Workers Issues in the US

Trump pushes reactionary “Buy American, Hire American” plan

By Jerry White, 19 April 2017

Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday restricting visas for skilled immigrant workers and mandating the use of domestic products in federal projects.

Latest cuts plan at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe threatens 4,000 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 18 April 2017

ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe has adopted a new program of jobs and cost cutting aimed at slashing €500 million over the next three years.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Strikes hit mines in Peru and Mexico as retired US coal miners face health care cutoff

18 April 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by emailing information to comments@wsws.org

Two more US coal miners killed

By Naomi Spencer, 13 April 2017

Two accidents in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky coal mines bring to five the total number of US coal miners killed this year.

Chicago Teachers Union calls off one-day strike vote

By Kristina Betinis, 11 April 2017

Just hours before a scheduled vote on a one-day walkout union head Karen Lewis announced, “No, we’re not striking.”

No to San Diego school layoffs! Defend the right to high quality public education!

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 11 April 2017

There is widespread opposition to the layoffs of 1,500 teachers and staff, but to fight, school workers must build a political movement against the squandering of resources on war and the interests of the super-rich.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Mexican autoworkers strike, protests against IMF-dictated price hikes hit Suriname

11 April 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by emailing information to comments@wsws.org.

Southern Illinois meatpacking workers enter third week of strike

By George Gallanis and Benjamin Mateus, 5 April 2017

Holten Meat packing workers near East St. Louis, Illinois are striking over work conditions and seniority rights.

Three dead, four injured in boiler explosion at St. Louis factory

By George Marlowe, 4 April 2017

Among those killed in the explosion were two newly hired workers filling out paperwork a block away at Faultless Healthcare Linens.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Anti-austerity protests hit Argentina, Brazil and Puerto Rico

4 April 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by e-mailing to comments@wsws.org.

Days after UAW claims contract ratification

Caterpillar confirms plans to close Aurora, Illinois plant, lay off 800

By Marcus Day, 3 April 2017

There are reports of angry confrontations between workers and local UAW officials following the announcement.

Organizers win lawsuit against United Farm Workers for nearly $1 million in stolen wages

By Matthew Taylor, 3 April 2017

A California judge ordered the United Farmworkers of America to pay its organizers back wages after exploiting them and cheating them out of their pay.

Allegations of vote fraud mount

The UAW betrayal at Caterpillar and the case for rank-and-file committees

By Jerry White, 31 March 2017

The alleged ratification of the UAW-backed deal has provoked widespread charges of vote rigging and fraud.

Caterpillar workers react with anger, suspicion to UAW contract ratification

By Marcus Day, 29 March 2017

While the UAW has claimed that a new six-year contract with Caterpillar was approved by workers at ratification meetings Sunday, it has yet to release company-wide vote totals.

As Trump postures as friend of miners, retirees and widows face April 30 health care cutoff

By Samuel Davidson, 29 March 2017

On March 1, the United Mine Workers of America Health and Retirement Funds sent a letter to 22,600 retirees and widows informing them their retiree benefits would be cut off.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Class struggle heats up in Latin America

28 March 2017

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

“The way I look at it is, the UAW is Caterpillar”

Caterpillar workers in Peoria, Illinois denounce UAW sellout deal

By our reporters, 27 March 2017

Caterpillar workers voting in central Illinois Sunday spoke with the WSWS about the years of reversals they have suffered due to the treachery of the United Auto Workers union.

UAW-Caterpillar contract “highlights” reveal new attacks on jobs and wages

By Marcus Day, 24 March 2017

What little the UAW has revealed about its deal with Caterpillar points to an escalation of the union-backed corporate assault on workers.

Telecom union calls bogus “strike” at AT&T in California and Nevada

By Alan Gilman, 24 March 2017

After less than 24 hours, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) sent 17,000 AT&T workers back to their jobs after the walkout, which was aimed at defusing workers’ anger and frustration.

“Don’t believe what they’re going to tell you”

As Caterpillar-UAW contract vote nears, Deere workers warn of union betrayal

By Marcus Day and George Gallanis, 22 March 2017

With just four days left before voting, workers at agricultural equipment giant Deere & Co. spoke on the lessons of their 2015 contract struggle.

