Workers Issues in the US
By a WSWS reporting team, 29 July 2015
Workers denounced attacks on benefits and job security at Manhattan demonstration.
By Naomi Spencer, 29 July 2015
The state has the highest unemployment and lowest workforce participation rates in the country, figures exacerbated by mass layoffs in coal, rail and other key industries.
By Shannon Jones, 24 July 2015
Behind the scenes the parameters are being developed for a betrayal of auto workers
By Gabriel Black, 23 July 2015
The top four bargainers for the UAW—Dennis Williams, James Settles, Cindy Estrada and Norwood Jewell—have a long record of imposing the dictates of corporate management.
By Samuel Davidson and Maria Kovalenko, 22 July 2015
Sixty thousand workers at the two largest telecommunication companies in the US face a fight to defend health care and pensions.
By George Gallanis, 20 July 2015
State and local governments have systematically starved public employee pension funds of cash for decades, claiming that there is “no money” to properly fund them.
By Jerry White, 16 July 2015
The opening of talks on new contracts covering 140,000 US autoworkers was marked by a grotesque display of UAW-corporate unity on plans to boost company profits and increase exploitation.
By Jerry White, 15 July 2015
The weekly newsletter will provide coverage of the struggle confronting 139,000 US workers at General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, whose labor contracts expire September 15.
By Kristina Betinis, 15 July 2015
A class action suit names both management personnel and UAW officials in connection with sexual harassment, racial discrimination and threats of violence.
By Jerry White, 13 July 2015
The negotiations do not involve antagonistic parties, as the UAW long ago abandoned any defense of workers’ interests and tied its institutional fate to the profits of the auto companies.
As contract talks set to start
By Tim Rivers, 13 July 2015
In a surprise announcement July 9, Ford Motor Company said it will shift production of the Focus and C-Max from its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan to an undisclosed location outside the US The move threatens the jobs of 4,000 workers employed at the plant.
By Samuel Davidson, 6 July 2015
Pittsburgh-based coal and natural gas giant Consol Energy is the latest in a series of private companies to cut health benefits for its retired workforce.
By Christopher Davion, 2 July 2015
After working since April 1 without a contract, Milwaukee bus drivers and mechanics began a 72-hour strike early Wednesday.
By Alexander Fangmann, 2 July 2015
Republican governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders are crafting a deal that will implement a bevy of anti-worker provisions as part of a bipartisan deal to raise taxes and cut state services.
With appointment of Kenneth Feinberg to oversee cuts
By Andre Damon, 20 June 2015
The White House said Wednesday that it will grant long-time Washington fixer Kenneth Feinberg the power to unilaterally slash the benefits of retirees in multiemployer pension funds.
By Jerry White, 17 June 2015
The cover story of Sunday’s New York Times Magazine promotes the myth that the unions waged a determined struggle against Wisconsin Governor, and likely Republican presidential candidate, Scott Walker.
By John Marion, 16 June 2015
Negotiations between General Electric and an umbrella group of unions began this month in New York.
By Alexander Fangmann, 9 June 2015
Senate Bill 1229 would ban strikes by state employees through the duration of Governor Bruce Rauner’s term in office.
By K. Rowe and Toby Reese, 6 June 2015
The Democratic-controlled city council voted unanimously for an agreement that maintains a starting wage of only $10 an hour for new EMTs.
By Jerry White, 5 June 2015
With little more than three months before the expiration of the labor agreement with GM, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler, autoworkers need to prepare now for a fight to defend their interests.
By Marc Wells, 1 June 2015
The “Fight for $15” campaign has been used to entice employers to bring in unions, which will in turn enforce sub-minimum wages.
By Hector Cordon, 26 May 2015
The contract signed by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union further undermines jobs and conditions and does nothing to address management’s moves to create a largely casualized, low-paid workforce.
By Daniel de Vries, 12 May 2015
The third major fire in eight years broke out at the nuclear facility, spilling thousands of gallons of oil into the Hudson River.
By Alexander Fangmann, 11 May 2015
Despite the ruling, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel remain committed to slashing public employee pensions.
