Workers Issues in the US

University of California unions wear down workers with fifth one-day strike

By Evelyn Rios, 17 May 2019

Dwindling numbers participate in the fifth one-day, unpaid strike, as workers have been kept on the job without a contract for nearly two years.

With contract deadline approaching, Michigan auto parts workers vote by 97 percent to strike global parts maker

By James McDonald, 17 May 2019

Michigan auto parts workers, angry over deplorable conditions and years of UAW-backed concessions, face a contract expiration date of May 31.

Strikes by US workers outpacing rate in 2018

By Jerry White, 13 May 2019

There have been 17 major strikes in the US so far in 2019, involving nearly 230,000 public school and university employees, hospital staff, supermarket employees and other workers.

Toledo, Ohio workers complete first week of strike vs. Mercy Health St. Vincent

By Shannon Jones, 13 May 2019

Management has hired strikebreakers to maintain hospital operations and is relying on the UAW to contain and isolate the strike.

“They depend on us for their wealth and power”

Uber and Lyft drivers in Chicago, New York and California speak out against exploitation of gig economy workers

By our reporters, 10 May 2019

Drivers across the United States spoke out against the classification of Uber drivers as independent contractors as Uber heads into an Initial Public Offering worth billions of dollars.

GM workers denounce deals to “save” token jobs in Lordstown and Oshawa

By Shannon Jones, 10 May 2019

The moves, which will retain at most a few hundred jobs out of the thousands that are being permanently eliminated, are being denounced by workers.

Two thousand nurses and support staff strike at Toledo, Ohio hospital

By Jerry White, 8 May 2019

Nurses, technicians and other support staff walked out at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center Monday to fight against increased workloads and out-of-pocket health care costs.

Uber drivers to participate in global strike

By Leslie Murtagh and Jesse Thomas, 8 May 2019

Thousands of Uber and other ride-sharing drivers around the world will strike on Wednesday to protest low wages and the spread of casualized labor.

Teachers walking out statewide today in Oregon

By Kayla Costa, 8 May 2019

The SEP calls for the creation of rank-and-file committees to unite all educators, workers, parents and students in a common fight across the United States and internationally.

“The UAW sold us down the river”

Fiat Chrysler uses robocall to announce more layoffs at Belvidere, Illinois, plant

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 7 May 2019

On Monday, the auto giant announced more layoffs in addition to the shift it has already eliminated.

New Orleans Times-Picayune lays off its entire staff

By Aaron Murch, 7 May 2019

The mass layoff was the first action of the new owners after Baton Rouge-based the Advocate bought the New Orleans daily.

Teachers at three Chicago charter schools strike as union blocks common fight with public school educators

By Alexander Fangmann and Andy Thompson, 6 May 2019

The Chicago Teachers Union has worked closely with the Democratic Party to ensure that the two-tier education system is completely unaffected.

Sickout by teachers and school support staff in Nashville, Tennessee

By Warren Duzak, 6 May 2019

More than 1,400 teachers and support staff called in sick Friday after Democratic Mayor David Briley’s budget provided no increase in real wages for school employees.

As contract deadline approaches

Faurecia auto parts workers in Michigan speak out on sweatshop conditions

By James McDonald, 6 May 2019

In advance of their May contract expiration workers at the Faurecia auto parts plant in Saline, Michigan, spoke out on brutal working conditions and harsh treatment by management.

Horrific plant explosion kills at least three workers in northern Chicago suburb

By Jessica Goldstein, 6 May 2019

The 30,000-square foot plant was located close to residential areas, where witnesses reported power outages and structural and other property damage in nearby buildings.

Polls show growing sentiment for teachers strike in Mississippi

By J. L’Heureau, 4 May 2019

Mississippi educators, seeking to join the international strike wave of teachers, are demanding action against poverty wages and abysmal working conditions.

