university system in the US, forcing faculty, students, and staff to bear the brunt of the current pandemic-triggered state and city financial crisis.

Tories resurrect cynical “Clap for Carers” on 72nd anniversary of the NHS

By Rory Woods, 4 July 2020

Sunday’s event insults the memory of hundreds of health and social care workers who died of COVID-19 trying to save the lives of others.

“Deep cleaning” in Australian schools: Image and reality

By Carolyn Kennett, 4 July 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, governments promised thoroughly cleaned classrooms, but school cleaners have neither the resources nor hours to conduct the necessary cleaning.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 July 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Hundreds of thousands of Indian coal miners launch three-day strike against privatisation

By Arun Kumar, 3 July 2020

Facing an economic crisis that has been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic and the ruling elite’s selfish class response, the Modi government is pushing through a “quantum jump” in pro-investor “reforms.”

Tens of thousands of jobs at risk as works council at German automaker Daimler announces layoffs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 3 July 2020

The works council is repeating word for word the arguments of company management and industry analysts calling for stepped up attacks on workers.

Strike against Tower Hamlets Labour council’s “fire and rehire” of 4,000 employees

By Alice Summers, 3 July 2020

Facing massive budget shortfalls, the Labour-run London borough plans to lay off 4,000 workers before rehiring them on significantly worse pay and conditions.

Steel strike at Tata in the Netherlands against job losses; South African police fire stun grenade at workers protesting over unequal pay and conditions; nurses on strike in Zimbabwe over pay

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

3 July 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Senate votes unanimously to extend CARES Act loan program despite businesses' plans to lay off thousands more

By Jacob Crosse, 2 July 2020

The corporate-government fraud known as the Payment Paycheck Protection program has done little to stave off massive job losses or small business closures while large banks and well-connected industries have profited handsomely

Riverside, California Nurses strike continues as ICU beds reach capacity

By Kevin Martinez, 2 July 2020

Nurses are protesting unsafe working conditions while county health officials announced this week that ICU beds were at 99 percent capacity

Germany: Verdi trade union sells out Galeria Kaufhof Karstadt workers

By Justus Leicht and Wolfgang Weber, 2 July 2020

Verdi brazenly claimed it would “ fight for every job and every store. ” In reality, the union and the general works council were involved in drawing up the closure plans.

Record 47.2 percent of working-age Americans without jobs

By Shannon Jones, 1 July 2020

According to the employment-population ratio, a more accurate measure of joblessness than the unemployment rate, a postwar record number of Americans were without work in May.

”I can get another job. I can’t get another life”

Food processing plants in Ohio and New York hit with outbreaks

By Alex Findijs, 1 July 2020

Outbreaks at salad and fruit processing plants in Springfield, Ohio, and Oswego, New York, show the vulnerability of food workers to the deadly disease.

New York City transit worker suffers miscarriage on the job

By Sam Dalton, 1 July 2020

Transit workers are outraged at the Transit Authority and the union after a conductor who was six-months pregnant lost a baby when she was forced to return to track switching.

Quebec’s hard-right premier reshuffles cabinet for stepped-up class-war assault

By Louis Girard, 1 July 2020

The cabinet shuffle inaugurates a new phase in the efforts of the Coalition Avenir Québec government to exploit the pandemic to restructure class relations at workers’ expense.

“It’s up to workers to fight this virus”

Fiat Chrysler threatens to fire workers who stop production over COVID-19 concerns

By Jerry White, 30 June 2020

FCA’s threats come just days after workers at two Detroit area assembly plants halted production and set up rank-and-file safety committees.

“Street medics” provide emergency care to US protesters injured by police

By Alex Johnson, 30 June 2020

”Street medics” have helped protesters cope with the effects of tear gas and pepper spray, broken limbs and injuries from “less-lethal” rounds of rubber bullets and bean-bag hits.

Royal Mail workers in the UK face jobs massacre

By Paul Lee, 30 June 2020

Two thousand management job cuts will be followed by at least 20,000 redundancies from the remaining workforce.