“I think it’s a set-up with the union and Caterpillar”

Caterpillar-UAW deal: Workers denounce information blackout

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 21 March 2017

Less than a week before they are set to vote on a six-year contract proposal, workers have still not received any details on the content of the deal.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

21 March 2017

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

Coal miner killed at mine owned by West Virginia governor

By Clement Daly, 18 March 2017

Jason Kenneth Matthews was killed at the Bishop Preparation Plant, owned by Jim Justice, West Virginia’s governor and richest man.

Los Angeles school district sends layoff notices to 1,600 administrators

By Dan Conway, 18 March 2017

The layoffs are part of an ongoing attempt to gut public education in the nation’s second largest school district.

Workers have the right to study the full contract!

Caterpillar-UAW deal: An anti-worker conspiracy

By Marcus Day, 18 March 2017

In an attempt to overcome worker opposition to further concessions, the UAW and Caterpillar are coordinating an information blackout over details of a proposed six-year contract announced Wednesday.

Rockford, Illinois public school employees go on strike

By George Gallanis, 16 March 2017

While school workers have demonstrated their determination to fight, behind the scenes AFSCME officials are seeking to cut a deal that will accept the bulk of management’s demands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

14 March 2017

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

As backdoor UAW-Caterpillar negotiations and tax fraud investigation continue

Former Caterpillar worker speaks on 2012 Joliet, Illinois strike betrayal

By Marcus Day, 13 March 2017

Caterpillar is in the midst of a worldwide restructuring, laying off tens of thousands and closing multiple plants.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

11 March 2017

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

Boston mass transit privatization scheme proceeds through bullying and tricks

By John Marion, 9 March 2017

The crisis of the MBTA caused by years of deferred maintenance and a massive February 2015 snow storm is being used to implement a prolonged assault on workers.

Rockford, Illinois public school employees set to strike next week

By George Gallanis, 8 March 2017

The AFSCME union is limiting the action to a three-day walkout to blow off steam and curtail the growing combativeness of workers.

“The corporations are our enemies, not immigrant workers”

General Motors announces 1,100 job cuts at Lansing, Michigan plant

By Shannon Jones and Jerry White, 7 March 2017

Just three days after laying off 1,300 workers at its Detroit assembly plant, GM announced it was cutting another 1,100 workers at a factory near the Michigan state capital.

Sanders covers for UAW at Mississippi Nissan rally

By Ed Hightower and Jerry White, 7 March 2017

Sanders was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s rally in Canton, Mississippi where the United Auto Workers is campaigning to win recognition at the Nissan auto factory.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

7 March 2017

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

As UAW maintains information blackout on contract negotiations

Federal agents raid Caterpillar headquarters in Illinois

By Marcus Day, 6 March 2017

The dramatic operation hints at the immense criminality and fraud that characterize the day-to-day workings of giant transnationals.

As attack on jobs escalates, AFL-CIO chief pledges to “partner” with Trump administration

By Jerry White, 4 March 2017

The unions are joining Trump’s efforts to divide the working class and block a unified response to his class war policies at home and imperialist militarism abroad.

“They’re laying people off and scattering them to the winds to find employment”

GM layoffs of 1,300 workers at Detroit assembly plant

By a reporting team, 4 March 2017

The layoffs are a major blow to workers and to the city, which is already the poorest big city in America with an official unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent.

Illinois state workers vote overwhelmingly to strike

By Alexander Fangmann, 3 March 2017

AFSCME leaders are desperately hoping to avoid a strike, while Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has ruled out further negotiations and is preparing to use scabs and the National Guard against workers.

Dockworkers’ union threatens one-day strike on US East Coast

By Daniel de Vries, 27 February 2017

Tens of thousands of longshoremen are poised to shut down ports from Maine to Texas.

“They are leaving us basically to fend for ourselves”

Detroit GM workers speak on layoffs as deadline draws near

By Shannon Jones, 25 February 2017

The layoffs will add to the already high unemployment rate in Detroit, which stands at close to 10 percent.

US retail chain J.C. Penney announces over 130 store closures

By Niles Niemuth, 25 February 2017

The department store chain is only the latest retailer to announce major store closures in the US this year, including Macy’s, Sears and Kmart.

Iowa governor signs bill limiting collective bargaining for state employees

By Marcus Day, 18 February 2017

Iowa’s Republican-controlled state government enacted legislation Friday gutting collective bargaining rights for teachers and other public workers.

