Workers Issues in the US

FCA announces temporary shutdown of Belvidere Assembly plant near Chicago

By Jacob Crosse, 28 January 2020

The decision to idle the plant for the third time in six months raises questions about the future of the facility, including the possibility of its closure

As strike struggles surge, US unions record lowest ever membership rate

By Shannon Jones, 25 January 2020

The highest unionization rate is in “protective services” (33.8 percent), including police, prison guards and border patrol agents, whose function is to suppress the working class.

SEIU reaches tentative agreement at Cleveland Public Library in attempt to avert strike

By Isaac Finn, 25 January 2020

The agreement was reached two days after the SEIU issued a 10-day strike notice announcing that they planned a walkout at noon on February 4.

Norwood Jewell begins 15-month sentence in minimum-security prison for role in UAW bribery scheme

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 January 2020

Norwood Jewell will spend 15 months in a cottage in a minimum security prison nicknamed “the University.”

Ford planning temporary layoffs at Chicago Stamping Plant

By Marcus Day, 23 January 2020

The layoffs further discredit the UAW’s hollow promises of a “pathway” to full-time employment for temporary workers.

Kentucky miners blockading coal shipments win backpay

By Douglas Lyons, 22 January 2020

The miners had not been paid since December 27 and were owed between $2,000 and $3,000 each.

Drastic cuts to Rochester, New York schools

By Steve Filips, 20 January 2020

Ninety-five teachers have been laid off and 150 displaced in the Rochester City School District, due to massive over-spending, provoking immense anger among students, parents and staff.

New UAW Ford director part of union’s narrow inner circle

By Shannon Jones, 18 January 2020

The appointment of UAW Region 1D director Gerald Kariem to head the union’s Ford department elevates another long-time bureaucrat into the top leadership.

Snowplow operators in northeastern Minnesota begin strike over benefits

By Anthony Bertolt, 18 January 2020

The county government’s proposal would slash sick leave by nearly half for new hires and create a two-tiered benefit system dividing young and old workers.

Delta workers poisoned by toxic work uniforms file class action lawsuit

By Tom Carter, 17 January 2020

“I am confident that these uniforms are affecting many thousands of people,” lead attorney Bruce A. Maxwell told the World Socialist Web Site.

Mass abstention as union pushes through New York City transit contract

By Alan Whyte, 16 January 2020

The vast majority of New York City transit workers boycotted a vote on a concessions contact backed by the Transport Workers Union.

Northern Virginia transit union officials announce tentative deal with private bus contractor to end bus drivers’ strike

By Nick Barrickman, 16 January 2020

The Amalgamated Transit Union's information blackout and its rush to force a vote are clear indications that the agreed-upon deal is a sellout.

Workers at Cleveland Public Library cast near-unanimous vote to authorize strike action

By Isaac Finn, 15 January 2020

The vote took place only a few days after the previous three-year contract negotiated between the SEIU and CPL administration expired on December 31.

Working through injuries, bomb threats and tornadoes: Amazon workers describe conditions at Spartanburg, South Carolina warehouse

By Tom Carter, 13 January 2020

According to OSHA, there were 57 injuries last year at the GSP1 facility—but Amazon workers suspect the real number is higher.

Strikebreaking operation directed at workers in plant near Pittsburgh

By Samual Davidson, 13 January 2020

Management at a metal fabricating plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have begun hiring scabs to replace 90 members of the United Auto Workers, on strike since September.

GM layoff of 240 temps exposes UAW’s bogus “pathway” to full-time positions

By Tom Hall, 13 January 2020

This move reveals the pattern for the future: a small trickle of temps hired in, with the rest strung out on a nearly unattainable “pathway” before being disposed of.

Rank-and-file teachers in San Diego County initiate fight against layoffs and school cuts

By Evelyn Rios, 13 January 2020

After union-sanctioned mass layoffs, San Diego area teachers call for rank-and-file committees in every school to mobilize students, parents and workers to defend hundreds of educators' jobs.