San Diego Sweetwater Teachers Union begins bargaining as false financial situation reported by district

By Evelyn Rios, 4 May 2019

The union and district are negotiating an austerity contract based on what is most likely fraudulent accounting, amidst allegations of fraud and mismanagement investigations.

General Motors reports $2.1 billion first-quarter profits as job cuts take their toll

By Shannon Jones, 1 May 2019

GM managed yet another quarter of huge profits amid mounting signs of a global economic slowdown by continuing its ruthless cost cutting.

New York pre-K teachers demand pay parity, as union seeks to sabotage strike

By Steve Light, 1 May 2019

As thousands of early childhood educators plan to walk out across New York City, AFSCME is dialing back the scheduled strike.

The teachers’ revolt and the fight for social equality

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 1 May 2019

The following statement is being distributed to teachers and their supporters who are marching in Raleigh, North Carolina today.

“The Teamsters is a company-controlled union”

UPS national contract imposed after supplemental fights

By George Marlowe, 1 May 2019

Following the ratification of a contentious Detroit supplemental agreement, the Teamsters union has imposed its sellout national contract on more than 250,000 UPS workers.

Year after Arizona strike, teacher walkouts and protests spread in US

By Jerry White, 30 April 2019

Mass protests scheduled for North and South Carolina tomorrow are part of a renewed wave of planned strikes and demonstrations by educators, including in New York City, Chicago and Detroit.

Crane collapse in Seattle claims four lives

By Scott Burris and Tim Rivers, 30 April 2019

A huge tower crane at a block of buildings under construction for Google in Seattle collapsed on Saturday, killing four and injuring four others.

One-day general strike in Colombia

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 April 2019

Workers mobilized in opposition to the National Development plan being proposed by President Ivan Duque that would mean significant attacks on workers.

Mayor Emanuel intervenes to shut down Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike

By George Marlowe, 26 April 2019

As part of his final act on behalf of the city’s financial elite, outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel has offered to intervene to end the nearly two-month strike by Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) musicians

GM continues tax avoidance schemes while it slashes thousands of jobs

By George Kirby, 26 April 2019

General Motors has received billions of dollars in government tax benefits over the past decade even as it continues to cut jobs and extract concessions from workers.

University of Illinois at Chicago faculty announces deal on eve of strike

By George Gallanis, 26 April 2019

More than 1,100 professors, lecturers, instructors and assistant professors are voting on a concessionary contract being pushed by the UIC United Faculty union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

Forty hospitalized after toxic chemical leak in Chicago suburb

By Jessica Goldstein, 26 April 2019

Residents of Beach Park, Illinois were ordered to stay inside and 40 people were hospitalized after toxic anhydrous ammonia leaked into the air during a chemical spill.

Rutgers University faculty union blocks strike by professors and teaching assistants

By Owen Mullan, 25 April 2019

The American Federation of Teachers acted to prevent a coordinated fight by educators against the Democrats’ austerity measures.

Industry publication floats idea of UAW calling a “targeted” strike

By Shannon Jones, 24 April 2019

After expressing concerns over the rebelliousness of factory workers, Automotive News suggested that the United Auto Workers call an impotent partial strike if negotiations hit an impasse.

UFCW orders New England Stop & Shop strikers back to work without seeing contract

By Kate Randall, 23 April 2019

The order to return to work signals the union’s agreement to impose deep takebacks by Stop & Shop in its efforts to transform the supermarket chain into a low-wage sweatshop.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Argentine newspaper and casino workers strike

23 April 2019

Workers at Clarín and sports daily Olé walked off the job April 17 over the firing of 56 of their colleagues while workers struck all Buenos Aires-area casinos for 48 hours over threatened closures.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike

Socialism and the defense of culture

By Kristina Betinis, 22 April 2019

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians, now in the seventh week of their strike, require the active support of the entire working class, in the United States and internationally.

“Capitalism is a terrible scheme that robs people of their labor”

As negotiations hit impasse, Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians continue strike and free concerts

By Michael Walters and George Marlowe, 20 April 2019

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra management reiterated its demand that musicians give up their traditional pensions and also canceled concerts through the end of April.

