Workers Issues in the US


Teacher unions seek rotten deal as momentum grows for April 2 statewide walkout in Oklahoma

By Todd Denton and Nancy Hanover, 24 March 2018

Oklahoma teachers are continuing their preparations for an April 2 statewide strike in Oklahoma as the unions seek a rotten legislative deal, including regressive taxation on state residents.

School bus drivers discuss aftermath of the 2013 New York City strike

By Steve Light, 23 March 2018

Workers spoke bitterly about the consequences of the betrayal of the strike five years ago.

Kentucky and Arizona teachers rally to defend public education

By J. Cooper, 22 March 2018

Teachers in Arizona organized sickouts Wednesday and traveled to Phoenix to demand pay raises, while educators in Kentucky rallied in the state capital to oppose attacks on retirement benefits.

Former top aide to UAW VP Norwood Jewell indicted in corruption investigation

By Shannon Jones, 22 March 2018

Nancy Johnson, the number two UAW official overseeing the 2015 Fiat Chrysler negotiations, is charged with five felony counts related to receiving illegal payoffs from company officials.

US, Caribbean, Africa, Latin America and Europe

Global struggles by teachers mounting against austerity and attacks on public education

By Jerry White, 21 March 2018

Ten years after the 2008 financial crash, which ushered in a decade of savage budget cutting, teachers around the world are protesting and striking.

South Butler, Pennsylvania teachers strike

By Paul Sherman, 21 March 2018

Teachers in the South Butler School District, just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania went on strike last Thursday to demand pay raises as part of a growing wave of struggles by educators.

“It’s all about building the stock market and not about people”

Numerous Kentucky schools to close Wednesday, as teachers’ protests mount

By J. Cooper and Nancy Hanover, 20 March 2018

Kentucky, which borders West Virginia, is the scene of escalating protests by educators, with growing demands for strike action over deep-going threats to their pensions.

Teachers unions intensify efforts to suppress growing class struggle in the US

By Jerry White, 20 March 2018

A recent article by a former top executive at the American Federation of Teachers argues that the unions exist to “maintain labor peace” and “tamp down rank-and-file gripes and discord.”

Union cuts deal to end Jersey City strike as teacher protests spread

By Jerry White, 19 March 2018

The union rushed to get the agreement as teachers prepared to defy a judge’s back-to-work order, which would trigger a broader confrontation with the state’s Democratic and Republican politicians.

Eastern Michigan University staff, students protest staffing cuts

By Carlos Delgado, 19 March 2018

The protest against the cuts comes as educators and students across the country have mobilized in defense of public education.

Strike at Ferguson, Missouri nursing home ends after 104 days

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 March 2018

The Christian Care Nursing Home strike has ended with the SEIU agreeing to a derisory 20-cent per hour wage increase.

Toys R Us announces liquidation amidst “Retail Apocalypse”

By Anthony Bertolt, 19 March 2018

The retail chain is in the process of shutting down its global operations, with the jobs of some 31,000 workers in the US alone set to be eliminated.

Teachers in Jersey City begin strike as demands for walkouts expand across the US

By our reporters, 17 March 2018

The Jersey City strike is part of a growing wave of working-class opposition in the US, following the shutdown of the West Virginia teachers strike earlier this month.

As strike by 1,400 US telecom workers enters third week

Frontier hires Pinkerton agents, obtains restraining order

By Zac Corrigan, 17 March 2018

The injunction is based on accusations made by hired Pinkerton agents of alleged "abuse" on the part of striking workers toward strikebreakers.

Oklahoma Senate rejects pay raise as teachers ready for strike

By Shannon Jones and Todd Thompson, 16 March 2018

The state legislature rejected a proposal for a pay hike that fell far short of teacher demands for a $10,000 raise.

CWA isolates Frontier Communications strikers

By Samuel Davidson, 15 March 2018

Twelve days into the strike by 1,400 telecommunication workers against Frontier, the union is seeking to isolate and wear down strikers.

“Everybody’s skeptical of the task force”

West Virginia teachers angry deal to end strike ignored soaring medical costs

By Zac Corrigan, 15 March 2018

A nine-day teachers strike was ended by the unions with the creation of a health care task force, consisting of openly hostile state legislators, health insurance CEOs, and the very union bureaucrats who sold out the strike.

Union betrays graduate workers’ strike at University of Illinois

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 March 2018

Having demobilized students and pushed through a sellout deal, the Graduate Employees Organization is promoting impotent appeals to university officials.

As Trump’s education secretary threatens deep education cuts

Teachers’ struggle spreads to Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona

By E.P. Milligan, 13 March 2018

After the nine-day strike in West Virginia, educators in other states are coming into conflict with the unions, which are trying to block a unified struggle for increased wages and funding for public education.

