Workers Issues in the US

Job losses mount in US steel and aluminum industries

Arcelormittal announces $8 billion loss

By Samuel Davidson, 8 February 2016

Manufacturers have posted record losses amid a massive fall in prices and continuing slump in domestic and world demand.

Detroit and Chicago teachers fight to defend public education

By Jerry White, 8 February 2016

The struggle to defend the right to education poses political questions that are critical for the entire working class.

Politicians, unions use the “carrot and stick” to try to derail Detroit Public Schools struggle

By Nancy Hanover, 6 February 2016

As Emergency Manager Darnell Earley resigns, union officials and Michigan politicians are working overtime to try to derail the struggle of Detroit teachers.

GM skilled trades worker killed at Defiance, Ohio factory

By Shannon Jones, 4 February 2016

50-year-old Terry Bodenbender, father of two, was working on an overhead crane when he plunged to his death Tuesday afternoon.

Uber cuts protested by New York City drivers

By Steve Light and Isaac Finn, 2 February 2016

With support from taxi drivers, Uber drivers in New York City protested rate cuts by the international company, which will reduce already meager incomes even further.

Steelworkers union begins counting ballots in sellout contract at US Steel

By Evan Winters, 30 January 2016

The contract being rammed through with no discussion by the USW reportedly includes a three-year wage freeze, no signing bonus and the elimination of retiree health care for new-hires.

Longshoremen walk out at New York/New Jersey Port

By Daniel de Vries, 30 January 2016

Hours after the job action began, the International Longshoremen’s Association moved to shut down the strike, telling workers on Friday evening to return to work.

”Democracy is being taken away in Michigan”

As Detroit teachers head to court, politicians plot further attacks

By Nancy Hanover, 25 January 2016

Teachers face a hearing Monday as the Detroit Public Schools seeks an injunction against sickouts and legislators ramp up efforts to ban opposition to the destruction of public education.

Misery compounds as mass layoffs continue in West Virginia

By Naomi Spencer, 23 January 2016

Each week brings announcements of hundreds of layoffs in coal, rail or other industries across the state.

Job cuts mount as global economy falters

By Gabriel Black, 22 January 2016

The cascade of job cuts comes as prominent figures attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland predict a grim future for the world economy.

Port of Oakland in California to close major terminal

By David Brown, 21 January 2016

The decision of the largest terminal operator to leave the Port of Oakland is a harbinger of a crisis in the shipping industry and worsening conditions for port workers.

“We are all in this together. This is class warfare”

Video: Detroit teachers speak out in protests during Obama visit

By Jerry White and Buster Haycook, 21 January 2016

Hundreds of teachers shut down the school system in a “sick out” protest Wednesday against decaying buildings, overcrowded classrooms and years of pay and benefit cuts.

Union officials work with Obama administration to crush Detroit teacher protests

By Jerry White, 19 January 2016

The Detroit Federation of Teachers sent out a letter to educators urging them to stop their protests and place their faith in city officials and President Obama.

Detroit teachers and the political struggle for public education

By Jerry White, 15 January 2016

Rank-and-file teachers have taken their own initiative and acted independently of every faction of the Detroit Federation of Teachers and political establishment in Detroit and Lansing.

The Detroit teachers’ fight to defend public education

By Jerry White, 13 January 2016

It is no accident that social opposition is taking the form of a rebellion against the trade unions, which have long served as industrial police for the corporations and government.

“For too long we looked to the union… now we have to do it ourselves”

Teacher sickouts shut two-thirds of Detroit schools

By Jerry White, 12 January 2016

The struggle has erupted outside of the control of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, which has a long and sordid history of collaborating with state and local officials.

Worker killed in Ohio Honda plant

By David Brown, 8 January 2016

The contract worker died as Honda draws large profits and continues to recall defective airbags responsible for nine deaths.

