Workers Issues in the US

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.

The betrayal of the Oakland teacher strike and the way forward for students

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 7 March 2019

The OEA has declared the strike over, but students, teachers and parents are determined to continue and expand the fight to defend public education.

1,700 workers battle two-tier wages at Erie, Pennsylvania locomotive plant

By Samuel Davidson, 6 March 2019

Workers at the giant locomotive plant in Erie, Pennsylvania have entered their second week on the picket line against demands for a two-tier wage system and other concessions.

The shutdown of the GM Lordstown plant: A corporate crime

By Tim Rivers and Shannon Jones, 5 March 2019

Tuesday, March 5, is the last day of production at the GM Lordstown plant, long an economic mainstay of northeast Ohio and the scene of militant struggles in the early 1970s.

Students and teachers outraged as

Oakland, California school board passes devastating budget cut following union sellout

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 5 March 2019

The betrayal of the seven-day teacher strike by the Oakland Education Association has opened the door to deep cuts and school closings.

Denver schools ax jobs in wake of contract pushed through by union

By Andrea Peters, 5 March 2019

After just three days on the picket line, the union sent teachers back to work with about two hours’ notice, claiming that it had won a major victory.

Southwest Airlines sues airline mechanics over alleged slowdown

By Tom Hall, 4 March 2019

Southwest mechanics have been working for six years without a raise under a management regime that disregards safety.

Vote “no” on sell-out agreement

Union pushes contract in effort to shut down Oakland teachers’ strike

By Joseph Santolan, 2 March 2019

The deal leaves $30 million of district budget cuts and school closures intact, while allowing school closures, giving teachers raises below inflation, and addressing none of their other pressing demands.

Boston: Unanimous opposition to MBTA fare hike at public hearing

By John Marion and Kate Randall, 2 March 2019

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is planning to impose fare increases averaging 6.3 percent on its bus, subway and commuter rail riders effective July 1.

As Oakland strike enters seventh day, union keeps teachers in dark on negotiations

By Norisa Diaz and Joseph Santolan, 1 March 2019

The rank-and-file strike committee, at a meeting Thursday night, exposed the anti-democratic measures of the OEA leadership.

Oakland strike, mass “sickout” in Kentucky

Teacher anger exploding across the United States

By Nancy Hanover, 1 March 2019

A summary of teacher struggles underscores the need for educators to break the grip of the unions in order to unify in a common fight to defend public education.

Hundreds laid off at Activision Blizzard and other video game companies

By Zachary Thorton, 1 March 2019

For all of the grueling hours that workers are subjected to, and the impact this has on their health and social lives, none of it guarantees their job security.

Oakland teachers form rank-and-file strike committee as union keeps educators in the dark

By Ben McGrath, 27 February 2019

Teachers are seeking to take the conduct of the strike into their own hands and prevent a betrayal of their struggle by the Oakland Education Association.

Fremont, California teachers stage sick-out

By Jonathan Burleigh, 27 February 2019

Teachers in the Bay Area city of Fremont called in sick last week after working without a contract for the entire school year. Their wildcat action came two days before the start of the Oakland teachers’ strike.

Fiat Chrysler announces elimination of shift at Illinois plant, axing nearly 1,400 jobs

By Marcus Day, 27 February 2019

The company and its UAW partners have sought to downplay the layoffs, instead trumpeting promises of new investments in Detroit.

The global struggle of teachers

By Jerry White, 26 February 2019

Throughout the world, teachers have come to the forefront of the struggle against decades of austerity and levels of social inequality not seen since the 1920s.

Unions, Democrats rush to end strike as Oakland teachers resist attack on public education

By Joseph Santolan, 26 February 2019

The district’s financial oversight trustee has threatened to veto any deal that provides wage increases above the rate of inflation.

“We need a national strike!”

Oakland teachers and students speak on third day of strike

By our reporters, 26 February 2019

On the third day of the strike, teachers and students alike expressed strong support for a broader, united struggle of workers against the corporate assault on education.

