Workers Issues in the US

In midst of water shutoffs, Flint water crisis

Detroit teachers shut schools for second day to protest non-payment of wages

By Thomas Gaist, 4 May 2016

The new attack on Detroit teachers is part of a wider assault on the working class being carried out by both big business parties and the Obama administration.

The Communications Workers of America, corporatism and the Verizon strike

By Shannon Jones, 3 May 2016

To oppose the sabotage of their battle by the CWA and the IBEW, Verizon workers need to be armed with a clear understanding of the nature of these organizations.

Verizon steps up strikebreaking after “last, best and final” offer

By Nick Barrickman, 2 May 2016

The company's demands for job cuts and sweeping health care and pension concessions, come as Verizon continues to post immense profits.

German public sector union holds “warning strikes”

By Marianne Arens, 29 April 2016

Selective strikes are taking place in the public sector across Germany this week, but the Verdi union is determined to impose attacks on wages and work conditions.

How the IBEW betrayed the 2014-2015 FairPoint Communications strike

By John Marion, 28 April 2016

The IBEW entered contract negotiations during the longest strike of 2014 with the expectation of giving up at least $200 million in concessions.

Unions provide platform for Democrats at Verizon strike rallies

By our reporters, 26 April 2016

Workers told the WSWS that they are increasingly frustrated and angry over the lack of information from the unions and the absence of any strategy to win the strike.

Strike of 39,000 Verizon workers nearing end of second week

By Samuel Davidson, 25 April 2016

Verizon is sticking to its demands for concessions, particularly cuts to healthcare and pensions, along with contract changes that would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.

Sharp rise in US suicide rate

Eighty percent increase among middle-aged white women

By Kate Randall, 23 April 2016

The Centers for Disease Control study follows recent reports showing a decline in life expectancy among US whites and sharp increases in lifespan divergences between rich and poor.

General Motors posts record first-quarter profits

By Shannon Jones, 22 April 2016

The profit figures underscore the value of the 2015 GM-UAW contract to the giant automaker and its wealthiest investors, including the United Auto Workers bureaucracy.

Ford announces new small-vehicle plant in Mexico

By Marc Wells, 22 April 2016

Ford Motor Co. unveiled its plan to invest $1.6 billion to build a new small-vehicle plant in Mexico which will employ 2,800 workers.

“The company makes a billion dollars every quarter and is trying to take away everything”

Verizon refuses to budge on takeaway demands

By Jerry White, 22 April 2016

As the strike by 39,000 Verizon workers entered its second week, the giant telecom ramped up its provocations by charging strikers with “sabotage.”

Verizon workers confront strikebreaking operation

By Jerry White, 20 April 2016

While workers are determined to wage a militant battle, they have been repeatedly undermined by the telecom unions, which offered $200 million in concessions.

Seven dead, hundreds homeless in Houston, Texas flood

By Shelley Connor, 20 April 2016

Houston’s working class residents have been forced to flee rising waters with little assistance from the city or state governments.

Verizon strike at critical juncture

By Jerry White, 19 April 2016

While workers have displayed determination and tenacity, every action by the CWA and IBEW has only encouraged the intransigence of the telecom giant.

Unions try to isolate embattled Verizon strikers

By Jerry White, 18 April 2016

As 39,000 workers fight the telecom giant, the trade unions are doing everything they can to isolate workers and force them into submission.

Verizon workers speak as strike enters new week

By our reporters, 18 April 2016

The WSWS Verizon Strike Newsletter spoke to workers on the picket lines in Northern Virginia and New York City.

“There is a lot of frustration about going back to work in 2011 without a contract”

Tensions mount as Verizon strike continues

By our reporters, 16 April 2016

Striking workers said they are determined to continue the struggle in the face of open strikebreaking by the company, which has trained 20,000 nonunion management personnel as replacements.

Verizon workers speak on issues in strike

By our reporters, 14 April 2016

The walkout is an expression of the pent up anger of workers all across the US after years of declining or stagnating wages and record corporate profits.

The political issues in the Verizon strike

By Barry Grey, 14 April 2016

The strike by 39,000 Verizon workers against the corporate behemoth is an expression of the growing class consciousness and militancy that underlies the deepening political turmoil in the United States.

Unions at telecom giant Verizon announce April 13 strike deadline

By Maria Kovalenko, 12 April 2016

If the walkout takes place it would involve some 40,000 communication workers on the East Coast of the US, from Massachusetts to Virginia.

ATI steelworkers in US return to work

By Evan Winters, 12 April 2016

The contract approved March 1 after a seven-month lockout, essentially reduces workers to the status of casual laborers, completely at the mercy of the company.

“I am certain the UAW knew about this. They sell us out all the time.”

