Workers Issues in the US

Workers killed in upstate New York industrial accidents

By Steve Filips, 22 November 2017

A worker was killed in an explosion at a cosmetics factory 60 miles north of New York City, and two others in the northern part of the state.

Ontario government orders college teachers back to work

Workers Struggles: The Americas

21 November 2017

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

Access to selective US universities reserved for the wealthy

By Michael Anders, 21 November 2017

A new report from New America think tank shows the restriction of access to higher education for students from working class families over the past two decades.

Telecom unions lead Charter-Spectrum strike into dead end

By Steve Light and A. Woodson, 17 November 2017

Charter-Spectrum workers in New York City and New Jersey have been on strike for eight months.

Another decisive repudiation

Ohio auto glass workers vote 2-1 against the UAW

By Shannon Jones, 11 November 2017

The vote against the UAW took place in an area that was once noted for worker militancy and the scene of pitched class battles.

More revelations in UAW corruption scandal

Fiat Chrysler CEO Marchionne met with federal investigators last year

By Shannon Jones, 7 November 2017

The reports of Marchionne’s meeting with prosecutors follow reports that the investigation of the illegal diversion of funds from training centers has expanded to Ford and General Motors.

“We are treated like garbage, like we are disposable”

Detroit autoworkers condemn UAW in death of young Ford worker

By a WSWS reporting team, 6 November 2017

All workers confront stressful conditions at the factory, where the workday is 10 hours, and the UAW has long collaborated with the FCA bosses to cut wages and increase production.

Temp work past the age of retirement

Amazon’s CamperForce program exploits elderly workers

By Evan Blake, 6 November 2017

Every year, Amazon hires thousands of temporary workers in their 50s, 60s and 70s to carry out backbreaking labor during the holiday season.

UAW-corporate corruption scandal spreads to Ford and GM

By Eric London, 4 November 2017

Workers need workplace and neighborhood committees to advance their interests against the massive corporations that dictate the policies of the government and control the unions.

Billionaire CEO Joe Ricketts shuts down DNAinfo and Gothamist after unionization vote

By Michael Walters and Alexander Fangmann, 4 November 2017

The sudden shutdown of the popular local news websites illustrates the dangers posed by the financial aristocracy’s control over the media and the internet.

After ultimatum and threats of job loss

Union ends Palatine, Illinois support staff strike without contract

By George Marlowe, 4 November 2017

After the school district of Palatine, Illinois issued an ultimatum to striking support staff, their union sent them back to work without a contract.

Fire officials were aware of hazards prior to toxic Parkersburg, West Virginia warehouse blaze

By Warren Duzak, 4 November 2017

Years in advance of a toxic warehouse blaze that forced mass evacuations and sickened scores of Parkersburg residents, local fire officials had attempted to sound the alarm about the hazards.

Young Ford worker sought UAW help before apparent suicide

By Jerry White, 3 November 2017

According to a police report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, 21-year-old Jacoby Hennings spoke with UAW officials for more than an hour before pulling out a gun.

Wisconsin construction worker falls to death while working on Milwaukee Bucks stadium

By Jessica Goldstein, 3 November 2017

Few details have been released about the tragic death last week of an electrician who fell from a ladder at the construction site of the new $524 million stadium.

Death of Jacoby Hennings highlights UAW collusion with auto companies

By Jerry White, 1 November 2017

The apparent suicide of the 21-year-old Ford worker has revealed the oppressive conditions facing temporary part-time employees in the auto industry.

Autoworkers take to social media to defend young Ford worker killed in apparent suicide

By Jerry White, 31 October 2017

Hundreds of autoworkers have shared and commented on WSWS articles about the death of 21-year-old Jacoby Marquis Hennings.

Ontario college teachers hit by vehicles as strike continues

Workers Struggles: The Americas

31 October 2017

Strikers have been hit by vehicles in two separate incidents as a walkout by Ontario college teachers continues.

Seven-month Spectrum strike in New York and New Jersey highlights assault on pensions

By Mark Witkowski, 30 October 2017

The strike has been isolated by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3, and the much larger telecom union, the Communications Workers of America.

Denim mill in Greensboro, North Carolina closes after 112 years

By Keisha Gibbs, 30 October 2017

The closure will result in job losses for the 200 employees who work there, and signals economic distress in the center of the American textile industry.

AFL-CIO leaders offer demagogy, nationalism at convention in St. Louis

By Trévon Austin, 27 October 2017

A signification section of the union bureaucracy is openly allied with Trump on the basis of “America First” nationalism.