Washington, D.C., political establishment blocks minimum wage increase for city’s tipped workers

By Douglas Lyons and Nick Barrickman, 13 January 2020

Analysis of the past two District election cycles found that restaurant industry lobbyists contributed more than $236,000 in total to the campaigns of the Democratic mayor as well as multiple city council members.

Mack Trucks to layoff 305 workers at Allentown, Pennsylvania factory

By Steve Filips, 11 January 2020

The announcement comes only months after the UAW’s betrayal of the Mack Truck strike last year.

Corruption investigation targets newly installed UAW president Rory Gamble

By Shannon Jones, 10 January 2020

According to press reports Gamble and Settles may be linked to bribes paid by businessman Jason Gordon in exchange for the award of contracts for merchandise.

GM workers in Mexico thank Australian workers for support

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 10 January 2020

Amid the looming threat of war after the US killing of Iranian General Suleimani, the statement calls workers to fight against war and the environmental destruction that triggered Australia’s bushfires.

Florida teachers to rally January 13 against attacks on public education

By Matthew MacEgan and Nancy Hanover, 10 January 2020

Next Monday, thousands of angry educators will descend upon Florida’s state capitol, Tallahassee, to protest the conditions of the state’s public education system.

French oil refinery workers join strikes; nurses walk out in Northern Ireland

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

10 January 2020

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

Another Kentucky coal company refuses to pay miners

By Samuel Davidson, 9 January 2020

Following the pattern of Blackjewel, Perry County Coal Company has refused to give miners their final paycheck and money for unused vacation days.

Montreal Airport refuelers on strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

7 January 2020

Workers in charge of refueling jets, employees of Swissport, have been on strike since December 31 over pay after overwhelmingly rejecting a management offer.

Two workers die in Texas while cleaning chemical tank

By Dan Conway, 6 January 2020

Shawn Jarmail Brown and Sidarieub Lozano died after becoming overwhelmed by fumes as they cleaned out a truck-mounted chemical tank at a facility near Houston, Texas, on December 28.

UAW capitulates to Harvard, shuts down grad student strike

By Kate Randall, 4 January 2020

The shutdown of the strike is a complete capitulation by the UAW, which exploited the genuine anger of graduate student workers over their exploitation by Harvard in a nearly month-long stunt that achieved virtually nothing.

Two-day national postal workers strike in Mexico

Workers Struggles: the Americas

31 December 2019

Mexican postal workers are protesting the failure of management to live up to previous wage agreements as well as deteriorating working conditions.

“They treat us like cavemen. They don’t care if we live or die.”

Striking Arizona copper miners determined to continue fight

By Evan Blake and Jerry White, 30 December 2019

On strike for 11 weeks against Asarco LLC, the miners have shown great determination in the face of a virtual blackout by the mainstream media and pro-corporate unions.

San Diego teachers notified of looming pink slips and layoffs

By Evelyn Rios, 28 December 2019

Amidst the continued cuts by the Sweetwater Union High School District, teachers are beginning to speak out in defense of their jobs and the future of education.

Industrial carnage in US: 5,250 workers killed on the job in 2018

By Steve Filips, 27 December 2019

Fatal on-the-job injuries in the US increased by 2 percent in 2018, according to this year’s report by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

DC Transit Authority and union approve public workers’ contract, isolating striking private transit workers

By Nick Barrickman, 27 December 2019

Despite the contract’s promise to end privatization at the transit authority, it does nothing to end the attacks on metro workers.

Explosion at Illinois silicone manufacturing facility entirely preventable

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 December 2019

The findings of the Chemical Safety Hazard Investigation Board report demonstrate that AB Specialty Silicones is responsible for the deaths by willful negligence.

Five-day strike of Kaiser Permanente mental health workers ends

By Kevin Martinez and Evelyn Rios, 23 December 2019

As planned by the union, the strike ended with no new contract proposal.

Boston transit: “Safety is not the priority” at the MBTA, panel finds

By Andrew Timon, 23 December 2019

Only a parasitic mechanism that subordinates public need to profit could bring the MBTA to the point of trains literally falling apart and off the tracks.