By Kranti Kumara and Jerry White, 5 May 2015
From the beginning, the Atlanta case has been a political vendetta aimed at further discrediting public school teachers and accelerating the process of privatizing public education.
By Marcus Day, 5 May 2015
Even as it rewards its executives and shareholders, BP has repeatedly claimed that it must cut costs and impose harsh working conditions to remain competitive.
By Johanna Murger, 5 May 2015
Executive Warren Evans says the “strong medicine” in his financial plan is the only way to avoid emergency management in the county that includes Detroit.
By Dan Conway, 4 May 2015
The agreement signed by the LA teachers' union will escalate the assault on teachers and public education, while rewarding the union apparatus for backing school “reform.”
By Marc Wells, 2 May 2015
After a tentative agreement, 6,500 nurses in eight California hospitals returned to work.
“Part 2” of the Detroit bankruptcy
By Nancy Hanover, 2 May 2015
The governor’s plan to reorganize Detroit Public Schools is the most ambitious structural overhaul of public education since the all-charter school district was established in New Orleans.
By Marc Wells, 29 April 2015
Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike Monday over wage theft and to be reclassified as employees, not “independent contractors.”
By Marc Wells, 25 April 2015
Nurses at eight California hospitals and one Chicago medical center have announced a strike against understaffing, limited by the unions to a one- or two-day action.
By Marc Wells, 22 April 2015
California’s Inland Empire, one of the fastest growing economies in the US, is creating low-paying, unsafe jobs despite a considerable boom in the logistics industry.
By Tom Hall, 20 April 2015
LyondellBasell will begin unilaterally imposing the terms of a contract that includes huge givebacks on overtime pay.
By Niles Williamson, 18 April 2015
The world’s largest oilfield service company, Schlumberger, announced this week that as a result of declining oil production it will cut 11,000 jobs worldwide, bringing the firm’s total layoffs so far this year to 20,000.
14 April 2015
The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.
By Marcus Day, 13 April 2015
As the oil companies insist there is no money to improve working conditions or wages, last week Shell announced a $70 billion takeover of the natural gas company BG.
By Fred Mazelis, 13 April 2015
Gotbaum’s precedent-setting surrender of New York City workers’ rights in the 1970s paved the way for the American ruling class’ offensive against workers throughout the US and the record inequality of today.
By Jerry White, 11 April 2015
At last month’s UAW bargaining convention, a group of self-styled “dissidents” worked to bolster illusions that the UAW is a viable organization that can be reformed through pressure from below.
By George Marlowe and Jerry White, 1 April 2015
The March 27 event sponsored by the United Steelworkers and AFL-CIO was billed as a “solidarity” rally for 1,100 workers on strike at the BP Whiting, Indiana refinery for nearly two months.
By Jerry White, 30 March 2015
In a March 25 press conference following the United Auto Workers bargaining convention in Detroit, UAW President Dennis Williams said he was willing to consider the creation of a new, third tier of workers.
At bargaining convention in Detroit
By Jerry White, 26 March 2015
Facing demands from workers for a significant improvement of wages, the UAW reasserted its commitment to maintaining the competitiveness and profitability of the US automakers.
By George Marlowe, 26 March 2015
Workers at BP’s Whiting, Indiana plant and a handful of other refineries remain on strike, as the USW works to quickly end the walkout at Shell, Tesoro and other companies.
By Jerry White, 25 March 2015
The first day of the UAW bargaining convention underscored the organization’s role as a tool of the auto companies and the Obama administration.
By David Brown, 25 March 2015
The Stockton Teachers Association and School District have exchanged allegations of illegal labor practices in the wake of a recent strike authorization vote.
As United Auto Workers bargaining convention opens
By Shannon Jones, 24 March 2015
With GM, Ford and Chrysler raking in an estimated $76 billion since 2009, auto workers are determined to win improvements in the upcoming auto contract talks.
By Jerry White, 18 March 2015
Oil workers continue to walk the picket lines at refineries across the US despite the efforts of the United Steelworkers to shut down the month-and-a-half long strike.