After nine-day West Virginia strike

Demands for teacher strike action expand across the US

By Nancy Hanover, 12 March 2018

Educators in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona are organizing protests and strikes on social media to oppose years of concessions and budget cuts.

West Virginia, the class struggle and the fight against Internet censorship

By Jerry White, 12 March 2018

The widespread use of social media by the West Virginia teachers and the growth of the class struggle internationally make clear why the US government and Silicon Valley tech giants want to censor the Internet.

California: 18,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses authorize strike

By Brian Dixon, 12 March 2018

The not-for-profit organization gained net income of $3.6 billion in 2017, but uses none of these fund to address the issues driving nurses to authorise a strike.

Movement for teacher walkouts in Oklahoma, Kentucky, New Jersey and Arizona

Spreading wave of working class unrest in the US follows West Virginia teachers strike

By Will Morrow, 10 March 2018

The ruling class and the trade unions are desperately seeking to control social opposition and prevent demands for walkouts from developing in the direction of a general strike.

Fiat-Chrysler minivan plant impacted

Windsor auto parts workers defy Unifor and strike

By Carl Bronski and Shannon Jones, 10 March 2018

Workers at ZF-TRW are taking a stand against decades of concessions imposed with the support of the unions that have eroded living standards and working conditions.

“On top of taking my family, they are branded as criminals”

Video of Border Patrol agents dragging mother away from children sparks outrage

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan and Clodomiro Puentes, 10 March 2018

Perla Morales Luna had stepped out with her three daughters to pay their rent last weekend when she was suddenly grabbed and dragged away by federal agents.

Hospital workers protest layoffs in Michigan

By Carlos Delgado and Esther Galen, 10 March 2018

Two giant hospital chains, Ascension and Tenet, have announced layoffs and unit closures

As teacher struggles spread, unions redouble effort to suppress class struggle

By Jerry White, 9 March 2018

In the aftermath of the nine-day strike by West Virginia teachers, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said that the unions are necessary to contain opposition.

Jersey City teachers poised to strike

By Mark Ferretti, 9 March 2018

The rising cost of health benefits is making life in Jersey City less affordable for teachers, who are closer to a strike than they have been in 20 years.

As nine-day teachers’ strike concludes

Striking West Virginia Frontier telecom workers speak out

By our reporters, 8 March 2018

Thursday marks the fifth day of a strike by over 1,400 Frontier telecommunication workers in Virginia and West Virginia.

Lessons of the West Virginia teachers strike

By Jerry White and Joseph Kishore, 8 March 2018

The suppression of the strike is the result of the deliberate effort of the trade unions to prevent the struggle of teachers from developing into a movement of the entire working class against the capitalist system.

West Virginia teachers unions ram through sell-out deal to end strike

By Will Morrow, 7 March 2018

The deal does not address the central demand of teachers—an end to soaring health care costs—while it pays for inadequate wage increases through cuts to Medicaid and other social programs.

“West Virginia teachers have shown us team effort and organization”

Oklahoma teachers to discuss strike strategy

By Nancy Hanover, 7 March 2018

Oklahoma teachers are demanding statewide strike action to reverse years of declining living standards, increasing class sizes and budget cuts to K-12 education.

The West Virginia teachers strike and the rebellion against the trade unions

By Joseph Kishore, 6 March 2018

Every major social conflict reveals in the movement of masses of people essential political relations, testing out and evaluating the validity of political conceptions.

Thousands converge on state capitol to show support for West Virginia teachers strike

By Jerry White, 6 March 2018

Teachers, school bus drivers, and custodians from across the state converged on Charleston as the walkout of 33,000 school employees continued.

Reject the sellout deal that robs Medicaid from school children

West Virginia teachers have the right to vote on any return to work!

By Jerry White, 6 March 2018

On Tuesday morning, the West Virginia governor and the unions announced that a deal had been made to shut down the teachers’ strike.

“If you have one bad illness and go to the hospital, that wipes your income out”

West Virginia teachers demand the right to affordable healthcare

By a WSWS reporting team, 6 March 2018

The teachers’ union has sought to bury the issue of insurance funding as part of its attempt to sell out the strike.

“I think they should keep striking”

Chicago Ford workers speak out in support of West Virginia teachers

By George Marlowe and Andy Thompson, 6 March 2018

Chicago autoworkers expressed their support for the West Virginia teachers on strike and denounced the conditions they face.