Facing layoffs, Detroit area Fiat Chrysler workers denounce UAW

By Shannon Jones, 12 April 2016

A WSWS reporting team spoke to workers Monday at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) where 1,300 workers are set to be laid off July 5.

Alpha Natural Resources asks court to shred collective bargaining agreements

By Clement Daly, 12 April 2016

Alpha’s petition to get rid of its union contracts threatens the living standards of 610 coal miners and 4,800 retirees and dependents.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

12 April 2016

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

Nexteer Automotive workers report arbitrary firings, harassment

By Shannon Jones, 11 April 2016

Three months after the United Auto Workers rammed through a sellout deal, workers are being victimized and are discovering contract concessions not previously disclosed by the UAW.

Caltrans workers rally in Sacramento and San Bernardino

By our reporters, 11 April 2016

Caltrans workers held three rallies across California last week to demand higher pay and benefits, improved safety and a draw-down in the hiring of contract workers.

Fifty years since the Delano to Sacramento march: The myth of Cesar Chavez and the collapse of the United Farm Workers

Part one

By Eric London, 11 April 2016

The union founded by Chavez has become nothing more than a business operated by family members.

Fiat Chrysler layoffs hit workers in suburban Detroit

By Jerry White, 8 April 2016

The announcement that Fiat Chrysler is cutting 1,420 jobs at its Sterling Heights assembly plant foreshadows a new wave of downsizing in the auto industry.

“When the UAW folks play golf with the Fiat folks, what do you expect?”

Fiat Chrysler workers react to Sterling Heights Assembly job cuts

By Shannon Jones, 8 April 2016

Workers who spoke to the World Socialist Web Site at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant said the 2015 contract betrayal by the United Auto Workers helped set the stage for the latest layoffs

Fiat Chrysler axing 1,400 jobs at Sterling Heights, Michigan plant

By Shannon Jones, 7 April 2016

The company is permanently eliminating one shift at the passenger car plant in suburban Detroit due to slumping sales.

Mobilize the working class to defend Caltrans workers!

By David Brown, 7 April 2016

The following statement will be distributed at tomorrow’s statewide rallies of Caltrans workers, who build and maintain highway, bridge, and rail transportation in the state of California.

As April 13 strike deadline approaches

Struggle at California State University endangered by faculty union’s alliance with Democrats

By Evan Blake and Genevieve Leigh, 6 April 2016

Despite the results of the fact-finding mission validating the CSU faculty union’s demand for a 5 percent pay raise, university administrators refuse to back down, setting the stage for a limited statewide strike.

Court issues restraining order after New Mexico school bus drivers vote to strike

By D. Lencho, 5 April 2016

The drivers will be forced to continue working for 10 days, after which they face the possibility of a permanent restraining order.

Following Machinists union betrayal

Boeing to slash 4,000-8,000 jobs

By Barry Grey, 31 March 2016

Both the IAM and the SPEEA reacted to the announcement of the job cuts with impotent appeals to the state legislature to bar the company from slashing jobs.

“What’s happening here is emblematic of what’s going on across the country”

Detroit newspaper workers protest contract takeaways

By Shannon Jones, 31 March 2016

Detroit Free Press and Detroit News journalists held a protest Wednesday over company concessions demands, including increases in health care costs and conversion of full-time to part-time work.

California Democrats, unions announce deal on $15 minimum wage

By Marc Wells, 30 March 2016

The deal, which has many loopholes, is aimed at containing deep opposition to poverty-level wages and bolstering support for the Democratic Party in the run-up to November’s elections.

Global oil industry job losses continue to mount

By Tom Hall, 28 March 2016

Around 100,000 jobs have been lost in the US alone since 2015, with tens of thousands more job losses expected this year.

University of California president proposes privatization of pension fund

By Kevin Martinez, 25 March 2016

The proposal is only the latest in the bipartisan attack on public-sector and private-sector pension plans throughout the United States.

Coal giant Peabody Energy on verge of bankruptcy

By Clement Daly, 22 March 2016

In a string of bankruptcies, the courts are being used to attack the wages, pensions, health care and working conditions of miners—gains realized through decades of struggle.

US Steel layoffs hit another 770 workers

By Samuel Davidson, 21 March 2016

The latest cuts at US Steel come just months after the USW passed a contract granting the company millions of dollars in concessions and cuts to health and retiree benefits.

UAW seeks to ram through contract at Volvo

By Shelly Connor, 21 March 2016

The UAW reportedly reached a last-minute agreement with Volvo, but refused to provide workers with the full contract, following a pattern it has employed many times before.

UAW pushes local deals past opposition at GM Lordstown plant

By Jerry White, 18 March 2016

Union officials made it clear that they would force workers to vote again and again until they approved a local contract.

New Jersey Transit contract includes major concessions in health care costs

By Philip Guelpa, 17 March 2016

Unions representing 4,200 New Jersey Transit workers have agreed to sweeping concessions.