Over 1,500 steelworkers to lose their jobs as US Steel announces idling of Great Lakes Works outside of Detroit

By Jessica Goldstein, 21 December 2019

The attack on steel industry jobs is part of a worldwide assault on manufacturing jobs and wages as corporations seek to restructure in advance of a looming recession.

At what human cost?

Amazon Logistics set to surpass delivery volume of FedEx, UPS by 2022

By Kayla Costa, 21 December 2019

The advanced techniques of workplace exploitation along with low wages and breakneck conditions that have made Amazon notorious are being set as the standard for the entire logistics industry.

Asarco copper miner strike in Arizona and Texas in danger

By Jerry White, 20 December 2019

As the strike by nearly 2,000 copper miners enters the third month everything depends on workers breaking the isolation of the struggle by the United Steelworkers and other unions.

Amalgamated Transit Union forces 130 striking Northern Virginia Transit Workers back to work without an agreement

By Harvey Simpkins, 20 December 2019

The 130 Transdev workers have been sent back to work after two months on the picket line without any agreement on key outstanding issues including wages, vacations, sick leave or retirement.

Workplace violence a major problem for US nurses

By Alex Johnson, 20 December 2019

A major cause of the increase in violence is the lack of mental health resources and treatment for a large section of the population.

Fiat Chrysler merger with PSA signals new attacks on autoworkers’ jobs and conditions

By Jerry White, 19 December 2019

The $47 billion deal will create the world’s fourth largest automaker by sales, trailing only Volkswagen Group, Toyota Motor and the Renault-Nissan alliance.

UC Santa Cruz graduate students wildcat strike enters critical phase

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 18 December 2019

The students, whose demand is a “Cost of Living Adjustment” to their wages as Graduate Teaching Assistants, are withholding submitting the final grades for Fall quarter.

California: Kaiser Permanente health care workers speak from the picket line

By our reporters, 18 December 2019

Kaiser Permanente workers spoke to WSWS reporters about the horrific conditions in its mental health care system.

Vote “No” on the TWU sellout contract!

Form rank-and-file committees to defend New York City transit workers!

By WSWS Transit Worker Newsletter, 18 December 2019

To defend jobs and living standards, transit workers must build new organizations of struggle to oppose the gang-up of the MTA, the Cuomo administration and the TWU.

Volvo Trucks to lay off 700 at New River Valley plant

By Ed Hightower, 17 December 2019

UAW local 2069 still has not made so much as a single Facebook post acknowledging the announced layoffs.

John Deere to lay off 57 workers at Davenport, Iowa, assembly plant

By George Gallanis, 17 December 2019

The newly announced layoffs come after Deere cut 163 workers in October and revealed last month plans to lay off more workers through a “voluntary separation program.” Despite this, the United Auto Workers has idly stood by, giving Deere the greenlight to continue its layoffs unabated.

“I don’t believe this stuff about ‘intrinsic differences’ between people”

Workers respond to New York Times’ 1619 Project’s claim of an unbridgeable racial divide in US

By our reporters, 17 December 2019

In contrast to the Times’ dystopian portrayal of American society as riven by different races with unbridgeable differences, workers who spoke to the World Socialist Web Site expressed a broad striving for unity.

Ontario Teachers plan third one-day strike; Mexican housing agency workers strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

17 December 2019

High school teachers across the Canadian province of Ontario are planning another partial strike December 18 while workers at Institute of the National Housing Fund for Workers in Mexico City have carried out a one-day strike.

“We are all working people. We should be fighting together”

Detroit autoworkers voice support for victimized Mexican GM workers

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter reporters, 16 December 2019

Campaigners for the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter went to auto plants in Southeast Michigan this weekend to distribute material explaining the case of the victimized Mexican autoworkers known as the Silao Seven and appeal for support on their behalf.

Feds subpoena security camera footage and visitor logs in investigation of July fire at Detroit UAW headquarters

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 December 2019

The details of the subpoena were revealed just two weeks after US Attorney Matthew Schneider said government oversight of the UAW was a “definite possibility” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

US trucking firm Celadon goes bankrupt leaving thousands of drivers stranded

By Steve Filips, 13 December 2019

The major logistics company closed without warning, leaving thousands of drivers stranded across the country and without jobs just before the holidays.