In wake of January teachers strike, further attacks on public schools planned in Los Angeles

By Dan Conway, 26 February 2019

Details are emerging of how the Los Angeles Unified School District intends to prosecute its assault on teachers, including plans to break up the district into multiple local networks.

Union rejects strike action as locomotive maker Wabtec imposes two-tier contract

By Samuel Davidson, 26 February 2019

United Electrical workers union locals block strike action against concessions imposed on 1,700 workers at its locomotive plant in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Argentina: Patagonian teachers vote to strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

26 February 2019

Workers in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz have voted to strike over pay increases and staffing shortages caused by the layoff of thousands of teachers.

Why is there no strike pay for Oakland teachers?

By Jonathan Burleigh, 25 February 2019

Oakland teachers pay more than $1,000 in union dues every year and have every right to adequate strike benefits to sustain this historic fight.

Oakland, California teachers press for expansion of strike as union seeks to contain struggle

By Evan Blake, 23 February 2019

Despite its rhetoric, the OEA is working to isolate teachers from their class allies and prevent a broader struggle in defense of public education.

“Everybody needs to go on strike”

Charleston, West Virginia residents support teachers fighting to defend public education

By our reporters, 23 February 2019

The unions called off the West Virginia teachers strike amid a growing national strike wave and broad support in the working class.

Vote “No” on sell-out contract!

As voting takes place, Denver teachers angry over tentative agreement

By Nancy Hanover and George Marlowe, 23 February 2019

The WSWS Teachers Newsletter urges teachers to reject the deal, which does not resolve any of the issues concerning poverty wages for teachers or the broader attack on public education.

Students speak out against closure of Oregon College of Art and Craft

By our reporters, 23 February 2019

After years of deceit and backroom talks, the administration and Board of Trustees announced that they will close and sell-off OCAC by the end of the semester.

For a unified struggle of Oakland students and teachers to defend public education!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality - Berkeley, 23 February 2019

The IYSSE supports and applauds the tens of thousands of teenage students in Oakland who have protested in solidarity with their striking teachers.

Support Oakland teachers! For a general strike to defend education!

By WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 22 February 2019

The call must go out in every workplace in the Bay Area, across California, the US and internationally: “The Oakland teachers must not fight this decisive battle alone!”

Powerful support for Oakland teachers’ strike

By Jonathan Burleigh, 22 February 2019

Like teachers across the US and internationally, striking teachers in Oakland, California are fighting against the corporate war on public education and the complicity of the trade unions.

House Education and Labor Committee: US schools are in shambles

By J. Cooper, 22 February 2019

A recent Congressional hearing exposed the disastrous state of public schools but offers no solutions.

Marathon workers in Galveston Bay, Texas reject USW-company sellout contract

By Jessica Goldstein, 22 February 2019

The overwhelming “no” vote by oil workers at Marathon Petroleum in Galveston Bay, Texas reflects growing worker militancy in the face of the continuing attacks on living standards.

Oakland, California teachers walk out as unions sabotage West Virginia strike

By Jerry White, 21 February 2019

Teachers in Oakland, California have walked out of schools in the latest of a series of strikes by educators in the US and internationally against austerity and social inequality.

“There’s been a blackout from the union”

Teamsters locals use anti-democratic loopholes and deceit to impose sellout agreements

By Erik Schreiber, 21 February 2019

Adding insult to injury following the imposition of the national UPS contract last year, the Teamsters union is using anti-democratic procedures to ram through local supplemental agreements by overriding the express will of the membership.

GM worker in Mexico speaks in support of fight against plant closures in the US and Canada

By our reporters, 19 February 2019

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter interviewed a GM autoworker in Silao, Mexico, about conditions at the plant, the struggle by workers in Matamoros, rank-and-file committees and a joint struggle of autoworkers across North America and beyond.