Stunning rebuke to machinists’ union at South Carolina Boeing plant

By Jerry White, 17 February 2017

The IAM’s record of collaboration with Boeing’s attack on jobs and living standards did far more to repel workers than the campaign against the union by the aerospace giant.

On eve of GM Detroit layoffs

Jeep announces partial shutdown of Toledo, Ohio complex

By Shannon Jones, 17 February 2017

The UAW is collaborating with GM to lay off some 1,300 workers at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant while trying to divert anger with a reactionary “Buy American” campaign.

Momentive strikers forced to take pay and health cuts as US owner throws a multi-million-dollar party

By Jerry White, 15 February 2017

As the unions told workers to accept a concession-laden contract, the billionaire who owns a substantial share of Momentive was enjoying a birthday party complete with camels, acrobats and fireworks.

“It’s like we’re working for a temporary agency”

As deadline nears, autoworkers speak on General Motors layoffs in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 10 February 2017

With only weeks to go before 1,300 layoffs, opposition is mounting to the job cuts.

SEP meeting in Detroit Saturday to oppose GM layoffs

10 February 2017

The SEP and the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter have called this meeting to organize and mobilize opposition to the layoffs throughout the region.

Caterpillar workers in US overwhelmingly authorize strike

By Marcus Day, 9 February 2017

Workers at the heavy-equipment giant voted by 93 percent to authorize a strike last Thursday.

UAW agrees to sweetheart settlement in Michigan “robo-fraud” scandal

By Debra Watson, 8 February 2017

A US District Court judge has agreed to an out of court settlement in the Michigan “robo-fraud” scandal that lets state officials off the hook and leaves thousands of claimants out in the cold.

GM makes $9.4 billion in global profits as it slashes thousands of jobs

By Jerry White, 8 February 2017

GM is doling out $14 billion in stock buybacks even as it lays off 3,300 workers in Michigan and Ohio.

Workers killed on the job near Rochester, New York

By Steve Filips, 1 February 2017

Workplace fatalities will be certain to increase under the administration of Trump, which has pledged to gut what little remains of federal workplace safety regulations.

“It’s not the fault of Mexican or Chinese workers”

1,200 GM workers laid off at Lordstown plant in Ohio

By Jerry White, 31 January 2017

More than 2,000 General Motors workers, including 1,245 in Lordstown, Ohio, were laid off the same day that Trump delivered his inaugural address.

Illinois attorney general files request to halt state workers’ pay

By George Gallanis, 30 January 2017

The aim is to force the Illinois government to agree to a new state budget that will include sweeping attacks on social programs and public education.

Iowa worker killed in partial mine collapse

By Matt Rigel and Marcus Day, 27 January 2017

In the first US mining fatality of 2017, a truck operator died after a partial collapse at Linwood Mining and Mineral in eastern Iowa.

Video game industry strike in US now second-longest in screen actors’ history

By Kevin Martinez, 27 January 2017

The 99-day strike over pay and work conditions involves voice actors who perform for the highly profitable video game industry.

New York raises transit fares as train and bus workers vote on concessions deal

By Alan Whyte, 27 January 2017

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation voted Wednesday to increase its fare and tolls about 4 percent.

Book review

Lessons from the 1937 Little Steel strike in the US

The Last Great Strike: Little Steel, the CIO, and the Struggle for Labor Rights in New Deal America, by Ahmed White

By Tom Mackaman, 23 January 2017

If the Little Steel Strike has been ignored by historians, it is perhaps because it does not fit the standard narrative of American labor history.

Automakers announce US investments, anticipate big profits under Trump

By Jerry White, 20 January 2017

Over the past weeks major US- and foreign-based automakers have announced they will maintain or expand production in the US and, in some cases, trim back operations in Mexico.

“We should take a stand and reject this contract”

New York transit workers denounce sellout agreement

By a WSWS reporting team, 20 January 2017

New York transit workers will be voting on a tentative agreement that will continue the erosion of their living standards and working conditions.

Union reaches deal to block New York transit workers from recouping concessions

By Alan Whyte, 18 January 2017

Transport Workers Union Local 100 announced an agreement Monday that will do nothing to stop the erosion of living standards for 38,000 bus and subway workers in New York.