“Why did Boeing make it like that? Pure negligence and greed. There is simply no other answer.”

Aviation reporter Rytis Beresnevičius speaks to WSWS on Boeing 737 crashes

By Bryan Dyne, 20 April 2019

Rytis Beresnevičius has closely followed the two recent Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes and the engineering, executive and regulatory decisions that led to these disasters.

US education secretary to gut regulations, seek a “major shift” in higher education—Part 1

By Nancy Hanover, 20 April 2019

A crude assault on educational standards, which hardens the class divide in educational access and spurs the plundering of the “education market,” is being enacted under the cover of “rule-making” by the US Department of Education.

“We’re all in this together. That is how I see it.”

Detroit Fiat Chrysler autoworkers defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By a WSWS reporting team, 20 April 2019

A WSWS Autoworker Newsletter campaign team spoke to workers Thursday at the Warren Stamping plant outside of Detroit about the importance of the defense of whistleblowers Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

USW forces rotten deal on Harley-Davidson workers in Wisconsin

By Jacob Crosse, 19 April 2019

The union rejected its membership’s demands for an improved contract and instead forced through the same concessions-filled deal workers rejected less than two weeks earlier.

Deadly week for construction workers in New York City

By Mark Witkowski, 18 April 2019

In the space of less than a week three construction workers were killed, as the building boom in the city continues to claim the lives and limbs of workers.

Why the defense of Julian Assange is necessary for all workers

By the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank-and-File Committees, 18 April 2019

The following statement in defense of Julian Assange was issued by the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank-and-File Committees.

Strike of 31,000 New England Stop & Shop workers in sixth day

By our reporters, 17 April 2019

Despite reporting profits of more than $2 billion last year, the multinational owner of Stop & Shop is seeking to drive down the wages and benefits of workers.

“The jailing of Assange is an attack on the entire working class”

US workers demand the release of Julian Assange

By Jerry White, 16 April 2019

Workers in the United States have reacted with outrage over the jailing of Julian Assange and the efforts of the Trump administration to illegally seize the WikiLeaks founder and subject him to detention, possible torture and even death.

The political lessons of the University of Illinois graduate student strike

By Andy Thompson, 16 April 2019

The strike by 1,500 graduate students has come to an end with a totally inadequate agreement, raising important political lessons that must be assimilated in preparation for future struggles.

Mexican teachers protest while DHL and Amazon pilots protest stalled talks

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 April 2019

Workers in a number of towns in Chiapas are protesting education “reforms” under the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador while air cargo pilots protested outside Amazon’s offices in Florence, Kentucky.

31,000 Stop & Shop supermarket workers strike at over 240 supermarkets in New England

By Kate Randall, 15 April 2019

Supermarket workers at Stop & Shop, owned by retailer Ahold Delhaize, have struck the supermarket chain for the first time in 30 years.

“It seems to be class warfare”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra clarinetist John Bruce Yeh speaks on musicians strike

By George Marlowe, 15 April 2019

Clarinetist and striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) musician John Bruce Yeh spoke on the major issues of the strike as well as broader questions of social inequality and authoritarianism.

Chicago symphony musicians strike defies aristocratic principle

By Kristina Betinis, 13 April 2019

As CSO strike enters sixth week, a right-wing pressure campaign is being mounted to try to force the musicians to make concessions on their pensions.

070 UIC faculty vote to strike

13 April 2019

West Virginia college axes liberal arts; Pennsylvania Historical Society slashes workforce

By Tom Eley, 12 April 2019

The moves are symptomatic of a society that can spare nothing for art and history, subordinating them to the profit imperatives of the financial elite.

Sacramento, California teachers conduct one day strike

By Ben McGrath, 12 April 2019

As the teachers union works to reach a sellout deal with county officials, rank-and-file teachers are striving for a broader struggle in defense of public education.

