Workers Issues in the US

After landslide “no” vote on Fiat Chrysler contract, UAW declares no better deal possible

By Joseph Kishore, 3 October 2015

Both the UAW and Fiat Chrysler are scrambling to find some way to push through a pro-company deal in the face of overwhelming opposition from autoworkers.

UAW tells John Deere workers nothing in run-up to vote on Sunday

By George Gallanis and Eric London, 3 October 2015

The WSWS urges John Deere workers to reject what can only be a rotten sellout and join forces with autoworkers in a joint struggle against the corporations and the UAW.

The significance of the “no” vote at Fiat Chrysler

By Joseph Kishore, 2 October 2015

The vote is the beginning of a counteroffensive by autoworkers against attacks that have spanned decades, from the first Chrysler concessions contract in 1979 to the government-backed bankruptcy and restructuring of the auto industry in 2009.

After the “no” vote: The way forward for autoworkers

2 October 2015

With the Chrysler “no” vote, autoworkers have seized the initiative. The question now is: What next?

UAW working with Ford to ensure minimal impact of possible strike in Kansas City

By Eric London, 2 October 2015

The UAW is helping the company move production to Michigan so any strike in Kansas City would have no impact on corporate profits.

After workers defeat Fiat Chrysler deal, UAW and auto bosses plot counter-attack

By Jerry White, 1 October 2015

The United Auto Workers has called union officials to Detroit today following the landslide defeat of its efforts to ram a pro-company deal past 40,000 Fiat Chrysler workers.

Two more plants overwhelmingly reject UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal, ensuring its defeat

By Joseph Kishore, 30 September 2015

With a rejection of the deal now a near certainty, the UAW and the auto companies are working behind the scenes to plan the next stage in their conspiracy against autoworkers.

US bankruptcy judge overturns A&P supermarket labor agreements

By Alan Whyte, 30 September 2015

A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled that benefits and rights of supermarket workers at the supermarket chain A&P can be drastically cut.

As opposition to UAW sellout grows, union hack denounces WSWS Autoworker Newsletter

By Eric London, 30 September 2015

In the face of the emerging militancy of the working class, the UAW and its supporters have a message of their own to autoworkers: sit down, shut up, and do as we say.

Fiat Chrysler workers challenge UAW vote count at Warren Truck

By Shannon Jones, 30 September 2015

Workers at the suburban Detroit factory expressed suspicion that the UAW rigged the vote to overcome widespread opposition to the sellout agreement.

Fiat Chrysler workers challenge UAW vote count at Warren Truck

By Shannon Jones, 29 September 2015

Workers at the suburban Detroit factory expressed suspicion that the UAW rigged the vote to overcome widespread opposition to the sellout agreement.

A revealing clash between Toledo Jeep workers and UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell

By Jerry White, 29 September 2015

Jewell, the chief architect of the Fiat-Chrysler sellout deal, was confronted by angry Jeep workers Sunday.

Teachers strike in Scranton, Pennsylvania

By a correspondent, 29 September 2015

Some 900 teachers and support staff are striking against cuts to health care and increased class sizes.

UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal expands network of anti-worker joint programs

By Shannon Jones, 29 September 2015

The labor-management programs provide lucrative payoffs to hundreds of UAW officials.

Fiat Chrysler workers sending UAW-backed deal to defeat

By Jerry White, 28 September 2015

Autoworkers at most of the automakers’ US plants have already voted “no” on the sellout agreement, which will attack jobs, wages and health benefits.

UAW’s Norwood Jewell denounces autoworkers at Toledo meeting

By Thomas Gaist, 28 September 2015

Toledo autoworkers denounced the agreement between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler, with the UAW vice president alternating between pleading for support and lambasting workers.

US coal giant seeks to eliminate health care for retirees

By Samuel Davidson, 28 September 2015

Years of working in the coal fields produce an array of health problems, from back and spine injury to black lung.