Worker killed in Indiana auto parts plant

By Jessica Goldstein, 26 October 2017

Melissa Stephens, a mother of four, was killed at a plant owned by Autoneum, which has repeatedly been fined for unsafe conditions.

Ontario community college staff continue strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 October 2017

The 12,000 professors, instructors, consultants and librarians are in the second week of a strike against the provincial college system.

Court orders striking staff at suburban Chicago school district back to work

By Kristina Betinis, 19 October 2017

The court and the school district are running roughshod over the democratic rights of school workers who are fighting for decent wages and benefits.

New York employers, insurers seek to gut workers’ compensation system

By Philip Guelpa, 17 October 2017

Proposed changes to New York State workers’ compensation regulations would severely reduce the benefits workers receive for work-related injuries and illnesses.

Amazon workers force company to rehire unjustly fired worker after IAWV exposure

By Samuel Davidson, 10 October 2017

The re-hiring may seem like a small victory, but it is an indication of the strength Amazon workers have when they unite to protect one another’s rights.

Washington, DC holds worker in jail for months after charges dropped

By Harvey Simpkins, 9 October 2017

The plight of Carlton O. Harris is yet another example of the class-based US legal system and the erosion of fundamental democratic rights.

US confronts critical teacher shortage

By Khara Sikhan, 4 October 2017

Decades of defunding public education, standardized testing and the demonization of teachers has resulted in a national crisis in education in the United States.

Is $12 an hour a fair wage for Amazon workers?

By Samuel Davidson, 4 October 2017

An International Amazon Workers Voice investigation reveals that the prevalence of temporary and part-time work means most Amazon workers struggle to make poverty-rate wages.

Baggage-handlers’ strike at Toronto airport enters third month

Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 October 2017

Some 700 workers are striking against demands by Swissport for a three-year wage freeze, cuts to benefits and tighter control over work schedules.

Dozens of cleanup workers dying of cancer after 2008 Tennessee coal ash spill

By Keisha Gibbs, 29 September 2017

Workers involved in cleaning up the massive coal ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee, are suing after at least 17 have died and dozens more have been diagnosed with cancer.

SAG-AFTRA ends 11-month video game industry strike, making major concessions

By Glenn Mulwray, 29 September 2017

SAG-AFTRA’s strike against 11 major video game publishers has ended with agreement on a sellout contract, pending ratification. On each major point, the union capitulated to the demands of the corporations.

Spectrum strike approaches half year mark

By Daniel de Vries, 26 September 2017

The 1,800 telecom workers are at a crossroads as the unions continue to maintain the isolation of their struggle.

Strike by Colombian pilots continues, negotiations restart

Workers Struggles: The Americas

26 September 2017

The 700 pilots employed by Avianca struck September 22 for better pay and conditions affecting some 530 flights.

US autoworkers express support for CAMI strikers in Canada

“We should be out on strike with them”

By Jerry White, 25 September 2017

Despite the sabotage by the auto unions on both sides of the border there is a widespread sentiment for a common struggle against the global carmakers.

General Motors and Ford announce thousands of US layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 23 September 2017

The layoffs come amid mounting signs that the seven-year boom in auto sales is collapsing.

UAW officials laundered Fiat Chrysler bribes through fake charities

By Shannon Jones, 21 September 2017

The latest revelations in the scandal involving funds diverted from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center further underscore the anti-worker character of the UAW.

California: SEIU sabotages San Diego County workers’ strike

By Kevin Martinez, 19 September 2017

A planned two-day strike potentially involving 10,000 workers was called off at the last minute by the Service Employees International Union.

Burlington, Vermont teachers strike continues as officials refuse to budge on concession demands

By Kate Randall, 18 September 2017

The 400 teachers went out on strike Thursday after nine-hour negotiations between a mediator, the Burlington’s Democratic mayor and the Burlington Education Association broke down.

IAM ends Chicago area mechanics strike

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 September 2017

After seven weeks of struggle, IAM Local 701 imposed a sellout deal on striking Chicago area mechanics.

Pittsburgh Boilermakers Union official admits theft of funds

By Shannon Jones, 16 September 2017

In yet another case of corruption by union officials, a former business manager of the Boilermakers Union pled guilty in federal court to stealing at least $1.5 million in members’ dues money.

Charges dropped against Amtrak engineer in Philadelphia derailment

By Jeff Lusanne, 15 September 2017

The charges follow a typical pattern in which prosecutors seek to offload the blame for disasters onto railroad workers, ignoring the role of management and government policy.