420,000 Argentine teachers vote for limited strikes over wages and other demands

Workers Struggles: The Americas

6 March 2018

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

Support grows for striking West Virginia teachers as decisive week starts

By Jerry White, 5 March 2018

The strike by more than 33,000 teachers and support staff has entered its eighth day and a new and decisive stage.

West Virginia telecommunications workers continue strike, support teachers

By our reporters, 5 March 2018

The 1,400 telecom workers began their walkout as more than 33,000 teachers and public employees continued their strike across all 55 counties in the state.

Form rank-and-file committees to expand the strike!

The way forward for West Virginia teachers

By the Socialist Equality Party, 5 March 2018

The SEP urges striking teachers and school employees to go from impromptu meetings and rallies to the election of rank-and-file strike committees to mobilize the entire working class.

“Teachers from Oklahoma stand with West Virginia”

Oklahoma teachers demand strike action, funding for education

By Todd Thompson, 5 March 2018

The Oklahoma Education Association has acquiesced to years of budget cuts, and educators are now organizing independently through social media to demand action.

Form rank-and-file committees to expand the struggle

West Virginia telecommunications workers begin strike as teachers’ walkout enters second week

By Jerry White, 4 March 2018

The beginning of the Frontier Communications strike follows a calculated provocation by the state Senate, which voted Saturday night to reduce the pay offer to teachers and school employees from 5 percent to 4 percent.

“A lot of people are calling for all the workers to go out on strike”

State workers, auto workers, teachers throughout the world back West Virginia strike

By our reporters, 3 March 2018

There is growing international support for the courageous stand taken by teachers in West Virginia.

Ferguson, Missouri nursing home workers in fourth month of strike

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 March 2018

The 90 full and part time workers have been replaced by strikebreakers while the SEIU pursues an impotent appeal to the National Labor Relations Board.

All West Virginia schools closed today as teachers’ rebellion continues

By Jerry White, 2 March 2018

Teachers and school employees have courageously defied the efforts by the unions, Democrats and Republicans to end their strike.

Defiant West Virginia teachers denounce union efforts to sell out strike

By Will Morrow, 2 March 2018

WSWS reporters spoke with public school employees as 30,000 workers continued to defy the unions’ efforts to shut down the strike.

Jacobin, Socialist Alternative and the ISO hailed union deal rejected by West Virginia teachers

By Niles Niemuth, 2 March 2018

The upper-middle class organizations jumped at the opportunity to promote the unions’ efforts to end the struggle.

Mobilize the entire working class behind West Virginia teachers! Form rank-and-file committees to expand the struggle!

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 2 March 2018

Strikers must appeal to the working class—the miners, firefighters, nurses, railroad workers, warehouse workers, and telecommunications workers—not the capitalist politicians or union bureaucrats.

University of Illinois strike exposes plight of graduate students, adjuncts

By Alexander Fangmann, 2 March 2018

As the strike of UIUC graduate student workers enters a fifth day, the walkout brings to the fore many of the problems facing universities, colleges and their students.

The revolt of the West Virginia teachers

By Joseph Kishore, 2 March 2018

The rejection by West Virginia teachers of the unions’ efforts to shut down their struggle is one among many signs of growing working-class militancy in the United States.

West Virginia strike continues as teachers reject unions’ back-to-work order

By Joseph Kishore, 1 March 2018

The continuation of the strike requires the formation of independent rank-and-file committees and an urgent appeal to the entire working class to support the West Virginia teachers.

Anger mounts over sellout of West Virginia teachers’ strike

By Jerry White, 28 February 2018

Union leaders announced Tuesday evening they were shutting down the statewide strike and ordering educators back to the classrooms Thursday.

West Virginia teachers defiant as unions, governor scramble to end walkouts

By Tom Hall and Jerry White, 27 February 2018

The unions were forced by the militant mood among teachers to call a fourth day of walkouts, while an injunction against the strike could be filed as early as today.

University of Illinois graduate student workers go on strike

By Alexander Fangmann, 27 February 2018

Graduate student workers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have walked out to preserve tuition waivers and for an increase to their paltry pay and benefits.

Unprecedented shutdown of Baltimore Metro system due to hazardous track conditions

By Adam Soroka, 27 February 2018

Officials announced earlier this month the closure of the rail system for emergency repairs until March 11 after it was discovered that over a dozen track segments posed imminent derailment risks to trains.

National strike in Argentina

Workers Struggles: The Americas

27 February 2018

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

West Virginia teachers strike at the crossroads

By Jerry White, 26 February 2018

The unions and the Democratic Party are working frantically behind the scenes to contain and smother the statewide strike.