Mass abstention as UAW forces through Fiat Chrysler contract

By Tom Hall, 12 December 2019

Fiat Chrysler workers were in no mood to be strung out and isolated on the picket line, as GM workers were two months ago, forced to subsist on $275 per week in strike pay during the Christmas holidays.

“The union bosses tell us they are fighting for us while they sell us out”

New York City transit workers denounce union-backed tentative agreement

By Alan Whyte, 12 December 2019

The newly published Memorandum of Agreement between the TWU and the MTA seeks to incorporate the union into management, increase the transit agency’s exploitation of workers and financially reward the union bureaucracy.

Holiday shipping season begins with deaths of two UPS workers at California airport

By Steve Filips, 12 December 2019

As the holiday shipping season began, two young UPS workers were killed late last month when the cargo tugging vehicle they were riding overturned at the Ontario International Airport in California.

Union moves to end Washington DC-area transit strike, agrees to cost-cutting deal

By Nick Barrickman, 11 December 2019

The Amalgamated Transit Union’s deal with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority leaves open the possibility of low pay and attacks working conditions.

California graduate students on wildcat strike

By Evelyn Rios, 11 December 2019

Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz are demanding raises to meet the cost of living in one of the country's most expensive regions.

“All you have given us is a slap in the face”

Fiat Chrysler autoworkers denounce UAW sellout at informational meetings

By Tim Rivers and K. Nahsir, 9 December 2019

The United Auto Workers is attempting to pull a fast one on autoworkers by moving to ram through the thousand-page contract less than a week before voting began.

Wisconsin Democrats double down on Foxconn con job

By Jacob Crosse, 9 December 2019

Despite campaigning in 2018 against the largest state subsidy in US history, Governor Tony Evers has bent over backwards to accommodate the multibillion dollar company at the expense of the working class.

Worker injured in New Orleans hotel collapse deported by ICE

By Aaron Murch, 9 December 2019

Delmer Joel Ramirez Palma had been called a “crucial witness” to the mismanagement that caused the collapse which killed three workers in October.

New York transit union offers massive concessions to block strike

By Alan Whyte and Daniel de Vries, 9 December 2019

The tentative agreement agreed by the union seeks to stifle any movement by New York’s subway and bus workers against the demands of the Democratic Party for major cuts.

United Teachers Los Angeles and National Nurses Union back Democratic candidate

Union sellouts endorse the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign

By Dan Conway and Matt Rigel, 7 December 2019

The United Teachers Los Angeles and the National Nurses Union have both endorsed Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

GM sends termination notices to 48 TPT workers in Indiana less than two months after UAW signs concessions contract

By Jessica Goldstein, 7 December 2019

The contract makes clear that the so-called “pathway” to regular employment in the contract highlights touted by the UAW is a fraud.

Harvard University retaliates against striking graduate students

By Kate Randall, 7 December 2019

Several academic departments have informed graduate student teaching staff that they are responsible for reporting whether they are working, and that those who are striking should not expect to be paid.

Northern Virginia transit worker strike spreads as 600 Fairfax Connector workers join 130 Metrobus workers on strike against Transdev

By Harvey Simpkins, 7 December 2019

The ATU is seeking to limit the Fairfax Connector strike as much as possible, stating that the strike is over “unfair labor practices” and “bad faith bargaining” committed by the Company. It has offered no official demands.

Vote “no” on the FCA contract! Form rank and file committees to oppose UAW sellout!

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 7 December 2019

The United Auto Workers is seeking to ram through a sellout contract at Fiat Chrysler which will lay the basis for the expanded use of temporary workers, further attacks on health care and integrate the union even more closely with corporate management.

UAW sanctions “perma-temps” in Fiat-Chrysler tentative agreement

By Tom Hall, 5 December 2019

The deal reached with FCA does not even include the fig leaf “pathway” for temporary workers to regular employment found in the GM and Ford contracts.

Harvard University graduate student union begins strike over pay, conditions

By Kate Randall, 4 December 2019

The HGSU-UAW has made only token appeals to other sections of workers at Harvard to support the grad student workers’ strike and has offered substantial concessions to the university on virtually all issues.