Teachers strike in Burlington, Vermont over health care cuts, working conditions

By Jerry White, 15 September 2017

More than 400 teachers walked out on strike in Burlington Thursday, after efforts by a mediator, the city’s Democratic mayor and the Burlington Education Association failed to prevent the strike.

Canadian auto union moves to ram through concessions deal on GM CAMI workers

By Carl Bronski, 15 September 2017

With contempt for workers, Unifor officials have called a “ratification/strike” meeting for Sunday without releasing any information about what workers are supposed to vote on.

Chicago area auto mechanics reject dealers’ “last, best and final offer”

By Jerry White, 13 September 2017

Chicago area car mechanics, now in the seventh week of their strike, voted down the concessions-laden contract brought back by the International Association of Machinists.

Worker exposes deadly conditions at Detroit area US Steel mill

By Shannon Jones, 12 September 2017

A steelworker describes on Facebook the callous response of both management and the United Steelworkers to the exposure of a group of crane operators to a deadly gas.

Riverside, California county workers stage two-day strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

12 September 2017

Rather than mobilize the power of the working class, the Service Employees International Union used the walkout as a photo op for various Democratic Party candidates.

IAM pushes sellout deal on striking Chicago car mechanics

By Jessica Goldstein, 11 September 2017

Mechanics are not paid for the hours worked on the clock, but by the number of hours the automobile manufacturers assign to the parts they work on.

“If the Internet shuts down, we wouldn’t know anything. The union isn’t going to tell us”

Autoworkers in Detroit support campaign against Google Internet censorship

By a WSWS reporting team, 9 September 2017

SEP campaign teams in the Detroit area collected scores of signatures last weekend for the petition opposing Google’s Internet censorship.

Worker killed at Kansas oil refinery as OSHA conceals data on workplace deaths

By Jessica Goldstein, 8 September 2017

US workplaces have been getting deadlier and deadlier as the stock markets soar and the wealth of society is concentrated into the hands of a shrinking number of oligarchs.

“We don’t know what kind of deal they’ve struck with the breakaway dealerships”

IAM isolates striking Chicago car mechanics, seeks separate agreements

By Jessica Goldstein, 5 September 2017

Striking Chicago-area auto mechanics remain militant during their fifth week of struggle while the union tries to shut down the strike by making deals with independent dealerships.

It's like an “early 1900s factory”

Walgreens pharmacy workers in Michigan speak out against harsh working conditions

By George Kirby, 29 August 2017

The WSWS spoke to workers at Walgreens’ Specialty Pharmacies, who face similar working conditions to Amazon warehouse workers.

Striking Toronto baggage handlers reject offer, continue job action

Workers Struggles: The Americas

29 August 2017

The workers voted down a proposed contract offer very similar to one they had previously rejected.

Ford workers speak out against sexual harassment, UAW corruption

By our reporters, 28 August 2017

Autoworkers in Michigan and Chicago reacted with disgust and anger to reports of widespread sexual abuse at Ford coming alongside indictments of UAW and Fiat Chrysler officials for corruption.

CSX worker in Tennessee seriously injured due to cutbacks

Railroads push cost-cutting and contract concessions

By Jeff Lusanne, 25 August 2017

Railroads continue to push for concessions three years after contracts for 145,000 workers expired, while implementing cost-cutting changes to please Wall Street.

“If you don’t stand up, nothing happens”

Union isolates Chicago-area auto mechanics strike in its fourth week

By Jessica Goldstein and George Marlowe, 22 August 2017

Rank-and-file mechanics of in the Chicago area spoke out against poverty wages and unfair labor practices, as the union attempts to shut down the strike.

More charges in Fiat Chrysler corruption scandal

UAW executives accepted bribes “to take company-friendly positions”

By Joseph Kishore, 21 August 2017

The multimillion-dollar bribery scheme exposes the UAW as a corrupt agent of corporate management, which has worked to impose massive concessions contracts at FCA, General Motors and Ford.

Protests against Amazon’s bid to seize land from historic African-American community in Virginia

By Nick Barrickman and Alex González, 21 August 2017

As if returning to feudal times, Amazon, with billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos at its helm, is upending communities with historic ties to the great democratic gains from the American Civil War.

CSX railroad closes and downgrades major facilities

By Jeff Lusanne, 10 August 2017

Workers at yards across the CSX system have been pushed aggressively to speed up work, risking injury, under the threat of yards being downgraded or closed.

Spectrum strike in New York-New Jersey enters fifth month

By Mark Witkowski, 9 August 2017

The unions have left Spectrum workers to battle the giant telecom company on their own.