“The politicians don’t want to fund education; they’d rather fund war”

Teachers speak out on the struggle in West Virginia

By a reporting team, 26 February 2018

Educators in Michigan, New York and Arizona, as well as West Virginia, spoke to the World Socialist Web Site in support of the striking West Virginia teachers.

Walkout by West Virginia teachers to continue through Monday

By Shannon Jones, 24 February 2018

The unions announced the extension of the two-day strike on Friday evening, fearful that the anger of teachers could erupt outside of their control.

“We need an uprising of the people to put a stop to this”

West Virginia teachers call for expansion of their struggle

By Lawrence Porter, 24 February 2018

A World Socialist Web Site reporting team spoke with teachers protesting outside the state capitol in Charleston on Friday.

West Virginia teachers take a stand

By Joseph Kishore, 24 February 2018

The two-day strike by teachers in West Virginia is part of a growing wave of working-class opposition throughout the US and internationally.

West Virginia teachers carry out state-wide strike

By Jerry White, 23 February 2018

In the first teachers strike in nearly three decades, nearly 15,000 West Virginia teachers, school bus drivers and other school employees walked out Thursday.

“We are tired of waiting”

West Virginia teachers demand quality pay, health care

By our reporters, 23 February 2018

The WSWS spoke to many of those participating in a rally of thousands of teachers and their supporters in Charleston, West Virginia on Thursday

“This struggle should be spread nationally”

Two-day statewide teacher walkout planned in West Virginia

By Nancy Hanover, 21 February 2018

As teachers gear up for a two-day walkout, the unions are doubling down on legislative horse-trading focused on keeping opposition confined to the Democratic Party.

Labor Notes defends UAW amidst corruption scandal

By Shannon Jones, 20 February 2018

Breaking their silence on the United Auto Workers corruption scandal, the pseudo-left organizations have chosen a prominent supporter of the Labor Notes publication to defend the UAW.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 February 2018

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

Thousands rally to defend teachers in Charleston, West Virginia

By Niles Niemuth, 19 February 2018

This weekend’s protest is the latest expression of working-class anger over social inequality throughout the US and internationally.

“It’s time for a general strike or protest, nationwide”

West Virginia teachers denounce education cuts, social crisis

By a WSWS reporting team, 19 February 2018

Teachers and other workers described the impact of decades of attacks on wages and conditions and the need for a broad fight by the entire working class.

County-wide walkouts spread, as West Virginia teachers demand statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 17 February 2018

Teachers confront not just the intransigence of the Republican governor and lawmakers, but also the determination of the unions to channel anger behind the Democratic Party.

“There could be so many more Jacoby Hennings out there”

Autoworkers want truth about young Ford worker’s death

By a WSWS reporting team, 16 February 2018

The demand by the parents of Jacoby Hennings for the truth about the death of the young Ford worker at a Detroit area factory has resonated deeply among autoworkers.

As profits soar, US construction workers see increase in death and injury on the job

By Jessica Goldstein and Tim Rivers, 15 February 2018

In spite of revolutionary advances in the technology for tracking and preventing accidents on job sites, deaths and disabling injuries among construction workers are on the rise.

“We want to be able to afford to live”

West Virginia teachers press for statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 14 February 2018

Rank-and-file teachers are increasingly clashing with union executives who are seeking a rotten compromise with the state government.

Kimberly-Clark to lay off over 600 workers and close two plants in Wisconsin

By Christopher Davion, 13 February 2018

The announcement of the plan to close two plants in northeastern Wisconsin is part of an international restructuring which involves laying off as many as 5,500.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

13 February 2018

Union cancels walkout by St. Paul, Minnesota teachersThe United States

West Virginia teachers authorize statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 12 February 2018

Teachers throughout the state voted overwhelmingly to authorize strike action to raise wages and stop plans to increase public employees’ health care costs

West Virginia teacher speaks on social conditions, issues in strike vote

By Naomi Spencer, 12 February 2018

Beyond the derisory 1 percent wage increase, untenable social conditions and health care costs are motivating teachers to take up picket signs for the first time in three decades in West Virginia.

St. Paul, Minnesota teachers face Tuesday strike deadline

By Matt Rigel, 12 February 2018

While the school district has cried broke, federal, state and city officials have showered billions of dollars in tax cuts on the state’s Fortune 500 corporations.

Chicago public school teachers vote to approve merger with charter teachers union

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2018

The merger between the two AFT locals was rejected by nearly one-third of those who voted, based on the Chicago Teachers Union’s complicity with Mayor Emanuel’s school privatization efforts.

Three thousand Pittsburgh schoolworkers vote on strike

By Samuel Davidson, 10 February 2018

The Pittsburgh Public Schools workers are frustrated over massive budget cuts and years without a new contract.