New York transit workers denounce sellout

By our reporting team, 18 January 2017

Transit workers spoke to the World Socialist Web Site after the Transport Workers Union announced a deal for a new four-year agreement covering 38,000 bus and subway workers employed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Dayton transit workers set to vote on sellout contract

By Shannon Jones, 17 January 2017

Published details of the agreement include a major attack on health care benefits and a derisory pay increase.

New York City transit workers and riders made to pay for system’s ballooning debt

By Philip Guelpa, 16 January 2017

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City’s buses and subways, is tens of billions of dollars in debt.

Ford contract worker killed at Rouge complex outside of Detroit

By Tim Rivers, 14 January 2017

A contract worker, Ricky Mcintosh, died Wednesday morning after a fall from an overhead crane.

“The union is not for us”

Detroit autoworkers speak out against GM layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 14 January 2017

With layoffs scheduled for March 5, workers are facing temporary plant closures that play havoc with their lives and finances.

Low turnout for University of California workers’ one-day strike

By our reporters, 11 January 2017

Teamsters Local 2010, which represents over 12,000 UC administrative, support and clerical staff, staged a limited one-day strike Tuesday.

Ohio workers face precedent-setting pension and retiree health cuts

By Evan Winters, 11 January 2017

Members of Cleveland Iron Workers Local 17 are being forced by their union to vote on whether to cut current pensions in half, or lose everything within ten years.

Dayton, Ohio transit workers strike over wages, health care

By Shannon Jones, 10 January 2017

The walkout by 463 drivers and mechanics is the first by transit workers in Dayton in nearly 60 years.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

10 January 2017

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

As contract expiration nears, union moves to block fight by New York transit workers

By Alan Whyte, 9 January 2017

Transport Workers Union Local 100 officials have praised state Democrats who have overseen the attack on workers’ wages and pensions.

“The working class needs better health care, wages, and retirement.”

New York transit workers discuss issues in contract battle

By a WSWS reporting team, 9 January 2017

Transit workers who came to the mass membership meeting spoke to the WSWS about their most pressing concerns.

Macy’s, Sears announce mass layoffs, hundreds of store closings across the US

By Niles Niemuth, 6 January 2017

The closings and layoffs are an indication of the actual state of the economy, more than seven years after the beginning of the supposed economic “recovery.”

New York City transit workers must fight to defend living standards and basic rights!

6 January 2017

The following statement is being distributed to New York City transit workers who are holding a mass meeting Saturday, ahead of the January 15 contract deadline for 30,000 bus drivers, subway workers and other transit authority workers.

The class struggle in the US in 2017

By Jerry White, 4 January 2017

This year promises to be one of increasing class struggle in the United States and around the world.

As strike enters third month

Momentive workers fight Trump’s billionaire appointee Schwarzman

By Philip Guelpa, 3 January 2017

The 700 striking workers at Momentive Performance Materials will be among the first to experience the full force of the Trump administration’s viciously anti-working class policies.

“People are working two to three Saturdays in a row and they are laying people off”

Anger mounting among US autoworkers in wake of GM layoff announcement

By Shannon Jones, 30 December 2016

Young workers and temporary workers will be hardest hit by the layoffs as many gave up other jobs to work at GM.

Trumka on Trump: AFL-CIO chief urges president-elect to work with unions to save capitalism

By Jerry White, 30 December 2016

AFL-CIO head Trumka wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times offering the services of the unions to suppress working-class opposition to the incoming administration.

“They have no concern for workers. You are just a number”

US autoworkers express anger, opposition to GM layoffs

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 December 2016

Autoworkers reacted with anger and defiance in the face of the announcement by GM that it is cutting 1,192 jobs at the company’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant.

“Instacart is stealing, manipulating and creating stress”

US grocery delivery workers file lawsuit over reduced pay

By Kevin Martinez, 23 December 2016

Instacart, like ride services Uber and Lyft, classifies their workers as “independent contractors” to avoid having to pay benefits and overtime.

New York Daily News column hails assassination of Russian ambassador

By Bill Van Auken, 23 December 2016

The filthy column supporting the assassination was made even more offensive by comparing the Turkish cop who carried it out to 17-year-old Herschel Grynszpan, who shot and killed a Nazi official in 1938.