190 Muslim workers fired from Colorado meatpacking plant

By Tom Hall, 7 January 2016

The workers, mostly Somali refugees, walked off the job last month in protest after management at the Cargill plant refused to allow them prayer time at sundown.

Freightliner announces nearly 1,000 layoffs at North Carolina plant

By Jerry White, 6 January 2016

The layoff announcement follows similar job cuts and UAW-sanctioned attacks on workers at Volvo, Navistar and other truck manufacturers in the US.

UAW local publishes blacklist of workers who opt out of dues payment

By Eric London, 5 January 2016

The anti-democratic move by Local 412 in suburban Detroit is aimed at victimizing workers who criticize the UAW’s collusion with corporate management.

Analyst says US auto contracts will not increase labor costs

By Shannon Jones, 31 December 2015

Despite claims by the UAW that the agreements were among the richest in history, the overall labor costs at the Detroit automakers will remain essentially unchanged.

Dictatorship conditions at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant: Part Two

With UAW complicity, Ford fires workers for voicing opposition

By Eric London, 30 December 2015

A local UAW official confirmed that at least a dozen workers have been fired from the Kansas City plant for comments posted on Facebook, and the union has done nothing.

Dictatorship conditions at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant: Part One

Autoworker crushed to death in conveyer belt catastrophe

By Eric London, 29 December 2015

The deceased worker leaves behind a wife and small children. Meanwhile, Ford keeps hush, the UAW blames workers and the government said it will not investigate the workplace tragedy.

Illinois coal miner killed on the job

By Naomi Spencer, 23 December 2015

The death of Tyler D. Rath is the third fatal accident at the Foresight Energy mine in Macedonia, Illinois in as many years.

Nexteer workers denounce UAW after ratification of sellout deal

By our reporters, 22 December 2015

Just days after the UAW pushed through a new five-year agreement, workers at the former GM steering complex spoke out against the union-management conspiracy to push through the deal.

Chicago area Coca-Cola workers enter fourth week of strike, face isolation by Teamsters

By George Gallanis, 22 December 2015

The Teamsters union, which represents 15,000 Coca-Cola workers, is isolating the 319 striking workers in order to block a wider fight.

United Steelworkers announces deal with US Steel

By Jerry White, 21 December 2015

The USW has reached a deal for a new three-year contract with US Steel that will accelerate the attack on 18,000 workers at the largest steel company in the United States.

After the Big Three contracts

Auto companies cheat retirees while posting record sales

By Eric London, 21 December 2015

As auto sales hit new records, an autoworker at GM’s Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Indiana explained how workers are being cheated of their signing bonuses.

“They want this contract shoved down our throats”

UAW claims ratification of Nexteer sellout as lies exposed

By Shannon Jones, 19 December 2015

Broad sections of Nexteer workers remain opposed to the latest sellout in the face of UAW-company threats, lies and intimidation.

After isolating locked-out ATI workers

Steelworkers union prepares to push through concessions contract at US Steel

By Samuel Davidson, 19 December 2015

The United Steelworkers union is moving to impose a concessions contract on workers at US.

Montreal suspends 2,400 workers for participating in an “illegal” meeting

By Laurent Lafrance, 19 December 2015

Montreal’s mayor is accusing workers of “bullying” while his administration is attacking wages, pensions and benefits won through generations of struggle.

Widespread opposition as voting begins on second UAW-Nexteer deal

By Jerry White, 18 December 2015

Auto parts workers at the former GM complex in Saginaw, Michigan expressed their opposition to the UAW-backed sellout when they came to vote on Thursday.

UAW shuts down Kohler strike, rams through contract in snap vote

By Shannon Jones, 17 December 2015

Throughout the month-long strike, the United Auto Workers isolated the Kohler workers and strung them out on $200 a week in strike benefits.

Vote “No” on UAW-Nexteer sellout deal!

Build factory committees to mobilize all autoworkers in a common struggle

By Jerry White, 17 December 2015

The new deal is not a “contract” in any real sense but a slave’s charter, with the UAW imposing management’s demands for poverty wages and a dictatorship on the shop floor.