“Conditions are verging on an explosion”

Bowling Green, Kentucky autoworker speaks out

By Naomi Spencer, 28 September 2015

An autoworker with two decades of experience spoke to the WSWS about worsening conditions in the GM facility where the Corvette is manufactured.

Autoworkers in major plants vote overwhelmingly against UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal

By Eric London, 26 September 2015

Thousands of workers across the US are rejecting the sellout agreement as opposition to the UAW-FCA alliance deepens.

Allegheny Technologies lockout of 2,200 steelworkers enters seventh week

By Evan Winters and Samuel Davidson, 26 September 2015

The United Steelworkers of America continues to isolate 2,200 steelworkers who have been locked out by ATI.

Steelworkers in Detroit call for common fight with autoworkers

By a reporting team, 26 September 2015

Workers in both the auto and steel industries are facing attacks on jobs, wages, health care benefits, and pensions.

Fiat Chrysler workers reject UAW contract at Michigan and Indiana plants

By Jerry White, 25 September 2015

The initial votes at major factories reveal the deep hostility of workers to the sellout agreement, which will attack wages, jobs and health benefits.

Tipton, Indiana Fiat Chrysler worker: Company punished workers for getting injured on the job

By Eric London, 25 September 2015

Workers at the Tipton Fiat Chrysler plant complained that there was no UAW representative at the plant when a worker was written up after getting injured.

Caterpillar announces plans to lay off 10,000 workers

By George Gallanis, 25 September 2015

Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, has announced plans to close plants and slash thousands of jobs.

Volkswagen prepares to carry out restructuring at workers’ expense

By Peter Schwarz, 25 September 2015

In the wake of the VW emissions scandal, demands are being raised to fundamentally restructure the company to make it more profitable.

Healthcare cuts planned as part of UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal

By Jerry White, 24 September 2015

Far more is involved in the agreement between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler than is being openly stated by the union and the company.

Auto news update

Mopar workers in Michigan vote to reject UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal as anger grows

By Eric London, 24 September 2015

A UAW informational meeting held in Kokomo, Indiana Thursday morning erupted in shouting as workers voiced hostility to the UAW’s efforts to ram the sellout contract through.

Autoworkers denounce UAW efforts to force through deal with Fiat Chrysler

Many warn of ballot rigging to ensure “yes” vote

By Eric London, 22 September 2015

In the face of widespread opposition to the agreement, the UAW is seeking to hold votes as rapidly as possible, giving workers no time to study the contract and organize opposition.

UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal is a warning to John Deere workers

By George Gallanis, 22 September 2015

Discussions between the UAW and Deere, which began in late August, have been shrouded in secrecy, the same method the UAW has used in the auto negotiations.

Seattle teachers union pushes through sellout contract

By David Brown, 22 September 2015

Under pressure from the union, teachers in Seattle have accepted a sellout contract as other school districts continue to strike.

The political issues in the autoworkers’ struggle

By Jerry White, 22 September 2015

The fight to win the most elemental rights of workers, including a significant improvement in living standards and an end to the two-tier wage system, pits autoworkers in a struggle against the entire economic and political system.

Autoworker outrage erupts over UAW-Fiat Chrysler sellout deal

Campaign for “no” vote grows

By our reporter, 21 September 2015

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter is leading a campaign for a “no” vote and for workers to form rank-and-file committees, independent of the UAW, to organize opposition.

“The UAW is corporate now. They’re the police of the company.”

Autoworkers across the US outraged over UAW-Fiat Chrysler deal

By Eric London, 21 September 2015

As details emerge of the agreement made last week by Fiat Chrysler and the UAW, workers say the fact the union would agree to the deal is an insult to their intelligence.

Lockout of US steelworkers at ATI enters sixth week

By Evan Winters, 21 September 2015

In the sixth week of the lockout, the company maintains a hard line and continues its efforts to operate with scab labor from Strom Engineering.