Worker opposition grows as coronavirus spirals out of control

By Andre Damon, 30 June 2020

Six months after the world first learned of COVID-19, workers across the globe are going on strike to demand measures to stop the rampant spread of the disease.

Growing protests across the America’s over coronavirus response

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 June 2020

Film industry workers in Buenos Aires, workers at US Disneyland and warehouse workers in Quebec are just some of the thousands of workers launching protests and job actions over employers’ response to COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian paper mill workers locked out as company moves to slash wages

By Steve Strietberg, 29 June 2020

The company wants a two-tier wage system, with 15 percent lower pay rates for new employees.

Work stoppages against COVID-19 spread to FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

By Jerry White, 28 June 2020

On Saturday evening, workers at the Fiat Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, just north of Detroit, refused to work after learning that a material handler had tested positive for COVID-19.

Nurses, farmworkers, autoworkers strike for safe working conditions

Detroit Fiat Chrysler workers halt production for second day to demand COVID-19 protection

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 June 2020

The mounting struggles by workers against the back-to-work drive highlight the immense power of the working class in the fight to halt the deadly pandemic and the corporate-government attack on jobs and living standards.

Brazilian health care workers strike for PPE and risk bonus

By Brunna Machado, 27 June 2020

On Thursday, health care professionals in the Brazilian state of Piauí started an indefinite strike as their counterparts in Rio de Janeiro launched protests.

Dole Foods in Ohio hit by 230 COVID-19 cases as food processing plants globally are ravaged by infections

By Alex Findijs, 27 June 2020

Food processing plants around the world continue to be hit by mass infections, even in countries that had largely stopped the spread of the disease.

British Airways workers denounce company “offer” to slash pay and conditions

By John Newham and Laura Tiernan, 27 June 2020

BA workers must break free of the corporatist grip of the unions and fight for rank-and-file committees to organise joint action with airline workers across the globe.

Global trade unions issue empty calls for cruise and shipping seafarer action

By Tom Casey, 27 June 2020

An estimated 28,000 cruise ship crew members remain stranded at sea on ships all over the globe following restrictions implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Against public opposition, Michigan Democrats and Republicans push for unsafe reopening of schools

By Mitch Marcus, 27 June 2020

Both Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-controlled legislature have fully committed to the reopening of in-person schooling, in line with the demands of automakers and other big businesses.

Expand autoworkers’ struggle to stop the coronavirus and save lives! Form rank-and-file safety committees!

By the Jefferson North Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 27 June 2020

Autoworkers at Fiat Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit are taking a stand to defend our lives and the lives of our families.

Indian and Pakistani health workers strike over coronavirus safety; Australia Paper maintenance workers locked out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

27 June 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Riverside Community Hospital nurses strike in California

By Kevin Martinez, 26 June 2020

Nurses in the SEIU have launched a 10-day strike to protest staffing cuts while their for-profit hospital chain has received government bailouts.

Nurses and support staff at HCA Healthcare set to strike California hospital over cuts and PPE shortages

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 June 2020

One thousand nurses and support staff at HCA Healthcare are set to strike over concessions the hospital chain is demanding from frontline health care workers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the US.

No talks as Bath shipyard strike in Maine enters day five

By Shannon Jones, 26 June 2020

Management at Bath Iron Works is refusing to retreat from its demands for major concessions on subcontracting and work rules.

California Democrats collaborate with state employees union to cut workers’ wages by 11 percent

By Alan Gilman, 25 June 2020

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 agreed to a two-year wage cut of over 11 percent for 96,000 custodians, administrators and nurses employed by the state government.

US: Bath shipyard workers strike over subcontracting and job cuts

By Shannon Jones, 24 June 2020

Some 4,300 workers walked out Monday at the Bath Iron Works in Maine, which builds destroyers for the US Navy.

Walkout by sorting office workers at Barnsley Royal Mail after coronavirus outbreak

By Thomas Scripps, 23 June 2020

Royal Mail workers at the central post sorting office in Barnsley, England walked out yesterday after colleagues tested positive for coronavirus.