Nexteer workers challenge UAW officials at contract information meetings

By Jerry White, 16 December 2015

Workers grilled UAW officials with angry questions Tuesday, amidst widespread opposition to a second sellout deal at the former GM steering complex in Saginaw, Michigan.

Volvo truck plant lays off 734 workers ahead of contract deadline

By Ed Hightower, 16 December 2015

The layoffs are a familiar tactic designed to wear down workers so they will accept a sellout contract.

After the contract at Fiat Chrysler: UAW and company cheat workers of pay

By Eric London, 16 December 2015

The World Socialist Web Site recently spoke with workers at the Toledo North Assembly Plant in Ohio who said anger is widespread over the impact of the new contract.

Boston “ghost train” incident exposes decay of public infrastructure

By John Marion, 15 December 2015

While human error was responsible for the incident, the old and decrepit equipment of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority played a significant role.

“Everyone’s eyes are opening up now that they are reading the contract”

Nexteer workers express anger and opposition to new contract deal

By Shannon Jones, 15 December 2015

The United Auto Workers is holding so-called information meetings, starting today, with Saginaw, Michigan workers voting on the second deal Thursday and Friday.

Chicago teachers vote to authorize strike action

By Kristina Betinis, 15 December 2015

While teachers have repeatedly demonstrated their determination to fight, the Chicago Teachers Union is opposed to any struggle against the Democratic Party.

UAW official pushing Nexteer sellout lashes out at Autoworker Newsletter

By Jerry White, 15 December 2015

Facing a rebellion over efforts to push through another rotten contract, a UAW International executive took to Facebook to denounce autoworkers and the WSWS.

As details of new tentative agreement emerge

Workers oppose UAW-Nexteer divide-and-conquer tactics

By Eric London, 12 December 2015

The UAW is working with Nexteer to trick workers into voting for a sellout deal that will ensure high corporate profits at the workers’ expense.

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts takes aim at guards’ jobs and working conditions

By Kate Randall, 12 December 2015

MFA management wants to implement a more “militarized” approach to museum security, utilizing ceiling-mounted cameras and video surveillance at the expense of personnel.

Nexteer victimizes dozens of workers as UAW prepares new sellout

By Eric London, 11 December 2015

Nexteer management has fired up to 30 workers at its Saginaw, Michigan complex in a move to break the resistance of the rank and file to a new UAW-backed concessions deal.

Celebrating the sellout: UAW sends negotiators on paid vacation at exclusive Miami resort

By Eric London, 11 December 2015

The day after ramming through the sellout contract at Ford, the UAW sent out an internal memo to the UAW-Ford negotiators announcing a celebratory trip to South Beach on the workers’ dime.

“If you don’t put a stop to it now, it will never stop”

Kohler strike in fourth week

By Shannon Jones, 11 December 2015

Contract talks are in progress as the UAW continues isolation of the strike.

“If we as workers were to stand up, what kind of a statement would that make worldwide?”

Nexteer workers’ anger grows as UAW prepares to ram through new sellout deal

By Eric London, 10 December 2015

Workers at Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw, Michigan denounced the UAW for calling off a 20-hour strike without telling workers anything about the alleged new tentative agreement.

Video: Nexteer workers speak on the picket line

By our reporters, 10 December 2015

The WSWS spoke to strikers in Saginaw before the UAW called off the 20-hour strike, ordering them back to work without a chance to vote on a new deal.

“Your resolve to stand up… is something to be admired”

Ford workers call for joint struggle with Nexteer workers

By our reporters, 10 December 2015

As Saginaw, Michigan auto parts workers face the combined forces of Nexteer and the UAW, workers at Ford pledged their support and called for a common fight.

After less than 24 hours, UAW shuts down Nexteer strike

By Jerry White, 9 December 2015

With consummate contempt for workers, the UAW ordered Nexteer strikers to return to their jobs less than a day after the walkout began and before they could see the new agreement.