US coal miners hit by sharp rise in deadliest black lung disease

By Clement Daly, 19 December 2016

New reports have revealed a spike in the deadliest forms of the respiratory disease, which miners contract by inhaling coal dust.

The United Steelworkers, Wilbur Ross and economic nationalism

By Evan Winters, 14 December 2016

The USW has a long history of collaborating with billionaire asset stripper Wilbur Ross, Trump’s pick for commerce secretary.

US coal miners face cutoff of health, pension benefits

By Jerry White, 13 December 2016

More than 120,000 retired coal miners are threatened with the cutoff of health and pension benefits over the next several months as the United Mine Workers Health and Retirement Fund runs out of money.

Judge temporarily delays imposition of draconian contract on Illinois state workers

By George Gallanis, 12 December 2016

The legal maneuver by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is aimed at convincing the governor to let the union impose his deep cuts.

Michigan legislature targets school employee pensions

By Shannon Jones, 8 December 2016

Republican lawmakers are seeking to end defined benefit pensions for new hires under conditions in which the entire system is massively underfunded.

After Carrier deal, effusive praise for Trump from steelworkers union

By Jerry White, 7 December 2016

The United Steelworkers union praised Trump’s protectionist and chauvinist policies along with his deal with Carrier, which will wipe out 1,300 of the firm’s 2,100 production jobs in Indiana.

120,000 coal miners face loss of retirement benefits

By Clement Daly, 7 December 2016

The growing insolvency of the various UMWA health and retirement funds is rooted in the continuing global economic crisis and the resulting collapse of commodities prices.

Union cancels strike by California state workers, seeks to impose concessions

By Dan Conway, 5 December 2016

The Service Employees International Union called off the strike by 95,000 California state workers to prevent a struggle against the austerity measures of Governor Brown and the Democrats.

Trump outlines right-wing program of extreme nationalism at Cincinnati rally

By Joseph Kishore and Jerry White, 2 December 2016

While couched in populist rhetoric, Trump’s proposals center on corporate tax cuts and deregulation, combined with expanding the military, widening police powers and curtailing immigration.

Former Bethlehem Steel plant near Buffalo, New York destroyed by fire

By Jason Melanovski, 2 December 2016

The massive fire last month exposed firefighters and residents in nearby neighborhoods to smoke and high levels of carcinogens, leaving homes covered in toxic soot.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

29 November 2016

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

Federal judge blocks new Obama administration overtime rules

By Shannon Jones, 28 November 2016

The court ruling upset 70 years of prior precedent that gave the Labor Department the authority to set rules regulating overtime pay.

After six-month lockout, workers reject UAW-Honeywell ultimatum

By Jerry White, 26 November 2016

Honeywell workers in the US are waging a courageous struggle against corporate management and the UAW, which is backing the company’s demands for health care concessions.

Four workers critically injured in fire at Louisiana refinery

By Tom Hall, 26 November 2016

The fire at ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge refinery, the fourth largest in the country, flows from the betrayal of the 2015 refinery strike by the United Steel Workers union.

Sharp Healthcare nurses in San Diego, California to begin three-day strike

By Marko Leone, 26 November 2016

Nurses are determined to fight, while the union has called a limited strike to let off steam while it works to impose a contract on management’s terms.

Incoming Trump administration prepares assault on federal workers

By Nick Barrickman, 25 November 2016

In the first of many attacks on the living standards of American workers, the incoming Trump administration is targeting federal employees for job and pension cuts.

Construction accident in Queens, New York kills two workers

By Mark Witkowski, 25 November 2016

In the drive to maximize profit for the construction and real estate industries, the safety and well-being of workers is given a back seat to the demands of real estate developers.

Significant opposition as Philadelphia transit workers ratify contract

By Alan Whyte, 21 November 2016

After shutting down a six-day strike to boost the vote for Hillary Clinton, the Transport Workers Union imposed a concessions deal on Philadelphia transit workers.

Barnard College contingent faculty vote on strike authorization

By Sandy English, 19 November 2016

Part-time and temporary faculty at Columbia University’s Barnard College in New York City began voting on a strike authorization this week.

Contract worker killed at Indiana steel mill

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 November 2016

The death of a contract truck driver at ArcelorMittal in Burns Harbor, Indiana, highlights the deadly consequences of the corporate cost-cutting drive backed by the unions.