For international working class action against the COVID-19 pandemic!

Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International, 23 June 2020

Only an independent political intervention by the international working class against the capitalist system can put an end to the mass deaths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus spreading among agriculture and seafood workers in the US

By Emma Arceneaux, 22 June 2020

While immigrant farm workers are considered essential by the federal government, there have been no nationwide mandates placed on the agriculture industry to protect them from COVID-19.

University of Chicago grad students disaffiliate from the American Federation of Teachers

By Andy Thompson, 22 June 2020

This case is only the latest in a series of bitter experiences grad students all across the country have had with AFT and other trade unions.

Companies vow no more shutdowns for COVID-19 as US auto plants resume full production

By Shannon Jones, 20 June 2020

All the major carmakers have expressed their determination to continue production without interruption even as COVID-19 cases surge in many areas of the US.

Death of two workers sparks wildcat strike by 3,200 workers at auto parts plant in Matamoros, Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 20 June 2020

When news broke that Luciano Romero Contreras, a 48-year-old janitor at Plant 52, had died the previous day, workers downed tools and began discussions at the facility and on social media.

Around 250 workers infected with COVID-19 in three UK food processing plants

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2020

The outbreaks underscore the criminality of the government’s decision to enforce a mass return to work and the lack of basic work safety in plants that have been operating during the pandemic.

Hundreds of new COVID-19 infections in German meat industry

By Marianne Arens, 20 June 2020

More than two-thirds of the meat packers at the Tönnies abattoir in Rheda-Wiedenbrück have been infected with COVID-19, with 730 positive initial test results out of 1,050 tested.

“How can dissent be illegal when that is how the country was started?”

Oklahoma teachers oppose Trump and his Tulsa rally

By Phyllis Steele, 20 June 2020

Educators in Oklahoma, who waged a wildcat strike in 2018, are still ranked near the bottom in the US in pay and per pupil funding.

Aviation industry workers face deep cuts to pay and hours worldwide

By Steve Filips, 20 June 2020

Airlines are slashing jobs, pay, and hours of workers in a desperate attempt to bolster profits at worker expense during the pandemic.

130,000 jobs at risk in the German auto industry

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting and Peter Schwarz, 20 June 2020

Although German auto companies received a lion’s share of the government’s €130 billion stimulus package, and are collecting billions more via the short-time working scheme, the industry plans to axe more than 100,000 jobs.

Air France-KLM prepares to slash at least 6,000 jobs

By Anthony Torres, 20 June 2020

After receiving a €7 billion public bailout, the French-Dutch airline is preparing to slash between 6,000 and 10,000 jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctors head legal challenge to UK government on health care deaths and PPE

By Rory Woods, 20 June 2020

At least 181 health workers and 131 social care workers have died while working on the frontline.

Canada: Unifor urges acceptance of historic concessions in oil refinery lockout

By Carl Bronski, 20 June 2020

While the locked out workers have fought valiantly against an employer-government-police assault, the union has systematically isolated their struggle.

India: Bihar rural health workers demonstrate to defend jobs; Coimbatore textile workers protest over pay cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

20 June 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

British Airways workers in limbo as deadline for mass redundancies passes

By Alice Summers and John Newham, 19 June 2020

One BA worker told the WSWS, “I’ve been with BA for 25 years and was earning more than this new contract in 1996!”

Tata steel workers’ stoppage in the Netherlands over job losses; Greek health workers walk out; more strikes by Iranian sugar workers

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

19 June 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Canadian oil refinery boss lauds George Floyd protests while employing state violence against locked-out workers

By Carl Bronski, 16 June 2020

Federated Cooperatives Ltd. CEO Scott Banda has mobilized and solidarized with racist, far-right forces in seeking to break the resistance of 750 locked-out Regina oil refinery workers.

Meatpacking workers oppose forced return to work through protests and mass absenteeism

By Christopher Davion, 16 June 2020

With meatpacking plants the epicenter of the spread of coronavirus, workers are opposing the return to work ordered by the Trump administration through protests and absenteeism.