Nexteer autoworkers on strike denounce UAW-Nexteer contract

By Thomas Gaist, 9 December 2015

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter spoke to workers prior to an announcement late on Tuesday that the UAW was calling off the strike.

Mining giant Anglo American to cut 85,000 jobs

By Gabriel Black, 9 December 2015

The fifth largest mining corporation in the world, Anglo American, will reduce its workforce by 63 percent in response to low commodity prices and a stagnating global economy.

Over 3,300 auto parts workers strike in Saginaw, Michigan

The way forward for Nexteer workers

By Jerry White, 8 December 2015

The striking Nexteer workers deserve and need the support of all autoworkers and every section of the working class in the US and internationally.

After the “no” vote at Nexteer: A message from a Ford worker

By Eric London, 8 December 2015

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter spoke to a Ford worker in Louisville, Kentucky on the struggle at Nexteer and the lessons of the contract fight at the Big Three auto companies.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

8 December 2015

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

Massive “no” vote by Nexteer workers rejects UAW sellout

By our reporting team, 7 December 2015

An overwhelming 97 percent of workers at the former GM complex in Saginaw, Michigan defeated the deal, which maintains poverty level wages.

US: Lockout of 2,200 steelworkers nears end of fourth month

By Samuel Davidson, 7 December 2015

US steelmakers are using the slump in demand and falling prices to push for massive concessions and the destruction of many thousands of jobs.

Resistance grows as UAW seeks to ram through Nexteer sellout

By Jerry White, 4 December 2015

There is widespread opposition to the UAW’s effort to impose yet another concessions contract on 3,400 auto parts workers at the Nexteer complex in Saginaw, Michigan.

Behind the UAW-IG Metall transnational partnership

By Shannon Jones, 3 December 2015

The pact between the United Auto Workers and the German labor federation is an alliance of corrupt bureaucratic apparatuses for the suppression of the working class.

After four months, no contract for Verizon telecom workers

By Samuel Davidson and Maria Kovalenko, 3 December 2015

Unions representing 39,000 workers at the US telecommunications firm continue to isolate their members as the company pushes for concessions and job cuts while arbitrarily firing workers.

UAW reaches sellout deal with Nexteer Automotive

By Jerry White, 2 December 2015

The UAW reached an agreement with Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw, Michigan, two days after sanctioning the closure of the Mitsubishi plant in Illinois, wiping out 1,250 jobs.

US: 2,200 locked-out steelworkers lose health care

By Samuel Davidson, 2 December 2015

The steelworkers, who have been locked out of their jobs since August 14, had their health insurance eliminated on Tuesday by Allegheny Technologies Inc.

Entergy to shutter two nuclear plants in US, laying off 1,200

By Steve Filips, 2 December 2015

The upsurge in nuclear plant closures is being driven by lower energy prices due to the glut in the supply of oil and natural gas from the recent boom in fracturing.

“This is a great agreement for our company”

Ford execs, Wall Street investors gloat over new UAW contract

By Jerry White, 1 December 2015

Ford boss Mark Field told investors the new agreement with the United Auto Workers would cost the automaker less than 1.5 percent more per year, below the current rate of inflation.

US: More than 3,000 laid off in closure of Fresh & Easy grocery stores

By Jake Dean, 1 December 2015

All 97 of the chain’s locations in California, Arizona and Nevada were shut down last month.

Report: UAW auto contracts no threat to Big Three profits

By Shannon Jones, 30 November 2015

The business press is gloating over the fact that the new contracts imposed on autoworkers by the UAW are tailored to the needs of the auto bosses.

Walmart worker in New York fired for redeeming cans worth $2

By Josh Varlin, 30 November 2015

The firing of Thomas Smith, which reflects the precarious existence facing millions of workers in the US, has received attention after his story went viral on social media.