A year since statewide strike

West Virginia teachers walk out to oppose charter schools

By Jerry White, 19 February 2019

Facing the possibility of imminent wildcat strikes over a reactionary educational bill introducing charter schools, the unions called the strike hoping to shut it down as soon as they can.

Build rank-and-file strike committees! Prepare to expand the strike!

A fighting program for Oakland teachers

By WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 19 February 2019

Oakland, California teachers must break out of union-imposed isolation and organize across bargaining units, district lines, and geographical boundaries. This is the same fight nationally and internationally in defense of public education.

Colombian teachers in 24-hour national strike over attacks on public education

Workers Struggles: The Americas

19 February 2019

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

Oakland, California teachers set to strike this week

By Ben McGrath, 18 February 2019

Oakland educators are faced with a struggle against the Democratic Party and the teachers’ union, which have collaborated in decades of budget cutting in Oakland and across California.

Anger grows among Denver teachers, as union gloats about closed-door negotiations

By Andrea Peters, 18 February 2019

The tentative agreement reached by the union cuts compensation for some school employees and deepens union-management collaboration in merit pay.

Union rushing to end Denver teachers strike

By Nancy Hanover, 14 February 2019

Denver teachers should take a warning from the experience of Los Angeles teachers and resist any attempt to rush through a deal that abandons critical demands for substantial increases in pay and school funding and a reduction in class sizes.

Flight attendant paralyzed after Delta ordered flight through tropical storm

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part three

By Tom Hall, 14 February 2019

Jane’s condition has been made significantly worse by lengthy delays in treatment caused by Delta’s workers’ compensation administrator, Sedgwick.

Autoworkers must prepare fight as UAW plans new givebacks in 2019 contracts

By Shannon Jones, 14 February 2019

An op-ed piece in the Detroit Free Press by United Auto Workers President Gary Jones makes it clear that the union plans to use the threat to jobs to blackmail workers into accepting a new round of concessions in the 2019 contracts.

Denver teachers battle merit-pay system that is backed by unions, Democratic Party

By Andrea Peters, 13 February 2019

Teachers in Colorado’s largest city are continuing their decisive fight against low pay, performance-based compensation and underfunding of the schools.

Striking Denver teachers speak out

By Rebecca Decario, 13 February 2019

On the second day of their strike, teachers picketing at East High School described the inherent inequalities of merit pay.

Delta planted GPS tracker in car of disabled flight attendant

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part two

By Tom Hall, 13 February 2019

In order to “prove” their case against injured flight attendant Ashley, Delta hired private investigators to spy on her, a common practice in workers’ comp cases.

Denver teachers strike backed by student walkouts

By Tom Eley, 12 February 2019

Thousands of high school students walked out of class in solidarity with their nearly 3,000 striking teachers.

Chicago charter teachers strike enters second week

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2019

Charter school teachers are fighting for decent wages and smaller class sizes, but the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is looking to expands its franchise into the charter business.

Mexican union apparatus, government scramble to suppress growing strike across Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 12 February 2019

Inspired by the wave of wildcat strikes by maquiladora workers in Matamoros, Mexico, militancy and opposition to the trade unions and the AMLO administration are growing.

Michigan steelworker dies after falling into vat of sulfuric acid

By Shannon Jones, 12 February 2019

Daniel Hill died over the weekend after falling into a vat of highly dangerous sulfuric acid while being trained for a new job at Michigan Seamless Tube in South Lyon.

“It is necessary to base our struggle not on one company or on one nation, but by mobilizing the workers of the world”

Maruti Suzuki workers in India send greetings to February 9 protest

12 February 2019

Jitender Dhankar, a member of the provisional committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) in India, sent a message of solidarity to the workers and young people who participated in the February 9 demonstration against the factory closures and mass layoffs by General Motors.