UAW contracts must be declared null and void

By Jerry White, 7 February 2018

The corruption revealed in the unfolding scandal is not an aberration, but expresses the very essence of the UAW.

“They chew you up and spit you out”

Ford workers in Chicago speak out on UAW corruption

By our reporters, 6 February 2018

Workers at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant reacted to the continuing revelations in the UAW corruption scandal and denounced abuses by the union and management.

“The 1 percent raise is a slap in the face.”

After one-day strike, West Virginia teachers face battle over wages and medical benefits

By Phyllis Steele and Jerry White, 6 February 2018

Teachers and state employees are in a fight against both big business parties that have starved public education of resources for decades.

British Columbia Safeway workers locked out

Workers Struggles: The Americas

6 February 2018

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

Evidence that Norwood Jewell was bribed to sign 2015 UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal

By Jerry White, 5 February 2018

Fiat Chrysler threw a lavish party for Jewell, two months after the top administrative body of the UAW tagged him to lead negotiations with the automaker.

West Virginia teachers hold one-day strikes and statewide protests

By Nancy Hanover, 3 February 2018

West Virginia teachers have not had a raise since 2014, and are presently ranked 48th in the nation in average salary.

Another $6 billion for Bezos overnight

Amazon reports record profit in final quarter of 2017

By Will Morrow, 3 February 2018

Amazon’s profits are the outcome of the brutal exploitation of the company’s global workforce of over 550,000 people.

To reduce costs Texas officials slash special education enrollment

By Todd Thompson, 3 February 2018

Texas deliberately set about to deny access to special education services, in knowing contravention of federal rules.

Workers discuss UAW corruption scandal at WSWS Autoworker Newsletter call-in meeting

By our reporters, 2 February 2018

Autoworkers discussed the significance of the scandal and the Autoworker Newsletter’s call for the formation of rank-and-file committees, independent of the United Auto Workers union.

Seattle schoolbus drivers walk out in indefinite strike

By Hector Cordon, 2 February 2018

After a one-day strike in November failed to yield an improved contract offer, schoolbus drivers walked off the job Thursday in what is being billed as an indefinite strike.

Workers demand nullification of contracts

Anger mounts as UAW VP for Fiat Chrysler is implicated in corruption scandal

By Shannon Jones, 1 February 2018

Former Fiat Chrysler chief negotiator Iacobelli named Jewell’s charity as the recipient of “prohibited payments” siphoned through the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center.

Funerals begin for five Oklahoma workers killed in gas well explosion

By Trévon Austin, 1 February 2018

The rig explosion was the deadliest in the oil and gas industry since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

Fiat Chrysler workers file class action against UAW demanding return of union dues

By Jerry White, 31 January 2018

A legal complaint by three autoworkers charges the union with colluding to destroy wages and rights, and defrauding workers of hundreds of millions of dollars in union dues.

Harley-Davidson to close Kansas City plant, lay off 800

By Marcus Day, 31 January 2018

The mass layoffs at the motorcycle manufacturer are part of a growing wave of job losses, belying Trump’s claims of strength in the US economy.

“Everybody wants to walk at our plant”

US autoworkers want to overturn contracts UAW signed after corporate bribes

By Jerry White, 30 January 2018

In some plants autoworkers have discussed walking out on strike, insisting the contracts signed by corrupt UAW officials are null and void.

Questions remain one month after death of auto parts worker in Western Michigan

By David Rodriguez, 30 January 2018

56-year-old Scott Teusink died last month after he was hit by a massive steel coil at Challenge Manufacturing in the city of Holland, Michigan.

Halifax shipyard workers stage wildcat walkout

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 January 2018

Hundreds of Halifax shipbuilding workers walked off the job January 25 to protest irregularities in their paychecks, defying union officials who insisted they stay on the job during ongoing contract negotiations.

Contracts signed by corrupt UAW should be nullified: A reply to Dennis Williams

By Jerry White, 29 January 2018

Why should autoworkers accept the terms of a labor agreement signed by union officials on the payroll of the auto corporations?

US autoworkers express outrage over latest revelations of UAW bribery

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 January 2018

Autoworkers reacted angrily to the admission by former Fiat Chrysler negotiator Alphons Iacobelli that he paid $1.5 million to UAW officials to influence contract negotiations.

In plea deal with prosecutors

Former Fiat Chrysler negotiator says FCA bribed the UAW to secure passage of 2009, 2015 contracts

By Shannon Jones, 25 January 2018

According to a court filing Alphons Iacobelli paid $1.5 million to top UAW officials between 2009 and 2015 for the express purpose of influencing contract negotiations.