Workers Issues in the US

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Walkout by West Virginia teachers to continue through Monday

By Shannon Jones, 24 February 2018

The unions announced the extension of the two-day strike on Friday evening, fearful that the anger of teachers could erupt outside of their control.

“We need an uprising of the people to put a stop to this”

West Virginia teachers call for expansion of their struggle

By Lawrence Porter, 24 February 2018

A World Socialist Web Site reporting team spoke with teachers protesting outside the state capitol in Charleston on Friday.

West Virginia teachers take a stand

By Joseph Kishore, 24 February 2018

The two-day strike by teachers in West Virginia is part of a growing wave of working-class opposition throughout the US and internationally.

West Virginia teachers carry out state-wide strike

By Jerry White, 23 February 2018

In the first teachers strike in nearly three decades, nearly 15,000 West Virginia teachers, school bus drivers and other school employees walked out Thursday.

“We are tired of waiting”

West Virginia teachers demand quality pay, health care

By our reporters, 23 February 2018

The WSWS spoke to many of those participating in a rally of thousands of teachers and their supporters in Charleston, West Virginia on Thursday

“This struggle should be spread nationally”

Two-day statewide teacher walkout planned in West Virginia

By Nancy Hanover, 21 February 2018

As teachers gear up for a two-day walkout, the unions are doubling down on legislative horse-trading focused on keeping opposition confined to the Democratic Party.

Labor Notes defends UAW amidst corruption scandal

By Shannon Jones, 20 February 2018

Breaking their silence on the United Auto Workers corruption scandal, the pseudo-left organizations have chosen a prominent supporter of the Labor Notes publication to defend the UAW.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 February 2018

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

Thousands rally to defend teachers in Charleston, West Virginia

By Niles Niemuth, 19 February 2018

This weekend’s protest is the latest expression of working-class anger over social inequality throughout the US and internationally.

“It’s time for a general strike or protest, nationwide”

West Virginia teachers denounce education cuts, social crisis

By a WSWS reporting team, 19 February 2018

Teachers and other workers described the impact of decades of attacks on wages and conditions and the need for a broad fight by the entire working class.

County-wide walkouts spread, as West Virginia teachers demand statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 17 February 2018

Teachers confront not just the intransigence of the Republican governor and lawmakers, but also the determination of the unions to channel anger behind the Democratic Party.

“There could be so many more Jacoby Hennings out there”

Autoworkers want truth about young Ford worker’s death

By a WSWS reporting team, 16 February 2018

The demand by the parents of Jacoby Hennings for the truth about the death of the young Ford worker at a Detroit area factory has resonated deeply among autoworkers.

As profits soar, US construction workers see increase in death and injury on the job

By Jessica Goldstein and Tim Rivers, 15 February 2018

In spite of revolutionary advances in the technology for tracking and preventing accidents on job sites, deaths and disabling injuries among construction workers are on the rise.

“We want to be able to afford to live”

West Virginia teachers press for statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 14 February 2018

Rank-and-file teachers are increasingly clashing with union executives who are seeking a rotten compromise with the state government.

Kimberly-Clark to lay off over 600 workers and close two plants in Wisconsin

By Christopher Davion, 13 February 2018

The announcement of the plan to close two plants in northeastern Wisconsin is part of an international restructuring which involves laying off as many as 5,500.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

13 February 2018

Union cancels walkout by St. Paul, Minnesota teachersThe United States

West Virginia teachers authorize statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 12 February 2018

Teachers throughout the state voted overwhelmingly to authorize strike action to raise wages and stop plans to increase public employees’ health care costs

West Virginia teacher speaks on social conditions, issues in strike vote

By Naomi Spencer, 12 February 2018

Beyond the derisory 1 percent wage increase, untenable social conditions and health care costs are motivating teachers to take up picket signs for the first time in three decades in West Virginia.

St. Paul, Minnesota teachers face Tuesday strike deadline

By Matt Rigel, 12 February 2018

While the school district has cried broke, federal, state and city officials have showered billions of dollars in tax cuts on the state’s Fortune 500 corporations.

Chicago public school teachers vote to approve merger with charter teachers union

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2018

The merger between the two AFT locals was rejected by nearly one-third of those who voted, based on the Chicago Teachers Union’s complicity with Mayor Emanuel’s school privatization efforts.

Three thousand Pittsburgh schoolworkers vote on strike

By Samuel Davidson, 10 February 2018

The Pittsburgh Public Schools workers are frustrated over massive budget cuts and years without a new contract.

UAW contracts must be declared null and void

By Jerry White, 7 February 2018

The corruption revealed in the unfolding scandal is not an aberration, but expresses the very essence of the UAW.