“We have to stand up and learn how to be strong on our own”

Workers at February 9 protest discuss fight against GM closings

By our reporters, 12 February 2019

Autoworkers explained why they attended the demonstration and the strategic demands raised by the march, including the fight for rank-and-file committees and the unity of US, Canadian and Mexican workers.

Injured flight attendants speak to the WSWS

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part one

By Tom Hall, 12 February 2019

Several seriously injured Delta Airlines flight attendants recently spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the hellish ordeal confronting workers who seek assistance through the company’s workers’ compensation system.

100 years since the Seattle General Strike—Part 2

By Kayla Costa, 12 February 2019

One hundred years ago, over 60,000 workers brought the city of Seattle to a standstill in a strike that holds important strategic lessons for today’s struggles.

Series of regional strikes hit Argentina

Workers Struggles: The Americas

12 February 2019

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

In their first strike in 25 years, Denver, Colorado teachers walk out

By Nancy Hanover, 11 February 2019

The Denver strike highlights the growing determination of educators, nationally and internationally, in the face of a concerted assault on public education.

West Virginia teachers, school staff vote “overwhelmingly” to authorize work action

By our reporters, 11 February 2019

Teachers and other school workers in all 55 West Virginia counties voted last week to call a work action against a reactionary omnibus education bill moving through the legislature.

Oakland students walk out as school board prepares major cuts

By Jonathan Burleigh, 11 February 2019

Thousands of Oakland students voiced their support for teachers and hostility to planned budget cuts and school closures.

Workers at ExxonMobil in Billings, Montana reject USW-company sellout contract

By Jessica Goldstein, 11 February 2019

The “no” vote by the Billings refinery workers gives expression to wider opposition of rank-and-file oil and petrochemical workers to the contract being pushed by the union.

Bankruptcy judge approves sale of Sears to former CEO Edward Lampert for $5.2 billion

By Jacob Crosse, 11 February 2019

The beleaguered retail chain lives to die another day as remaining workers are left with an uncertain future

Autoworkers, supporters demonstrate in Detroit to oppose GM closures and layoffs

By Niles Niemuth, 11 February 2019

Autoworkers and supporters from throughout the Midwest attended a demonstration and meeting Saturday organized by the WSWS Autoworkers Newsletter and the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank and File Committees.

One hundred years since the Seattle General Strike

By Kayla Costa, 11 February 2019

One hundred years ago, over 60,000 workers brought the city of Seattle to a standstill in a strike that holds important strategic lessons for today’s struggles.

Eighty-two years since the victory of the Flint sit-down strike

By Jerry White, 11 February 2019

With General Motors threatening to shut five factories in the US and Canada, it is valuable for autoworkers to study the heroic 1936-37 sit down strike against GM’s operations in Flint, Michigan.

Strike action in the US hits a 32-year high

By Patrick Martin, 9 February 2019

In 2018, the number of workers involved in large strikes, walkouts involving 1,000 or more workers, was the highest since 1986.

Cascade of plant closings in New York state

Social costs mount

By Steve Filips, 9 February 2019

In recent months there have been a spate of plant closings throughout Upstate New York, including the Rochester and Buffalo areas.

Wright State University administration issues call for scabs in bid to intimidate striking faculty

By Alexander Fangmann, 9 February 2019

As the strike by full-time faculty at Wright State heads toward a fourth week, the university administration is attempting to threaten striking faculty with the specter of being replaced by “long-term” adjuncts.

“People are tired of not being able to pay their bills while the rich eat filet mignon”

As global jobs massacre continues, workers around the world voice support for fight against plant closures

By our reporter, 9 February 2019

Workers and students are continuing to write in to the World Socialist Web Site expressing strong support for the demonstration Saturday at General Motors headquarters in Detroit.

German workers support rally against mass layoffs in Detroit

By our reporters, 9 February 2019

The WSWS received these messages of support for the February 9 demonstration from bus drivers, auto workers, and a tram mechanic.

Committee for Public Education (Australia): Support the fight against GM layoffs!