One-day strike by Sacramento, California teachers

By Dan Conway, 11 April 2019

Ninety-two percent of Sacramento City Teachers Association members voted last month to authorize strike action in the state capital.

Lower turnout for second one-day strike at California universities and health systems

By Evelyn Rios, 11 April 2019

On Wednesday, several thousand of the lowest paid workers struck against the University of California’s ten-campus system.

A letter from a young US Postal Service worker

By Côme Crozier, 11 April 2019

“The unions have us divided in a Kafkaesque system of different wages and hours.”

Norwood Jewell, the UAW and the Flint water crisis

By Jerry White, 10 April 2019

The conviction on bribery charges of Jewell sheds light on the close connections between the UAW and the Democratic politicians responsible for the lead poisoning of an entire city.

“We believe in our art and can’t let them take it away”

Chicago symphony musicians defy management offer, continue strike

By Michael Walters and George Marlowe, 10 April 2019

CSO musicians have courageously defied the insulting “last, best, final offer” of management and are continuing their longest-ever strike.

University of California service and patient care technicians on one-day strike

By Marc Wells, 10 April 2019

University of California’s 25,000 service and patient care technicians are on strike today, for the fourth time in less than a year.

Hollywood writers in a battle against powerful talent agencies

By Adam Mclean and David Walsh, 10 April 2019

The Writers Guild of America has set an April 13 deadline for reaching an agreement with the major Hollywood talent agencies on a new code of conduct.

Teamsters working with YRC trucking companies to impose concessions contract

By Steve Filips, 9 April 2019

A tentative agreement has been announced between the company and the union while workers are being kept in the dark in order to forestall opposition to what is undoubtedly another sellout deal.

Philadelphia Community College teachers face union sellout

By Tom Eley, 9 April 2019

The deal, which must be voted on by the membership, would create a permanent category of lower-paid educators.

US independent trucker group calls for shutdown, protests in Argentina against austerity

Workers Struggles: The Americas

9 April 2019

A group of US owner-operator truckers has set April 12 for a protest over rates and regulatory issues, while tens of thousands in Argentina marched to protest the Macri government’s anti-worker economic policies.

Tennessee teachers organize protests over educational funding and vouchers

By Warren Duzak, 9 April 2019

Tennessee teachers are joining the growing protests across the US to defend public education and oppose privatization schemes.

Mississippi teachers threaten first strike since 1985

By J. L’Heureau and Nancy Hanover, 8 April 2019

With Mississippi paying the lowest wages in the country, educators are enraged over the state's refusal to substantially increase them. Calls to defy the state’s brutal anti-strike laws are growing.

University of Illinois at Chicago grad student union pushes sellout contract

By Andy Thompson, 8 April 2019

Teaching assistants should reject the deal being pushed by the Graduate Employees Organization and its parent unions and spearhead a fight against the Democrats’ austerity measures.

“Music is too powerful to be silenced by tyranny”

Chicago symphony musicians host packed concerts as strike reaches turning point

By George Marlowe, 6 April 2019

Musicians in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have continued to host successful, packed concerts as their strike enters its fourth week.

Another steelworker killed at ArcelorMittal in Indiana

By Jessica Goldstein, 6 April 2019

Fleming’s death is the 392nd to occur at the mill, which has operated since 1902.

University of Illinois-Chicago faculty to vote on strike action as grad student walkout enters third week

By George Gallanis, 4 April 2019

The American Federation of Teachers hopes to block faculty members from joining grad students and escalating the fight against the Democratic Party’s austerity program.

“If the UAW was bought, we should get it all back”

Former UAW vice president pleads guilty to conspiracy in bribery scheme

By Jerry White, 3 April 2019

Norwood Jewell is the highest UAW official to be convicted thus far in the case, involving Fiat Chrysler paying union officials to sign pro-company labor agreements.