“They chew you up and spit you out”

Ford workers in Chicago speak out on UAW corruption

By our reporters, 6 February 2018

Workers at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant reacted to the continuing revelations in the UAW corruption scandal and denounced abuses by the union and management.

“The 1 percent raise is a slap in the face.”

After one-day strike, West Virginia teachers face battle over wages and medical benefits

By Phyllis Steele and Jerry White, 6 February 2018

Teachers and state employees are in a fight against both big business parties that have starved public education of resources for decades.

British Columbia Safeway workers locked out

Workers Struggles: The Americas

6 February 2018

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

Evidence that Norwood Jewell was bribed to sign 2015 UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal

By Jerry White, 5 February 2018

Fiat Chrysler threw a lavish party for Jewell, two months after the top administrative body of the UAW tagged him to lead negotiations with the automaker.

West Virginia teachers hold one-day strikes and statewide protests

By Nancy Hanover, 3 February 2018

West Virginia teachers have not had a raise since 2014, and are presently ranked 48th in the nation in average salary.

Another $6 billion for Bezos overnight

Amazon reports record profit in final quarter of 2017

By Will Morrow, 3 February 2018

Amazon’s profits are the outcome of the brutal exploitation of the company’s global workforce of over 550,000 people.

To reduce costs Texas officials slash special education enrollment

By Todd Thompson, 3 February 2018

Texas deliberately set about to deny access to special education services, in knowing contravention of federal rules.

Workers discuss UAW corruption scandal at WSWS Autoworker Newsletter call-in meeting

By our reporters, 2 February 2018

Autoworkers discussed the significance of the scandal and the Autoworker Newsletter’s call for the formation of rank-and-file committees, independent of the United Auto Workers union.

Seattle schoolbus drivers walk out in indefinite strike

By Hector Cordon, 2 February 2018

After a one-day strike in November failed to yield an improved contract offer, schoolbus drivers walked off the job Thursday in what is being billed as an indefinite strike.

Workers demand nullification of contracts

Anger mounts as UAW VP for Fiat Chrysler is implicated in corruption scandal

By Shannon Jones, 1 February 2018

Former Fiat Chrysler chief negotiator Iacobelli named Jewell’s charity as the recipient of “prohibited payments” siphoned through the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center.

Funerals begin for five Oklahoma workers killed in gas well explosion

By Trévon Austin, 1 February 2018

The rig explosion was the deadliest in the oil and gas industry since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

Fiat Chrysler workers file class action against UAW demanding return of union dues

By Jerry White, 31 January 2018

A legal complaint by three autoworkers charges the union with colluding to destroy wages and rights, and defrauding workers of hundreds of millions of dollars in union dues.

Harley-Davidson to close Kansas City plant, lay off 800

By Marcus Day, 31 January 2018

The mass layoffs at the motorcycle manufacturer are part of a growing wave of job losses, belying Trump’s claims of strength in the US economy.

“Everybody wants to walk at our plant”

US autoworkers want to overturn contracts UAW signed after corporate bribes

By Jerry White, 30 January 2018

In some plants autoworkers have discussed walking out on strike, insisting the contracts signed by corrupt UAW officials are null and void.

Questions remain one month after death of auto parts worker in Western Michigan

By David Rodriguez, 30 January 2018

56-year-old Scott Teusink died last month after he was hit by a massive steel coil at Challenge Manufacturing in the city of Holland, Michigan.

Halifax shipyard workers stage wildcat walkout

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 January 2018

Hundreds of Halifax shipbuilding workers walked off the job January 25 to protest irregularities in their paychecks, defying union officials who insisted they stay on the job during ongoing contract negotiations.

Contracts signed by corrupt UAW should be nullified: A reply to Dennis Williams

By Jerry White, 29 January 2018

Why should autoworkers accept the terms of a labor agreement signed by union officials on the payroll of the auto corporations?

US autoworkers express outrage over latest revelations of UAW bribery

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 January 2018

Autoworkers reacted angrily to the admission by former Fiat Chrysler negotiator Alphons Iacobelli that he paid $1.5 million to UAW officials to influence contract negotiations.

In plea deal with prosecutors

Former Fiat Chrysler negotiator says FCA bribed the UAW to secure passage of 2009, 2015 contracts

By Shannon Jones, 25 January 2018

According to a court filing Alphons Iacobelli paid $1.5 million to top UAW officials between 2009 and 2015 for the express purpose of influencing contract negotiations.

Toys “R” Us, Kimberly-Clark add to job cuts in 2018

By Jerry White, 25 January 2018

Even as the Trump administration touts its massive corporate tax cuts, claiming it is spurring new investment, hiring and rising wages, US corporations have embarked on a wave of mass layoffs.

Bodies of five workers recovered at site of Oklahoma gas well blast

By Jerry White, 24 January 2018

The victims ranged from new floor hands to veteran oil and gas workers.