By the Committee for Public Education (CFPE), 9 February 2019

The February 9 demonstration, organised independently of the unions, provides a lead for all workers internationally, including teachers.

The reality of capitalism: GM makes $11.8 billion in profits while closing plants, eliminating 14,000 jobs

By Jerry White, 7 February 2019

The huge profits, side-by-side with the destruction of entire communities, expose the real character of the capitalist system and why the working class must abolish it.

Lordstown GM plant closing: Another blow to northeastern Ohio

By Samuel Davidson, 7 February 2019

The impending closure of General Motors Lordstown assembly plant will be another blow to communities in the northeast region of Ohio that have been devastated by more than three decades of steel mill and factory closings.

Sri Lankan tea plantation workers committee supports call for February 9 demonstration in Detroit

By our reporters, 7 February 2019

“We consider the actions taken by the steering committee as a blow not only for the defense of the fundamental rights of the US auto workers but also on behalf of the international working class as a whole.”

Teachers at four Chicago charter school campuses walk out

By Kristina Betinis, 6 February 2019

In the second-ever strike to hit charter schools, 175 teachers and staff at four Chicago International Charter School campuses walked out Tuesday over pay and conditions.

48-year-old teacher perishes in house fire on Chicago’s southwest side

By Kristina Betinis, 6 February 2019

Kathleen Gomez was mourned by family and friends at her home on Tuesday evening.

Oakland, California teachers overwhelmingly vote to strike

By Jonathan Burleigh, 6 February 2019

Oakland teachers have voted by 95 percent to authorize a strike, showing the determination of educators to fight in defense of public education.

Jobs bloodbath at Ford and GM

Ford announces 1,000 job cuts as GM begins mass layoffs

By our reporters, 5 February 2019

As General Motors started firing 4,250 engineers, technicians, managers and other white-collar workers, it was reported that Ford will eliminate the second shift at its Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant by April 1, wiping out more than 1,000 hourly jobs.

Private contract workers left without pay following federal government shutdown

By Nick Barrickman, 4 February 2019

The plight of contract workers is a further exposure of the right-wing role of the federal employee unions.

“We need to understand we all face the same struggle”

Broad support for February 9 demonstration against GM plant closings

By our reporters, 4 February 2019

In recent days many workers have contacted the World Socialist Web Site to express support for the fight against plant shutdown and layoffs.

GM to lay off 4,250 salaried workers in North America starting Monday

By Shannon Jones, 2 February 2019

As anger mounts over the GM’s plans to cut 15,000 jobs in the US and Canada, the United Auto Workers and Unifor are ramping up their anti-Mexican campaign to split autoworkers along national lines and block united action to fight the layoffs.

“We are just another package that can be replaced”

FedEx, UPS workers outraged after Illinois truck driver dies on the job in extreme cold weather

By George Marlowe, 2 February 2019

William L. Murphy, a 69-year-old FedEx truck driver, is one of at least 23 people in the Midwest who have been killed by record cold temperatures this week.

Lawsuit alleges Amazon caused worker’s death

By Jeff Lusanne, 2 February 2019

The wife of a worker who died at a Joliet, Illinois Amazon warehouse in 2017 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Amazon for the extreme delay of medical treatment that led to his death.

United Steelworkers announces concessions contract agreement with Shell Oil

By Jessica Goldstein, 2 February 2019

The deal, which includes paltry wage increases that barely keep pace with inflation, was announced after months of backroom negotiations and just prior to the contract expiration deadline.

Sacramento school district threatens bankruptcy to extort concessions from teachers

By Dan Conway, 31 January 2019

School district officials in California’s capital city announced they had to cut $16 million from spending by November 2019 to avoid state receivership, with another $16 million in cuts needed for next year.

City Colleges of Chicago averts staff and faculty strike

By Alexander Fangmann, 31 January 2019

Just days after the setting of a February 4 strike date, the Cook County College Teachers Union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that a tentative agreement had been reached.