“We work harder for pennies”

Striking Chicago-area mechanics denounce auto dealerships’ contract offer

By Jessica Goldstein, 7 August 2017

Striking mechanics told the WSWS that after years of concessions they are determined to obtain a real wage increase and better contract terms.

“I’ve read about revolutions. If you ignore the lower class long enough they’ll rise up”

Amazon Jobs Day applicants speak out

By our reporters, 3 August 2017

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site and International Amazon Workers Voice spoke to applicants in Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.

As worker anger over UAW corruption scandal grows, union president defends sellout contracts

By Jerry White, 3 August 2017

With the corruption scandal threatening to ensnare wider layers of the UAW bureaucracy, union president Dennis Williams is trying to contain the growing anger of autoworkers.

“This only verifies what so many of us thought was happening before and after our so-called contract negotiations”

Indiana Fiat Chrysler workers react to UAW bribery indictment

By Jerry White, 31 July 2017

Workers at the Kokomo casting plant spoke out on the charges that company officials handed more than $1 million to the United Auto Workers’ top negotiator between 2009 and 2014.

Foxconn gets $3 billion in tax subsidies to build plant in Wisconsin

By George Marlowe, 31 July 2017

The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn has worked a deal to get up to $3 billion in tax subsidies for a promise of creating 3,000 jobs.

Amazon CEO Bezos makes $1.4 billion Thursday morning, briefly becoming world’s richest person

By Evan Blake, 28 July 2017

Bezos’s ascension to the heights of society rests on the exploitation of Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of workers worldwide.

Federal indictment charges Fiat Chrysler paid top UAW negotiator $1.2 million in bribes

By Jerry White, 27 July 2017

A federal indictment filed in US District Court in Detroit Wednesday charges that a former vice president of Fiat Chrysler funneled more than a million dollars in bribes to United Auto Workers Vice President General Holiefield between 2009 and 2014.

“We don’t blame Mexico, we blame the company”

Workers denounce layoffs at Indianapolis Carrier plant

By Shelley Connor and Jerry White, 25 July 2017

Sacked workers at the United Technology Corporation's Carrier plant have responded with outrage and hostility, not only towards UTC, but to Trump and the United Steelworkers union.

Government gives Amazon millions in free money for Romulus, Michigan warehouse

By Robert Verdine, 25 July 2017

The multi-billion corporation is pocketing millions in investments and tax breaks from Detroit area suburbs for the building of new fulfillment and warehouse facilities.

Teachers’ unions attract few at “March for Public Education” in Washington, D.C.

By our reporters, 24 July 2017

The small turnout shows popular alienation from the unions, which have colluded in the attacks on teachers and public education.

Harley Davidson to cut 180 jobs at Milwaukee and Kansas City plants

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 July 2017

Neither the International Association of Machinists nor the United Steelworkers have made even a pretense of fighting the threatened layoffs.

Connecticut Democrats, unions impose $1.5 billion in givebacks on state workers

By John Marion, 24 July 2017

Governor Dannel Malloy and union executives browbeat the 40,000 state workers into accepting the deal with the threat of mass layoffs and potential bankruptcy of the City of Hartford.

Study reveals gutting of health care and pensions for US workers

By Isaac Finn, 21 July 2017

Global risk management firm Willis Towers Watson revealed the impact of the corporate-government assault on workers’ retirement and medical benefits.

Tufts Medical Center lockout to end with no gains for nurses

By John Marion, 17 July 2017

The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) and Democratic Party politicians are using stunts to pressure management into negotiations while nurses go without pay.

SEIU cuts short three-day strike of New York airport workers

By Isaac Finn, 13 July 2017

Following a walkout on July 11 of roughly 700 workers at Newark Liberty International Airport, SEIU 32BJ ended a threatened three-day strike against PrimeFlight Inc., after the company agreed to negotiate.

AT&T West workers reject deal pushed by Communications Workers of America

By Jake Dean, 11 July 2017

After AT&T workers in California and Nevada rejected the sellout deal, the CWA immediately agreed to federal mediation, a blackout on information and a no-strike pledge.

“They said that to protect the company”

Coworkers denounce false report of suicide after Detroit electrician falls to his death

By Tim Rivers, 7 July 2017

Medical examiner’s report repudiates claims by police and the media that veteran electrician Michael Morrison, who plummeted 75 feet at the Little Caesars sports arena, took his own life.

Many questions in Detroit GM plant explosion

By Shannon Jones, 6 July 2017

A Wednesday morning explosion at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant has left three workers injured and one hospitalized.