Indian cruise ship crew stage second protest in three days

By Tom Casey, 16 June 2020

Thousands of cruise ship workers—some of them infected with COVID-19—remained trapped on vessels around the world after the industry shut down last March in response to the pandemic

German unions compete to offer greater cuts at Lufthansa

By Gustav Kemper, 15 June 2020

The union leaders falsely claim employees are “ stakeholders ” in the private company, but to the owners they are mere “ unit costs ” to be sacrificed to shore up profits.

Striking Spanish Nissan workers boo unions and Podemos mayor of Barcelona

By Alejandro López, 15 June 2020

This points to the explosive conflict emerging between the working class and the pseudo-left and the unions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and an upsurge of class struggle.

Maquiladora workers demand release of labor lawyer arrested in Matamoros, Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 15 June 2020

Despite our sharp political differences with Susan Prieto, the World Socialist Web Site unequivocally opposes the arrest of the labor lawyer and demands her immediate release.

Over 1.4 million US education jobs slashed in April and May

By Evan Blake, 15 June 2020

The massive education-related job losses will in many cases be permanent, with devastating repercussions for both educators and an entire generation of students.

Facing anger over budget cuts and early reopening, Detroit school officials promote racial politics

By Mitch Marcus and Phyllis Steele, 15 June 2020

The Detroit Public Schools Community District called a march and rally for “Equality and Justice for All” on June 11 that attracted 2,000 teachers, parents and students.

191 Chicago grad students break with AFT

15 June 2020

Reject Australian universities-NTEU job and pay cuts!

By the Committee for Public Education and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 15 June 2020

Despite intense opposition to the cuts among university workers, the trade unions are collaborating with the university managements to push through ballots to impose them.

Philadelphia public workers protest poor working conditions and police violence

By Nick Barrickman, 13 June 2020

Sanitation workers and educators took to the streets this week to demonstrate against Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney’s austerity measures and increased funding for the police.

VW leadership dispute prepares way for massive job cuts and austerity

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting and Ulrich Rippert, 13 June 2020

The current leadership dispute at VW ushers in a new phase of corporatist policy, aimed at preparing the company for global trade war at the expense of the workforce.

Three months since the cruise industry shutdown

Mauritian government and cruise companies hold stranded crew for ransom

By Tom Casey, 13 June 2020

The government’s repatriation plan has incurred bitter opposition from crew members of all nationalities, as well as from the families of Mauritian crew who anxiously await their relatives’ returns.

India: Telangana coal mine workers strike against privatisation; Queensland hospital workers walkout over pay freeze

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

13 June 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Brazilian delivery workers strike in defense of their lives

By Tomas Castanheira, 12 June 2020

Delivery workers have been carrying out strikes and protests in Brazil since April, connected to delivery workers’ strikes around the world in countries like Spain, Ecuador and Argentina.

Growing anger among US workers as COVID-19 rips through workplaces

By Tom Hall and Jerry White, 11 June 2020

As plants and factories have become major centers of COVID-19 transmission, meat processing workers in Utah and sanitation workers in Philadelphia have protested to demand safe working conditions.

Young maquiladora factory workers dying in droves in US/Mexico border towns

By Norissa Santa Cruz, 11 June 2020

Defying the myth that COVID-19 primarily kills the elderly, young people who work in US-owned maquiladora factories in border towns such as Tijuana and Juarez are dying at alarming rates.

Bridgestone tire defends safety “playbook” as infections rise at Iowa plant

By Jacob Crosse, 10 June 2020

Working with United Steelworkers Local 1301, Bridgestone has continued production despite rising infections among workers and the surrounding community.

Youth protests and worker strikes show mounting social opposition in Brazil

By Tomas Castanheira, 10 June 2020

Strikes and job actions are intersecting with protests of tens by thousands of youth who have joined the international wave of demonstrations against police violence.