UAW moves to wrap up concessions contracts for Nexteer workers, component drivers

By Shannon Jones, 28 November 2015

After pushing through sellout agreements at the Big Three, the UAW is planning similar contracts for parts companies.

US steelmakers attack employee health care

By Evan Winters, 28 November 2015

Steelmakers ArcelorMittal and US Steel each took steps over the past month to shift health care costs onto the backs of workers or retirees.

“All our local union officials are ignoring us and hiding from us”

UAW, media silent on allegations of fraud in Ford contract vote

By Shannon Jones, 26 November 2015

It is nearly one week since the conclusion of the vote at Ford, and there has been no reaction by the corporate media or the United Auto Workers to widespread claims of vote rigging.

Thousands laid off as employment crisis deepens in Appalachia

Ashland, Kentucky steel furnace idled

By Naomi Spencer, 26 November 2015

In Ashland, Kentucky, 1,100 employees of AK Steel received notice that they would be laid off in mid-December, just before Christmas.

The UAW’s illegitimate vote at Ford

Form rank-and-file factory committee to carry forward the fight!

By Jerry White, 24 November 2015

The resort to fraud by the UAW has taught thousands of workers that the United Auto Workers is nothing but a corporate syndicate of cheap labor contractors.

Lessons of the autoworkers’ battle

By Jerry White, 23 November 2015

The resort to gangster-like methods has further discredited the UAW and taught workers that the only way they can defend their interests is by casting off the dead weight of this corporate-labor syndicate.

“The workers will never forget what happened here”

Dearborn Assembly workers allege fraud in UAW-Ford contract vote

By Tim Rivers, 23 November 2015

Autoworkers reacted with disbelief, anger and profound skepticism to the United Auto Workers’ announcement Friday that its agreement with Ford had been ratified with 51 percent support.

The vote at Ford and the way forward for autoworkers

By Joseph Kishore, 20 November 2015

Whether or not the UAW succeeds in securing or manufacturing a “yes” vote, the developments at Ford have once again exposed the unbridgeable gulf between the UAW and the workers it claims to represent.

With contract facing defeat UAW bullies Michigan Ford workers to ratify deal

By Shannon Jones, 20 November 2015

Ford workers in Dearborn, Michigan are casting the deciding votes on the national contract as the UAW pursues a heavy-handed last minute ratification push.

Autoworkers denounce UAW attack on WSWS Autoworker Newsletter reporters

By our reporters, 20 November 2015

The forcible removal of WSWS Autoworker Newsletter reporters from a press conference exposes the UAW’s fear of and hostility to the workers that it claims to represent.

US: Lockout of 2,200 steelworkers enters fourth month

By Evan Winters, 20 November 2015

As the lockout of 2,200 Allegheny Technologies workers enters its fourth month, picketing workers denounced the USW for isolating and betraying their struggle.

With Ford pact in jeopardy, UAW intensifies economic blackmail

By Jerry White, 19 November 2015

After Ford workers at two Louisville factories overwhelmingly voted “no,” the United Auto Workers held a hastily called press conference to threaten workers with plant closings and layoffs.

Injunction issued against Kohler strikers in Wisconsin

By James Brewer, 19 November 2015

The restraining order was issued by a Sheboygan County circuit court judge after the company filed a complaint charging that pickets were causing a traffic jam.

Video shows UAW officials grabbing cell phone, forcibly ejecting WSWS reporters from press conference

By Shannon Jones, 19 November 2015

The UAW’s thuggish actions against the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter reflect its hostility to the working class and its fear of any exposure of its conspiracy with the auto companies.

“It’s pretty obvious that the UAW is a pro-company organization”

Chicago Ford workers reject UAW-corporate agreement

By our reporters, 19 November 2015

Workers who rejected the sellout agreement at the Chicago Assembly and Louisville Assembly plants spoke with the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter.

UAW contracts sanction moves to eliminate small car production in US

By Eric London, 17 November 2015

The United Auto Workers rejects any struggle to unify workers in Mexico, Canada and the US in a common fight against the transnational auto giants.