Five missing after Oklahoma drilling rig explosion

By Matthew Taylor, 23 January 2018

The explosion occurs only weeks after the Trump administration moved to roll back regulations on off-shore oil drilling implemented in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that killed eleven workers.

Seattle school bus drivers reject second contract proposal by First Student

By Jean LaChance and Hector Cordon, 23 January 2018

Drivers voted by 85 percent to reject a concessions deal brought back by the Teamsters union

Amazon narrows rat race for second HQ to 20 cities

By Mark Ferretti, 23 January 2018

Twenty cities and regions are entering a second round of jockeying, flattery and bribery to woo the mammoth retailer.

Brazilian metro workers hold one-day strike over privatization plans

Workers Struggles: The Americas

23 January 2018

A strike by transit workers in the city of São Paulo’s paralyzed subway transport in the city leaving many morning commuters stranded.

Jeep workers demonstrate at Detroit auto show against job cuts

By Tim Rivers, 22 January 2018

United Auto Workers Local 12 called the demonstration to vent worker anger over the termination of 88 union truck drivers from the Fiat Chrysler Toledo Truck Terminal.

Two key players in UAW corruption scandal to enter guilty pleas

By Shannon Jones, 18 January 2018

The wife of a deceased UAW official and a Fiat Chrysler executive are expected to plead guilty to charges they took part in a scheme to siphon off millions from the UAW-Chrysler Joint Training Center.

Boston Transit: Control Board fiddles while the Red Line burns

By John Marion, 18 January 2018

Three years after a series of snow storms shut down Boston’s public transportation system, no real improvements to the decrepit infrastructure have been made.

Kentucky water crisis outrage: Another US worker arrested for criticizing government officials

By Sheila Brehm, 15 January 2018

A former coal miner was stopped from complaining about the persistent shutoff of drinking water to families in Martin County.

“Keep fighting, we have to come together”

Educators denounce attack on Louisiana school teacher Deyshia Hargrave

By Nancy Hanover, 15 January 2018

WSWS Teacher Newsletter readers explain their support for the Louisiana teacher who was arrested for speaking out at a school board meeting last week.

US coal mining fatalities nearly doubled in 2017

By Clement Daly, 12 January 2018

The surge in mining deaths reflects the deterioration of working conditions in the US coal industry.

Huntsville, Alabama Toyota-Mazda plant announcement highlights shift in auto production to southeastern US

By Ed Hightower, 12 January 2018

The planned facility is the latest expansion of “transplants” in the US South and will employ some 4,000 workers.

As workers seek higher wages

Billionaire warns of growing class conflict in US

By Jerry White, 9 January 2018

After decades of declining real wages, hundreds of thousands of workers face contract struggles this year in the trucking, warehouse, health care, telecom and entertainment industries.

NLRB rejects UAW appeal of Honeywell lockout

Workers Struggles: The Americas

9 January 2018

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

Foxconn tax subsidies to build Wisconsin plant reach over $4 billion

By George Gallanis, 6 January 2018

Decades of deindustrialization have created unprecedented levels of social inequality, poverty and unemployment, which corporations like Foxconn can exploit.

As teachers face new battles against Trump

Lessons of the fight against Obama’s “school reform”—Part 2

By Nancy Hanover and Jerry White, 6 January 2018

Taken together, the seminal struggles of teachers and other public sector workers in Wisconsin (2011), Chicago (2012) and Detroit (2015-16) contain powerful political lessons for the defense of education and workers’ rights.

AT&T and other US telecoms begin wave of layoffs

By Mark Witkowski, 5 January 2018

Flush with billions in cash and counting on the complicity of the unions, the telecom giants are preparing more job-cutting mergers.

As teachers face new battles against Trump

Lessons of the fight against Obama’s “school reform”—Part 1

By Nancy Hanover and Jerry White, 4 January 2018

Taken together, the seminal struggles of teachers and other public-sector workers in Wisconsin (2011), Chicago (2012) and Detroit (2015-16) have powerful political lessons for the defense of education and workers’ rights.

It’s the most exhausting time of the year: Amazon, UPS workers denounce grueling holiday conditions

By our reporters, 30 December 2017

Amid reports of deaths at Amazon and UPS, workers at Amazon, UPS, FedEx, US Postal Service, and other logistics and delivery companies have been under immense pressure to meet increased demand during the Christmas holiday.

Massachusetts public transportation workers’ wages, benefits, and safety under attack

By John Marion, 29 December 2017

A report by the transport authority’s Fiscal and Management Control Board hints at plans to continue privatizing the nation’s fifth-largest public transportation system.

Amazon worker dies after vomiting blood at Sacramento, California fulfillment center

By Kristina Betinis, 23 December 2017

This is at least the third death in recent months for the world’s largest online retailer, and the company has nearly doubled its workforce for holiday sales.