Fiat Chrysler workers face off against the UAW, an “FCA-controlled enterprise”

By Jerry White, 4 December 2019

The concessions forced on GM and Ford workers were imposed by the United Auto Workers, which a lawsuit by GM describes as an organization that was “acquired” by Fiat Chrysler.

On eve of FCA contract votes, US Attorney says federal takeover of UAW still possible

By Shannon Jones, 3 December 2019

In a rare interview with the Detroit News, US Attorney Matthew Schneider, who is leading the investigation into UAW corruption, said a federal takeover of the union “shouldn’t be taken off the table.”

Harvard University grad students set to strike over pay, grievance procedures, healthcare

By Kate Randall, 3 December 2019

Harvard officials’ hard line in relation to collective bargaining on grad students’ pay is in line with a recent NLRB proposal that would curb the establishment of graduate student unions at private universities.

Anger mounts among FCA workers as UAW prepares to ram through sellout deal

By Jerry White, 2 December 2019

The UAW plans to get local officials to rubber stamp the deal on Wednesday and start ratification votes by the end of the week.

Explosions at Texas petrochemical plant force over 40,000 to evacuate their homes

By Jacob Crosse, 30 November 2019

The Port Neches plant, owned by the Houston-based Texas Petroleum Chemical Group, has been out of compliance for years and fined multiple times by the Environmental Protection Agency.

John Deere demands further job cuts through “voluntary separation program”

By George Gallanis, 30 November 2019

The “voluntary separation program” was announced just prior to Deere’s posting of lower net income during its fourth quarterly earnings call.

Brookings Institution study finds a staggering 44 percent of US workers earn low wages

By Jessica Goldstein, 29 November 2019

The study’s finding that 44 percent of the US workforce earn low wages paints a devastating picture of the realities of capitalism and working class life in the world’s wealthiest country.

Some production resumes as US copper miners’ strike drags on

By Samuel Davidson, 29 November 2019

The USW, which leads the nine different unions that represent workers in the mines, has downplayed the company’s efforts to break the strike.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union endorses ex-Hoffa lieutenant for union president

By Steve Filips and Tom Hall, 28 November 2019

TDU’s 180-degree turn behind the thuggish Sean O’Brien exposes the critical role it plays in propping up the authority the Teamsters bureaucracy.

Co-workers say Detroit Fiat Chrysler worker died after being told to pay $800 for ambulance ride to hospital

By Shannon Jones, 27 November 2019

The young autoworker suffering chest pains died after being forced to drive himself to the hospital because management said he would have to pay $828 for a ride in an EMS vehicle.

Job actions by New York City transit workers

By Alan Whyte, 27 November 2019

The union organized the slowdown because it fears it will be unable to impose the demands of the Democratic Party-run transit agency without provoking a rebellion by workers.

Democratic Party calls on Washington Metro Transit Authority to intervene against striking transit workers

By Nick Barrickman, 26 November 2019

A letter by three local congresspeople to Metro executives called on the transit authority to reopen the closed routes and to “take a more proactive role” in the dispute between Transdev and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689.

Union reaches deal with University of Chicago, creating two-tier system for nurses

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 November 2019

Nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center will vote tomorrow on the new contract, which will drive a chasm between higher-paid veteran nurses and all new hires.

GM bribery lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler fueling growing outrage among autoworkers over UAW corruption

By Tom Hall, 23 November 2019

The lawsuit is part of a ruthless struggle over market share in the auto industry, under conditions of an accelerating global downturn and an escalation of the attack on autoworkers.

“We want back all the money that was taken from us”

Fiat Chrysler workers react as further corruption allegations rock UAW in midst of contract talks

By Shannon Jones, 22 November 2019

The explosive allegations contained in the pending General Motors lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, detailing the company’s buying of the UAW leadership, have further enraged FCA workers facing a new contract battle

UAW President Gary Jones resigns as GM lawsuit charges that UAW is a “controlled enterprise” of Fiat Chrysler

By Jerry White, 21 November 2019

Jones’ resignation came after the UAW International Executive Board, in an act of damage control, took measures to remove and expel him.