Sears abruptly slashes life insurance coverage for 90,000 retirees

By Jacob Crosse, 3 April 2019

Retirees have been given two options—either convert all or a portion of the previously held policy into a new plan, and begin making payments, or watch it evaporate.

Corruption probe engulfs top UAW executives

By Jerry White, 2 April 2019

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell is expected to plead guilty today for taking tens of thousands in bribes in exchange for imposing a pro-company deal on 37,000 Fiat Chrysler workers in 2015.

Amazon Air cargo flight crashes after vicious cost-cutting

By Erik Schreiber, 2 April 2019

The immediate cause of a cargo flight crash near Houston is as yet unknown, but it took place in the context of management’s relentless attacks on workers’ pay and on safety standards.

Community College of Philadelphia faculty vote for strike action

By Nancy Hanover, 2 April 2019

In the aftermath of more than a decade of cuts to higher education, faculty at publicly-funded colleges are being galvanized into strike action.

Mexican paper workers strike, demand ousting of company union

Workers Struggles: The Americas

2 April 2019

Paperworkers in the state of Tamaulipas struck March 29 to demand the expulsion of the Fasim union, which they accuse of siding with their employer, Absormex.

“Music is the language of the world”

Striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians hold successful free concerts

By George Marlowe and Michael Walters, 29 March 2019

CSO musicians in the third week of their strike have won widespread public support, including for their defiant free concerts.

“There is widespread interest in classical music."

Musicians, youth and workers speak in support of Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike

By Benjamin Mateus and George Marlowe, 29 March 2019

Striking CSO musicians and young people spoke out about the fight and the importance of the defense of arts, music and culture.

San Diego teachers and parents left in the dark as school district threatens massive budget cuts

By Evelyn Rios, 29 March 2019

The Sweetwater school district and its teachers’ union have begun bargaining on an austerity contract in the aftermath of the announcement of the district’s $68 million shortfall.

Strike by University of Illinois at Chicago grad students in danger

By George Gallanis, 28 March 2019

While graduate workers have received broad support from workers and students, their struggle has been isolated by the teachers unions, which are aligned with the state Democrats.

Hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers strike in Los Angeles

By Dan Conway, 27 March 2019

The strike was triggered by Uber’s recent announcement to cut drivers’ per-mile compensation in Los Angeles and part of nearby Orange County by 25 percent.

UPS workers confront wall of union-company collusion in local supplement fights

By Kayla Costa and Mark Witkowski, 27 March 2019

After the Teamsters unilaterally imposed the national contract last October, workers now confront efforts by union bureaucrats to push through local and regional supplemental agreements.

Anger builds over GM plant closures and layoffs

By Tom Hall, 25 March 2019

With a widening corruption scandal engulfing the United Auto Workers union, workers are demanding new organizations to take forward the struggle against plant closures.

Rutgers University faculty in New Jersey votes to strike

By Owen Mullan, 25 March 2019

Over 3,600 faculty members and teaching assistants at New Jersey’s leading state university voted last week to strike over wages and teaching conditions.

Amazon software engineer in second month of protests against conditions

By Paul Fuller and Kayla Costa, 22 March 2019

Oleg Churyumov has carried out a hunger strike, picketed and written blog posts against the company’s imposition of grueling conditions for professional and warehouse workers alike.

How Norwood Jewell and the UAW pushed through the 2015 contract

By Jerry White, 22 March 2019

Throughout months of supposed negotiations and the campaign to sell the concessions contract to workers, Jewell and other UAW negotiators were on the payroll of Fiat Chrysler.

Thousands hold one-day strike at University of California schools and health systems

By Evelyn Rios, 21 March 2019

Yesterday, thousands of the lowest paid workers struck throughout the University of California’s ten campus system, the largest public higher education institution in the world.

University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student workers go on strike

By Andy Thompson, 21 March 2019

Graduate student workers walked out Tuesday to demand increases to pay and benefits and a reduction in fees.