Reject UAW sellout! Build rank-and-file committees to fight the union-company conspiracy against autoworkers!

By Jerry White, 21 September 2015

The UAW is pushing a deal that will establish permanently lower wages, shift the costs of health care onto workers, encourage back-breaking speedups and set the stage for a new round of layoffs and plant closings.

UAW “highlights” of Fiat Chrysler deal expose corporate-union conspiracy against autoworkers

By Joseph Kishore, 19 September 2015

Autoworkers should reject the sellout agreement—which will escalate the attack on jobs and living standards—with the contempt that it deserves.

The GM ignition defect settlement and capitalist “justice”

By Patrick Martin, 19 September 2015

The slap on the wrist this week for General Motors, for the deaths of at least 124 people, is another demonstration that capitalism has one law for working people and another for the ruling elite.

Locked out Allegheny Technologies steelworkers continue fight

By Evan Winters, 19 September 2015

The lockout of 2,200 steelworkers at Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) at 12 mills in six states has entered its sixth week.

Contract worker killed at US Steel mill in Pittsburgh

By Evan Winters, 19 September 2015

Parrish Sewell, 44, fell to his death at the US Steel Edgar Thomson Plant Wednesday night in Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Seattle teachers face sellout contract

By David Brown, 19 September 2015

Union officials are pushing a sellout contract on teachers after calling off the strike last Tuesday.

New update in the contract fight

Fiat Chrysler autoworkers demand time to study contract before vote

By Joseph Kishore, 18 September 2015

Autoworkers spoke to the WSWS about the deep opposition to the tentative agreement in plants throughout the country, and warned against the UAW’s schemes to push the deal through.

Kokomo Transmission workers denounce UAW-Fiat Chrysler sellout

By Jerry White, 18 September 2015

Workers at Chrysler’s Kokomo Transmission Plant in Indiana expressed their anger, as details of the agreement signed by the UAW became known.

UAW used threats to stop walkout at Detroit Fiat Chrysler plant

By Jerry White, 16 September 2015

Late shift workers at the Warren Truck Plant described the strikebreaking role of the UAW as the contract expired at midnight on Monday.

Seattle teachers union calls off strike

By David Brown, 16 September 2015

The teachers union has moved to end the six-day strike on the basis of a sellout contract, despite broad public support for the teachers.

As contract deadline passes

Autoworkers denounce UAW sabotage of wages fight

By Eric London, 15 September 2015

Autoworkers around the US have spoken out against the UAW operation to stifle workers’ demands to recoup decades of lost income.

Seattle teachers continue strike

By David Brown, 15 September 2015

Some 5,000 teachers in Seattle remain on strike in a battle that is being isolated by the National Education Association.

Why the UAW picked Fiat Chrysler

By Jerry White, 15 September 2015

Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne and UAW President Dennis Williams are both seeking a deal on the two-tier system, which will permanently lower the top pay of autoworkers.

US Steel maintaining hard line in contract talks with steelworkers

By Shannon Jones, 12 September 2015

The United Steelworkers union has refused to wage a struggle in the face of demands by steelmakers US Steel and ArcelorMittal for draconian cuts to health care benefits.

Locked out Allegheny Technologies steelworkers speak about working conditions

By Evan Winters, 12 September 2015

Two locked-out workers recently spoke to the WSWS about their experiences after being transferred six years ago from a company facility in Indiana to Pennsylvania.

Strike by Seattle teachers continues through third day

By David Brown, 12 September 2015

With no negotiations set, 5,000 teachers and staff in Seattle, Washington remained on strike Friday.

Behind the UAW news blackout

What is taking place in the US auto contract negotiations?

By Eric London, 12 September 2015

Autoworkers want to know what is going on behind closed doors in the talks between the union and the companies.

”You get hired here and they pretty much own your soul”

Locked out Allegheny Technologies workers speak out

By Evan Winters, 11 September 2015

ATI workers in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, locked out since August 15, described the grueling work schedules and dangerous conditions they face in the mill.