More than 15,000 Indiana teachers walk off job against low wages and attacks on public education

By George Marlowe, 20 November 2019

Indiana teachers confront conditions no less horrendous than their counterparts throughout the United States and internationally.

UAW continues blackout on Fiat Chrysler negotiations as media talks of possible strike

By Shannon Jones, 20 November 2019

The United Auto Workers has been silent on the progress of negotiations with Fiat Chrysler amid indications the company will not agree to terms of the Ford and General Motors agreements.

US Steel job cuts continue as it lays off workers in Indiana

By Jessica Goldstein, 19 November 2019

The recently announced layoffs are further proof that trade war measures are ultimately aimed against the working class around the world.

Protests as Trump labor board moves to restrict grad student unions

By Michael Walters, 19 November 2019

The Trump-appointed National Labor Relations Board proposed a rule that would deny the right of graduate students to organize.

Strike looms at Canadian National Railway

Workers Struggles: The Americas

19 November 2019

Some 3,000 conductors, trainspersons and yard workers were poised to strike Tuesday as contract talks between the Teamsters and Canadian National Railway reached an impasse over the weekend.

United Auto Workers declares sellout Ford contract ratified amidst widespread opposition

By Tom Hall, 16 November 2019

The vote, in which more workers voted “no” or abstained than voted in favor, is a declaration of no confidence in the UAW.

Strike against Asarco copper enters second month

By Samuel Davidson, 16 November 2019

The strike by 2,000 copper miners in Arizona and Texas against massive concessions demands has entered its second month, while the United Steelworkers seeks to isolate and betray the strike.

“We’re all in the same boat all over the world, fighting these greedy billionaires”

Michigan Ford engine plant workers denounce UAW sellout, plant closure

By a WSWS reporting team, 15 November 2019

Workers at Ford’s Romeo Engine plant were livid over the union sanctioning the shutdown of the factory

Acting UAW chief unveils bogus “anti-corruption” reforms

By Tom Hall, 15 November 2019

The measures amount to window dressing, implemented by the members of the same criminal bureaucracy.

Ford workers complain of extreme temperatures in Chicago plants amid record-setting freeze

By a WSWS reporting team, 15 November 2019

Workers at Chicago Ford Assembly Plant in Chicago and Chicago Ford Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, Illinois complained of extreme variations of the temperature in the plants earlier this week as record low temperatures swept across the Midwestern US.

Record low numbers participate in 24-hour stunt strike at University of California schools and health system

By Evelyn Rios, 15 November 2019

The dismal participation in the strike—with only 2 percent of the 25,000 workers taking part—is not a reflection of any lack of desire to fight, but of a vote of no confidence in the union.

Little Rock, Arkansas teachers stage one-day strike

By Nancy Hanover, 15 November 2019

In their first strike in 32 years, teachers in Little Rock, Arkansas, walked out to oppose privatization.

Ford workers describe UAW’s intimidation tactics to pass Ford contract

By Tom Hall, 14 November 2019

Although the UAW and corporate media are gloating over the prospect of getting the new Ford contract ratified, 42 percent of the workers have voted “No” and thousands more are boycotting the vote out of disgust with the UAW.

Union-backed Chicago Sun-Times attacks Chicago teachers

By Michael Walters and George Gallanis, 14 November 2019

The Sun-Times, co-owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor, published several articles smearing and attacking Chicago teachers for fighting for improved schools and wages.

University of California union attempts to wear down workers with a sixth 24-hour strike

By Evelyn Rios, 13 November 2019

The real concern of the union is the amount of dues revenue that will be lost if UC continues to employ outsourced labor.

Ford Kentucky Truck workers speak out against contract: “The people on the floor don’t trust the UAW”

By Marcus Day and Tim Rivers, 12 November 2019

The UAW has scheduled the contract vote at the biggest Ford local at the very end, fearful that a large “no” vote would catalyze opposition.

As contract vote approaches, DSA defends sellout by Chicago Teachers Union

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 12 November 2019

DSA is seeking to block political discussion and opposition to the Chicago Teachers Union contract that meets none of the teachers’ central demands.