“It’s terrible, a slap in the face”

Kansas City autoworkers vote “no” on UAW-Ford contract

By our reporters, 17 November 2015

Opposition to the contract at Ford is widespread, with at least 45 percent of workers voting “no” thus far, including 54 percent at the Kansas City Assembly Plant.

Wisconsin Kohler workers strike against two-tier wage

By Shannon Jones, 17 November 2015

On Monday, a huge crowd of strikers and supporters blocked traffic outside the headquarters of the plumbing, kitchen and bathroom supply company.

Opposition grows as votes begin on UAW-Ford sellout

By Shannon Jones, 13 November 2015

Sterling Axle workers in suburban Detroit picketed a UAW information meeting to call for a “no” vote on the tentative agreement

Anger grows as Ford workers begin voting on UAW sellout

By Shannon Jones, 12 November 2015

The UAW is attempting to rush through a contract ratification vote without giving workers time to analyze the agreement and mobilize opposition.

Kraft Heinz and Alcoa among companies cutting hundreds of jobs in upstate New York

By Steve Filips, 12 November 2015

Kraft has four plants with 1,279 workers scattered throughout upstate New York of which three were slated to be closed.

Vote “no” on UAW-Ford sellout contract!

12 November 2015

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter urges Ford workers to distribute this statement to fellow workers at the plants and upcoming contract votes.

“The UAW is a shill for the company”

UAW-Ford deal creates new tier of low-paid workers

By Jerry White, 11 November 2015

While falsely claiming to have created a “path” to traditional wages for second-tier workers, the UAW-Ford contract creates a third tier of workers at three plants.

Steelworkers’ union may cut strike pay for 2,200 locked-out workers

By Evan Winters, 11 November 2015

Locked-out workers at Allegheny Technologies Inc. report that the USW is considering a plan to cut their grossly inadequate strike pay.

UAW Ford Council approves sellout deal

By Shannon Jones, 10 November 2015

The council rubber stamped the contract at a hastily convened meeting at the UAW-Ford National Program Center even before the final approval of the GM settlement.

UAW scabs do bidding of US auto companies

By Jerry White, 9 November 2015

The UAW is seeking to rush through a new contract on Ford workers, finalizing its campaign to impose the dictates of the auto executives and Wall Street.

Ford workers denounce UAW efforts to push through sellout contract

By our reporters, 9 November 2015

The UAW is moving quickly to force Ford workers to vote on a sellout deal, with the UAW Council meeting today and votes planned for as soon as this week.

UAW prepares to override skilled trades workers’ rejection of GM contract

By Joseph Kishore, 9 November 2015

According to the UAW’s bylaws, for a contract to pass it must be backed by both production and skilled trades workers, and the latter rejected the deal with GM by nearly 60 percent.

UAW seeks to ram through Ford deal as results at GM show split vote

By Shannon Jones and Joseph Kishore, 7 November 2015

The announcement of a deal at Ford came the same day that the UAW reported that skilled trades workers had voted against the agreement at GM.

Bus crash kills six migrant workers in Arkansas

By Tom Eley, 7 November 2015

The crash in Arkansas underscores the highly exploitative nature of farm labor in the US, which is heavily dependent on undocumented and itinerant immigrant workers.

Stiff opposition to UAW-GM deal as balloting concludes

By Jerry White, 6 November 2015

Despite the all-out effort of the UAW to ram through the sellout deal, which will expand the two-tier wage system, large numbers of autoworkers are voting “no.”

Skilled trades workers voting against UAW-GM agreement

By Shannon Jones, 6 November 2015

According to the UAW constitution, a contract must be supported by both production and skilled trades workers, though the union has simply overridden this requirement before.

Substantial opposition to UAW-GM sellout remains as voting continues

By Eric London, 5 November 2015

Messages to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter give a glimpse of the deep hostility of workers toward the UAW’s effort to ram through the contract.