Slumping car sales lead to extended layoff of Fiat Chrysler Sterling Heights workers

By Shannon Jones, 15 March 2016

Last week Fiat Chrysler announced that what had originally been scheduled as a six-week layoff would be extended for another three weeks.

As April 8 fiscal deadline approaches

Judge Rhodes threatens shutdown of Detroit Public Schools

By Nancy Hanover, 14 March 2016

As Wall Street demands action on the reorganization of Detroit Public Schools, Judge Steven Rhodes threatened that schools could “go dark.”

Detroit teacher: “Children are made into dollar signs”

By our reporters, 14 March 2016

Detroit teachers spoke to the World Socialist Web Site at the DFT emergency meeting on Thursday, March 10.

California Faculty Association prepares to sell out CSU workers

By Evan Blake and Guillaume Garnier, 14 March 2016

With a limited strike looming, the CFA is rushing to push through another deal that will erode the living standards of 26,000 professors and other staff.

UAW sanctions mass layoffs by farm equipment giant John Deere

By George Gallanis, 14 March 2016

Since November, John Deere has laid off 445 workers with the full complicity of the United Auto Workers.

New Jersey Transit strike deadline approaches

By Sandy English, 12 March 2016

Some 4,200 rail workers at New Jersey Transit, the third-largest bus, rail and light rail transit system in the US, are set to strike on Sunday over wages and health care contributions.

US steel union hails Obama trade war measures

By Shannon Jones, 10 March 2016

Predictably, the USW showered praise on the Obama administration for measures targeting imported rolled steel.

TVA pension cuts: A new stage in the assault on American workers

By Niles Williamson, 5 March 2016

The attack on the pensions of federal employees is a warning that no section of the working class is exempt from the social counterrevolution being carried out in the interests of the financial aristocracy.

US employment report: Payrolls rise, wages fall

By Barry Grey, 5 March 2016

According to the Labor Department’s household survey, only 11.7 percent of new jobs created in February were full-time.

Autoworkers support challenge to UAW-Ford 2015 contract vote

By Shannon Jones, 1 March 2016

An internal UAW Local 600 hearing on the challenge to the ratification vote by a Ford skilled trade worker is set for Thursday.

United Steelworkers tries to ram sellout deal past ATI workers

By Evan Winters, 1 March 2016

After deliberately isolating locked out workers for over six months, the USW is forcing 2,200 Allegheny Technologies Inc. workers to vote on a sellout contract Tuesday.

Downsizing begins as Fiat Chrysler seeks merger partner

By Shannon Jones, 25 February 2016

The plans by CEO Sergio Marchionne to eliminate small car production as part of a potential merger call into question the future of thousands of jobs at the company’s US operations.

Air conditioner maker Carrier to close two Indiana plants, slash 2,100 jobs

By Steve Filips, 19 February 2016

Anger erupted on the shop floor of an Indianapolis factory last week after a spokesman told workers the plant closing was the “best way to stay competitive.”

West Virginia passes “right-to-work” law

By Naomi Spencer and Jerry White, 19 February 2016

The dispute between Democrats and Republicans on right-to-work laws is over the most efficient means of funneling even more money into the hands of the corporate and financial elite.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 February 2016

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

United Steelworkers offers ArcelorMittal millions in concessions

By Evan Winters, 13 February 2016

With these concessions, the USW hopes to keep ArcelorMittal competitive by passing the burden of the crisis in the global steel industry onto the backs of workers.

GM and UAW donate $3 million to Flint: Criminals covering their tracks

By Jerry White, 12 February 2016

Outside of the state and local authorities, there are few if any other entities so deeply implicated in the social catastrophe in Flint as GM and the UAW.

Video: Retirees speak on Teamsters pension cuts in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 11 February 2016

In this video, retired truck drivers and delivery workers discuss the plans to slash their pensions by as much as 75 percent.

Who is Kenneth Feinberg?

Kenneth Feinberg and the victim compensation racket

By Shannon Jones, 11 February 2016

Once again Feinberg is offering his services as a “fixer,” this time for the US government and giant trucking corporations, to strip workers of hard-earned pensions.

Hundreds more US coal miners laid off

By Naomi Spencer, 10 February 2016

Mine employment continues to hemorrhage across Appalachia and the Illinois coal basin.

The looting of US workers’ pensions

By Andre Damon, 10 February 2016

The assault on the pension benefits of retirees is an escalation of the decades-long drive to reduce American workers to the conditions of life that existed in the 19th century.

“If the company gets away with this, they will do it with other workers”

Locked out Allegheny Technologies workers to lose jobless benefits

By Evan Winters, 9 February 2016

The more than 2,000 steelworkers at ATI who have been locked out for nearly six months, isolated by the union, have already lost health care benefits.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

9 February 2016

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

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.

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.

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.