The way forward for West Coast port truck drivers

By Dan Conway and Jerry White, 4 July 2017

The Teamsters union shut down the strike, the 15th such walkout over the last four years, without resolving any of the critical issues demanded by the drivers.

Two US coal miners killed in June

By Naomi Spencer, 1 July 2017

The deaths of two coal miners last month put 2017 on track to reach fatality figures not seen since the relative boom period of 2011-13.

California Amazon worker speaks out:

“Amazon fired me because I complained about age discrimination”

By Evan Blake, 20 June 2017

The former Amazon employee described a climate of favoritism and abuse against older workers at the multinational behemoth's warehouses.

Los Angeles and Long Beach port truckers strike over misclassification

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 June 2017

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

Trump administration rolls back “joint-employer” labor provision in favor of big business

By E.P. Milligan, 13 June 2017

The decision will serve to further empower the major corporations while reducing their accountability and restricting the rights of workers.

Trump, the coal miners and the environment

By Jerry White, 6 June 2017

Stripped of the demagogy and lies, the line of the Trump administration amounts to the proposition that miners must place their full trust and confidence in the benevolence of the coal bosses.

In move to compete with Amazon, Walmart asks workers to make deliveries during commute

By Evan Blake, 6 June 2017

The two companies are competing with one another to cut costs and boost profits by increasing the exploitation of their workforces.

Settlement at AT&T West, DirecTV, while Spectrum telecom strike continues

Workers Struggles: the Americas

6 June 2017

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

GM announces more layoffs as US auto sales decline

By Shannon Jones, 3 June 2017

General Motors announced 300 job cuts at its Warren, Michigan transmission plant amid continuing signs of a slowdown in US auto sales after a seven-year boom.

Three Wisconsin workers die in corn mill explosion, several more seriously injured

By Gary Joad, 3 June 2017

Federal agencies have cited the company for multiple safety and environmental violations as far back as the early 2000s.

Amazon ordered employee to work despite heatstroke risk, sought to cover up incident

By Eric London, 30 May 2017

The young Virginia worker told the International Amazon Workers Voice that she has still not received medical attention despite suffering long-term health effects.

Rampant safety hazards, wage theft on Nashville construction sites

By Warren Duzak, 26 May 2017

In a survey of 1,435 construction workers in six major southern US cities, Nashville ranked number one in the frequency of injuries.

Caterpillar, Butterball to close factories in Montgomery, Illinois, laying off 1,400 workers

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 24 May 2017

The dual factory closures in the far western suburbs of Chicago take place in an area already hard hit by decades of deindustrialization.

Wall Street engineers ouster of top Ford executives

By Jerry White, 23 May 2017

The management reshuffling at the number two US automaker, described in industry circles as a “coup,” underscores the complete domination of the banks and financial speculators.

San Diego, California school district pushes forward with layoffs and cuts

By Norisa Diaz and Toby Reese, 23 May 2017

Some 1,500 educators and support staff in the San Diego Unified School District have been finishing the school year with apprehension that they may not have a job next fall.

Strikes in Colombia underscore worsening conditions in schools and among workers

Workers Struggles: The Americas

23 May 2017

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

“It is time we all stood up”

AT&T workers call for broader fight as CWA ends weekend strike

By our reporting teams, 22 May 2017

AT&T workers are determined to recoup past concessions, handed to the world’s largest company by the Communications Workers of America.

West Virginia coal miner killed at pit run by environmental fund

By Naomi Spencer, 22 May 2017

A West Virginia coal miner was killed May 18, bringing to seven the number of fatal coal mine accidents in the US this year.

Union conceals district’s takeaway demands from Detroit teachers

By Phyllis Steele, 22 May 2017

So egregious were the school board’s demands that the Detroit Federation of Teachers executive board could not bring it back to rank-and-file educators.

CWA begins three-day strike at AT&T as US telecom workers press for real fight

By Mark Witkowski and Shannon Jones, 20 May 2017

While continuing the isolation of workers at Spectrum, the CWA has organized a token, three-day, strike against AT&T West and AT&T Mobility.

CWA threatens weekend strike at AT&T as US telecom workers press for real fight

By Mark Witkowski and Shannon Jones, 19 May 2017

While continuing the isolation of workers at Spectrum, the CWA has called for a token, three-day strike against AT&T West and AT&T Mobility.

US autoworkers discuss Ford job cuts, Washington political crisis

By Shannon Jones, 18 May 2017

The cutbacks are a further indication that the boom in auto sales is coming to an end.

University of Puerto Rico students protest austerity measures

By Rafael Azul, 16 May 2017

Striking students occupying the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras are defying a court order to end their protest.