Quebec unions and government conspire behind the backs of health and education workers

By Laurent Lafrance and Richard Dufour, 8 June 2020

Quebec’s public sector unions fully accept the austerity financial framework dictated by the right-wing CAQ government and are stepping up their efforts to impose another sellout contract.

“He is trying to be a dictator and he can’t be allowed to be one”

US autoworkers denounce police violence, Trump’s moves to impose military dictatorship

By Jessica Goldstein, 6 June 2020

The multi-ethnic, multi-racial protests against the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis have evoked widespread sympathy among autoworkers.

UK: Prime Minister’s Questions reveals Labour’s complicity in Tory back-to-school campaign

By Thomas Scripps, 6 June 2020

Every capitalist party in the world is working on behalf of the corporations to impose a reckless return to “the new normal.”

Nissan confirms job cuts as strike against Spanish plant closures continues

By Alejandro López, 6 June 2020

Thousands of Nissan workers, their families and sympathisers are striking, protesting and blocking roads to protest the automaker’s decision to shut down its Barcelona plant.

The police murder of George Floyd sparks mass protests throughout the world

By Thomas Scripps, 6 June 2020

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined demonstrations in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

India-wide protests by military armament and power industry workers; Australian airport workers demand JobKeeper pay

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

6 June 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Australian inquest says “grossly deficient” safety caused death of Anglo American mine worker

By Terry Cook, 4 June 2020

The coronial inquest into the Grasstree Mine workers’ death in 2014 is a damning indictment of Anglo American safety standards.

Microsoft to replace MSN news production workers with artificial intelligence

By Mike Ingram, 3 June 2020

Dozens of workers will be replaced with artificial intelligence software that will automatically select content and manage news production.

Nurses at HCA Healthcare across the US protest job cuts and lack of PPE

By Alex Johnson, 2 June 2020

Nurses protests are erupting under conditions where hospitals across the country are denying access to personal protective equipment in the pandemic and have already laid off thousands of health care workers.

“They are willing to trade lives for auto parts”

As full operations resume, North American auto companies keep silent on spreading COVID-19 cases

By Shannon Jones, 1 June 2020

Full production resumed Monday at many auto plants even as major companies seek to suppress information on the spread of COVID-19 in the plants.

Detroit autoworkers report unexplained illness at Jefferson North Assembly as COVID cases mount

By Shannon Jones, 30 May 2020

Several B Crew workers at Fiat Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit fell ill from unknown causes during work on Thursday.

German and French trade unions back Merkel and Macron’s recovery programme

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2020

Trade union support for the recovery programme is a signal to Paris and Berlin that they can rely on the unflinching support on the unions in combating rivals on the global market and implementing attacks on the working class.

Workers in Germany report on corona virus infection risk in workplaces

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 May 2020

Workers highlight the lack of safety measures in public transit and factories.

“When push comes to shove to make cuts, education is on the cut list.”

Massachusetts school district gets rid of art, music and PE teachers for coming school year

By Will McCalliss, 30 May 2020

The drastic cuts at Randolph and Brookline schools are a foretaste of what will befall many districts, teachers and students across the US.

No to the reopening of schools! Build action committees to safeguard children and teachers!

Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 30 May 2020

The “phased” return of school children is a criminal policy that places children, teachers, families, and communities open to the risk of serious illness and death.

Indian autoworkers strike for COVID-19 safety measures; Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers demonstrate

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

30 May 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

American ruling class exploits the pandemic to escalate assault on jobs and wages

By Jerry White, 29 May 2020

Major US corporations that have received billions in government bailout money are slashing thousands of jobs while protecting their corporate executives and biggest shareholders.

Australian university union’s national deal collapses in face of widespread opposition

By Mike Head, 28 May 2020

Despite its debacle, the NTEU will intensify its collaboration with university managements to try and impose deep cuts to jobs, wages and conditions.

JBS meatpacking plant reopens in Brazil as Latin America becomes COVID-19 epicenter

By Gabriel Lemos, 27 May 2020

Workers Party governments financed JBS’s transformation into a transnational, whose plants have become COVID-19 hotspots in both Brazil and the US.