By our reporters, 14 March 2015
Picketing by oil workers will continue until agreements are passed at each separate refinery, with workers who do not accept the terms left completely isolated.
By Jerry White, 13 March 2015
Any deal reached on the basis of blocking the full mobilization of oil workers against the intransigence of the energy giants can be nothing but a miserable betrayal.
By Shannon Jones, 13 March 2015
Obama’s criticism of the recently enacted right-to-work law in Wisconsin reflects divisions in the ruling establishment over the best way to pursue attacks on the working class.
By Dan Conway, 12 March 2015
The Los Angeles Unified School District Board voted on Tuesday to deliver “reduction in force” notices to 609 elementary school teachers and education workers.
By Jerry White, 11 March 2015
The USW has concentrated its energy not on defending workers against the energy conglomerates, but on threatening and harassing reporters from the World Socialist Web Site.
By Nick Barrickman, 10 March 2015
Over the past 15 there has been a concerted, bipartisan drive to slash employer assistance to workers injured on the job.
By David Brown, 9 March 2015
The USW has constrained the extent of the oil workers’ strike as the companies are preparing to bring in full-time strikebreakers.
By Shannon Jones, 6 March 2015
The USW boasts of close relations with the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that profits off the restructuring and downsizing of distressed companies.
By Clement Daly, 3 March 2015
Last year, 42 workers died in US mines, including 16 in the coal mining industry.
By George Marlowe and Jeff Lussane, 3 March 2015
Workers at BP’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana called for an all-out strike by 30,000 USW oil refinery employees.
By Niles Williamson, 2 March 2015
The union-sanctioned protest was markedly smaller than in 2011, when tens of thousands of workers and students filled the streets of the state capital to oppose right-wing legislation.
By Jerry White, 27 February 2015
In a “Letter to USW Oil Workers,” USW President Gerard made no attempt to explain the union’s selective strike policy or present a strategy against the intransigence of the oil giants.
By Jerry White, 24 February 2015
As the strike by oil workers enters its fourth week, the energy conglomerates are refusing to budge on demands for improved safety and working conditions.
By our reporters, 23 February 2015
Ford workers in Chicago and Chrysler workers outside Detroit called for expanding the strike to other industries.
By Dan Conway, 23 February 2015
The main goal of the port operators has been to push for even greater casualization of the labor force, aimed at the reintroduction of the notorious “shape up” system.
By John Marion, 23 February 2015
While Governor Baker has appointed a commission that will serve as a delaying tactic, workers are losing wages and prisoners are made to shovel subway tracks.
By Gabriel Black, 21 February 2015
On social media, striking oil refinery workers have expressed overwhelming support for a national strike and anger towards the divisive policy of the United Steelworkers union.
By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2015
Over the past three decades, the USW has overseen the betrayal of scores of strikes and the decimation of workers’ jobs, health care and pensions.
By Jerry White, 16 February 2015
The White House is intervening entirely on behalf of the shipping and terminal owners and, more generally, the corporate and financial elite in the US.
By Andre Damon, 14 February 2015
The attack on pensions is proceeding with complete disregard for the law, riding roughshod over state constitutional provisions protecting benefits that employees have earned over decades of toil.
By our reporters, 14 February 2015
As the strike of US oil workers enters its second week, the WSWS spoke to picketers at the Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery in Martinez, California.
By David Brown and Charles Abelard, 14 February 2015
Thirty-five years ago, US oil refinery workers carried out a nationwide strike, breaking through wage guidelines set by the Carter administration.
As US oil strike nears end of second week
By Jerry White, 13 February 2015
Coinciding with punitive actions against striking oil workers, the lockout of dock workers is part of an offensive against workers’ demands for improved wages and conditions.
By Kristina Betinis, 13 February 2015
The new governor has halted payment of agency fees to public employee unions as part of a broader policy of budget cuts and austerity.
By E.P. Bannon, 11 February 2015
The resumption of backroom talks between union executives and the oil giants is aimed at ending the strike and pushing through a sellout agreement for 30,000 oil workers.
11 February 2015
Over 5,000 oil workers are on strike at refineries in California, Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Washington state. The following is a collection of photos from the picket lines as well as photos from the 1980 strike.