California university workers in one-day strike across the state

By Evelyn Rios, 20 March 2019

Thousands of low-paid workers will strike on Wednesday throughout the University of California’s 10-campus system, the largest public institution of higher learning in the world.

Sacramento, California teachers authorize strike

By Dan Conway, 20 March 2019

The overwhelming strike vote in California’s state capital expresses the militancy of teachers across the country fighting the bipartisan assault on public education.

UAW corruption scandal expands to Vice President Norwood Jewell, who rammed through 2015 sellout

By Jerry White, 19 March 2019

Norwood Jewell is the highest United Auto Workers official to be indicted to date in the corruption scandal engulfing the entire organization.

Grocery workers in Colorado vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike action

By Jesica Goldstein, 19 March 2019

The strike authorization vote covering over 12,000 grocery workers at King Soopers and City Market stores is an expression of the mounting class struggle beginning to erupt across the United States.

Trump presses UAW to impose immediate concessions in bid to reopen Lordstown GM plant

By Shannon Jones, 19 March 2019

In an exchange of tweets between Trump, General Motors and UAW officials over the weekend, the billionaire president called for reopening the UAW contract to “save” the Lordstown plant.

Strike looms for University of Illinois at Chicago graduate students

By George Gallanis, 16 March 2019

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) is determined to avoid a strike at all costs and ram through a sellout agreement.

More demagogy and bluster as UAW bargaining convention adjourns

By Shannon Jones, 14 March 2019

The supposed fight proclaimed by UAW leaders to “save jobs” is based on lowering the automakers' production costs in the US by imposing new give-backs on workers.

Teacher sickouts in Kentucky, protests in Maryland and Texas

By E.P. Milligan, 14 March 2019

Thousands of teachers are fighting for more school funding, higher wages, and an end to attacks on public education.

Profits over people

US refuses to ground Boeing jet despite second crash in five months

By Barry Grey, 13 March 2019

There are immense financial interests bound up with the profitability and stock price of Boeing that far outweigh the danger of more destruction of human life and suffering for victims’ friends and family.

Massive cuts and layoffs loom in San Diego’s Sweetwater school district

By Evelyn Rios, 13 March 2019

The cuts to central administrative staff are only the initial round of mass layoffs and cuts to cover a $68 million shortfall caused by district corruption and embezzlement.

Thousands of US Stop & Shop workers in New England vote for strike action

By Kate Randall, 13 March 2019

The supermarket giant is seeking to drive down the wages and conditions of workers to the level of their nonunion competitors by cutting take-home pay and attacking health and pension benefits.

“This is not just about Tchaikovsky, it’s about culture as a whole”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians strike to defend pensions

By Kristina Betinis, 12 March 2019

CSO players and supporters demand funding for the arts, not wars.

Aiming to quash strikes, US teacher union launches campaign to prop up Democrats

By Nancy Hanover, 12 March 2019

Amid increasing strikes and struggles in defense of public education across the US and the world, the teachers’ unions are launching a new initiative to stifle the class struggle and corral teachers behind the capitalist political parties.

Union describes walkout as “disruptive”

Kentucky teachers’ sickout closes state’s largest district

By Naomi Spencer, 7 March 2019

The mass action, organized by a new group calling itself “JCPS Leads,” forced Jefferson County Public Schools to cancel school for the second time in the space of a week.

“The unions are trying to divide the students and teachers”

Oakland students oppose sellout of teachers strike, plan to continue fight to defend public education

By Genevieve Leigh and Kayla Costa, 7 March 2019

There is growing anger among students and teachers in Oakland, California over the shutdown of the seven-day Oakland teachers strike by the Oakland Education Association.

The shutdown of GM’s Lordstown plant

By Jerry White, 7 March 2019

The closing of the iconic factory, the site of a series of wildcat strikes and other militant struggles in the early 1970s, is the tragic outcome of a half century of betrayals by the United Auto Workers union.