“If finding out what happened could save another life at least something good would come from our son’s death”

Family, co-workers want truth about Kentucky Ford worker’s death

By Jerry White, 23 December 2017

Two weeks after the death of 41-year-old electrician Ivan Bridgewater, company, union and government officials have not explained how the fatal accident occurred.

US workplace fatalities rose 7 percent in 2016

By Jerry White, 20 December 2017

The rise in occupational deaths during Obama’s last years in office lifts the lid on record corporate profits and America’s so-called “economic recovery.”

OSHA dragging its feet investigating death of Pennsylvania Amazon worker Devan Shoemaker

By Douglas Lyons, 20 December 2017

28-year-old Devan Shoemaker was run over by a tractor-trailer while working for Amazon. He leaves behind a young son and wife.

Few facts in horrific death of Canton, Ohio meat packing worker Samuel Martinez

By Shannon Jones, 19 December 2017

As is typical, the media has dealt with this tragedy in a perfunctory manner, seeking to conceal the social implications of the industrial carnage taking place in the United States.

SEIU calls off week-long Oakland city strike without contract

Workers Struggles: The Americas

19 December 2017

The calling off of the walkout is a stab in the back for workers who are seeking improvements in wages and better treatment of part time workers.

Horrific death at Ohio meatpacking plant

Industrial carnage continues in US workplaces

By Jerry White, 18 December 2017

A 62-year-old immigrant worker is the latest victim in a wave of industrial fatalities in the US. On-the-job injuries claim nearly 5,000 lives every year.

UPS worker killed at Atlanta hub

By Steve Filips, 18 December 2017

William Stubbs, 51, a 17-year UPS employee was killed while unloading a trailer parked at a dock.

Amid escalating corruption scandal, top UAW operatives step down

By Shannon Jones, 15 December 2017

The ongoing federal corruption investigation and growing worker anger and militancy are fueling an apparent crisis in the top echelons of the United Auto Workers union.

“Ford and big companies don’t care if you live or not”

Ford workers speak out on Kentucky Truck worker’s death

By Jessica Goldstein and Jerry White, 14 December 2017

A coroner ruled that Ivan Bridgewater, 41, died of blunt force trauma under still unexplained circumstances.

Panel calls for cost-cutting to stabilize New Jersey pension fund

By Mark Ferretti, 13 December 2017

The panel recommended reducing state employees’ health benefits to the less-generous levels common in the private sector.

The death toll behind corporate America’s record profits

By Jerry White, 12 December 2017

A 41-year-old electrician at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant is the latest victim of the relentless drive for corporate profit in America.

Electrician, 41, killed at Ford Kentucky Truck Plant on Saturday

By Jessica Goldstein, 11 December 2017

Ivan Bridgewater III was killed while working the third shift at the Louisville Kentucky plant and leaves behind a wife and young son.

Amazon workers ask “$100 billion man” Jeff Bezos: where’s my cut?

By our reporters, 9 December 2017

When reporters for the International Amazon Workers Voice interviewed part-time Amazon workers in Baltimore to discuss their attitude toward Bezos’ ill-gotten fortune, they were met with a torrent of disgust and calls for sharing the wealth.

Tesla management imposes brutal workplace regime as it ramps up production

By Jean LaChance, 8 December 2017

As Tesla ramps up production of its new, lower-priced Model 3, management is imposing an increasingly brutal regime, including the firing of 700 workers earlier this year.

Near walkout at Detroit auto plant over unsafe conditions

By Jerry White, 7 December 2017

Autoworkers at Fiat Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit threatened to walk out December 2 after company and UAW officials ignored their complaints about being sickened by fumes.

Worker killed at ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas

By Trévon Austin, 6 December 2017

The worker’s death highlights deteriorating safety standards in the oil industry, which have only worsened due to the collaboration of the United Steelworkers union.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

Halifax Shipyard workers vote 99 percent in favor of strike

5 December 2017

The union accuses management of seeking to impose a long list of concessions, including the decimation of safety rules.

Undocumented workers in Houston face hazardous conditions and unpaid wages

By Trévon Austin, 1 December 2017

The wage theft and abysmal working conditions facing undocumented relief workers in Houston is part of the criminality and negligence of the American ruling class’s response to natural disasters.

Amazon builds low-wage Maryland plant on ashes of largest steel mill in US

By Adam Soroka, 27 November 2017

The construction of the facility on the site of a former Bethlehem Steel mill is indicative of the decline of American capitalism.

Hundreds of paper mill jobs to be axed in US Pacific Northwest

By Hector Cordon, 24 November 2017

Three hundred paper mill workers are slated to lose their jobs at Koch Industries-owned Georgia Pacific as hundreds of other job cuts hit Washington state and Oregon.

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.