10 February 2015
The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature
By Jerry White, 9 February 2015
After decades of declining living standards—even as corporate profits and share prices have soared—the oil refinery strike heralds an emerging “wages push” by American workers.
“If we all took a stand together we would be stronger”
By our reporters, 9 February 2015
WSWS reporting teams spoke to refinery workers on strike throughout the United States.
As walkout spreads to Indiana, Ohio BP refineries
By Jerry White and E.P. Bannon, 7 February 2015
The Obama administration is concerned that the USW could lose control and the struggle could inspire other sections of workers into action against deteriorating wages and working conditions.
By E.P. Bannon and Jerry White, 6 February 2015
With largely symbolic picketing doing little to hurt production, the companies can afford to wait for the union to wear down workers who have lost pay and health care.
By Jerry White, 6 February 2015
The profit-sharing checks being passed out by the Detroit automakers are a pittance compared to what auto workers have lost through wage and benefit cuts.
By Dan Conway and Jerry White, 4 February 2015
While workers are looking for a serious struggle, the United Steelworkers has limited the job action to largely symbolic picketing at nine out of 65 unionized refineries.
By Jeff Lusanne, 2 February 2015
The United Steelworkers union called a selective strike at nine oil refineries after the labor agreement covering 30,000 oil industry workers expired Sunday morning.
By our reporters, 30 January 2015
In line with its strategy of subordinating workers to the Democratic Party, AFSCME limited the strike by doctors to one day, focused on claims of unfair labor practices.
By Jeff Lusanne, 28 January 2015
In response to plunging oil prices and falling steel demand worldwide, producers ArcelorMittal and US Steel have announced hundreds of layoffs in East Chicago, Indiana.
By Jerry White, 27 January 2015
The following leaflet was distributed to teachers attending Sunday’s union meeting in Detroit.
By Gabriel Black, 26 January 2015
Several major oil service companies announced that they would cut significant sections of their workforce, leading to tens of thousands of new layoffs.
By Andre Damon, 19 January 2015
For the first time in at least fifty years, most public school students in the US are considered low-income.
By our reporters, 19 January 2015
Some 2,600 mental health care workers in California are in the second week of a strike against Kaiser Permanente.
By David Brown, 15 January 2015
Without a contract for four years, mental health workers in the National Union of Healthcare Workers at Kaiser Permanente are holding a series of partial strikes across California.
By Clement Daly, 13 January 2015
The wave of mine closures and layoffs in the US coal industry continued throughout the second half of 2014.
By Maria Kovalenko, 13 January 2015
The labor agreement covering 40,000 Verizon workers in the eastern United States expires in August.
By Todd Mason and Nick Barrickman, 12 January 2015
Nearly 100 Maryland sanitation workers returned to work last Thursday after their union agreed to a federal mediator’s request to end the strike without securing any of the workers’ basic demands.
By Gabriel Black, 10 January 2015
Although the official unemployment rate fell in December, workers’ wages declined and the labor force participation rate fell to the lowest level in 38 years.
“We’re becoming slaves”
By Hector Cordon, 10 January 2015
The United States Postal Service began closing 82 mail processing facilities nationwide this week, impacting 15,000 employees.
By Kevin Martinez, 7 January 2015
The giant steelmaker, which produces pipes for oil drilling at its Cleveland area mill, blamed falling oil prices for the downsizing.
By Tom Hall and Hector Cordon, 5 January 2015
The closures, scheduled to begin January 10, will impact 15,000 employees and eliminate overnight delivery for a large share of first class mail.
By Nick Barrickman and Todd Mason, 31 December 2014
Truck operators and helpers in suburban Washington, DC declared their intention to remain on strike until Unity Disposal and Recycling agrees to demands for better wages and benefits.
By our reporters, 30 December 2014
Unity Disposal Management has sought to drag out contract negotiations, demanding that trash haulers take a pay cut while drivers receive a minor wage increase.
By Jerry White, 24 December 2014
While tens of millions of Americans face a holiday season of economic insecurity and rising household debt, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stock index hit a record high on Tuesday.