Five thousand teachers in Seattle, Washington go on strike

By David Brown, 10 September 2015

The strike is an expression of the widespread desire among teachers to defend public education, while the unions are working to channel discontent back into the Democratic Party.

Labor Day in America

Union sellouts promote Democratic wage-cutters

By Jerry White, 8 September 2015

Amid mounting working-class anger and disgust with both big-business parties, the unions are working to promote the lie that the Democrats speak for the working man.

Allegheny Technologies Inc. lockout enters fourth week

By Evan Winters, 7 September 2015

As the USW pushes for a concessions contract in federal mediation, ATI is seeking to continue production with strikebreakers contracted from Strom Engineering.

Autoworkers speak out

Young autoworker earns too little to keep car on the road

By Jerry White, 7 September 2015

Once they pay for food, utilities and other critical bills, particularly if they are raising children, there is little left to make a payment on a new or even used vehicle.

Autoworkers speak out from Bedford, Indiana

By Eric London, 5 September 2015

Autoworkers in southern Indiana spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the bankruptcy of the trade unions, growing support for rank-and-file committees, and the need for a nationwide strike.

Wages for low-income workers collapsed under Obama

By Andre Damon, 4 September 2015

Pay for a typical US worker has fallen by 4 percent since 2009, and the incomes of many lower-paid workers have fallen up to twice as fast.

Fiat Chrysler to move Jeep Cherokee production out of Toledo

By Shannon Jones, 4 September 2015

The fate of thousands of jobs is being left up in the air with less than two weeks to the expiration of the national auto contract.

For a united struggle of US steel, auto and telecommunications workers!

By Jerry White, 3 September 2015

Amidst rising anger among workers throughout the United States, the unions are working to suppress opposition to the relentless assault on wages and benefits.

As contract expires, USW orders steelworkers to stay on the job

By our reporters, 2 September 2015

Thousands of steelworkers rallied ahead of the expiration at midnight yesterday of three-year contracts covering 30,000 workers at US Steel and ArcelorMittal.

Unions keep Verizon and AT&T workers on job without contracts

By Samuel Davidson and Maria Kovalenko, 1 September 2015

The Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have blocked a strike by nearly 70,000 telecom workers.

A&P supermarket chain asks bankruptcy court to overturn labor agreements

By Isaac Finn, 1 September 2015

A&P is asking the court to disregard provisions related to seniority and cut severance pay, amid threats to slash 22,000 jobs.

Autoworkers speak out: Louisville, Kentucky Ford worker denounces UAW-company alliance

By Eric London, 1 September 2015

Nearly 10,000 autoworkers in Louisville, Kentucky produce trucks and SUVs for Ford Motor Company, which boasted near-record profits in the second quarter of this year.

US steelworkers union blocks fight against wage and benefit cuts

By Jerry White, 31 August 2015

The United Steelworkers (USW) union has ordered workers at ArcelorMittal and US Steel to stay on the job as the giant corporations prepare an all-out war against workers.

Locked-out ATI steelworker injured by van carrying scab workers

By our reporters, 29 August 2015

Locked out steelworker Jim Dietz was injured and taken to a local hospital after being hit on the picket line by a van carrying strikebreakers driven by ATI security.

UAW begins contract talks with farm machinery maker John Deere

By George Gallanis, 29 August 2015

The UAW opened negotiations this week for a new contract covering 11,200 workers at the world’s largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery.

A portrait of life in America’s Rust Belt: Part Three

Part Three

By Eric London, 29 August 2015

The following is an on-the-spot report on social conditions in working-class areas hit hard by deindustrialization in the US state of Indiana.

Autoworkers speak out: GM worker in Wentzville, Missouri calls for international unity

By Eric London, 26 August 2015

Autoworkers are increasingly seeing the bankruptcy of the nationalist orientation of the UAW.

Lockout of 2,200 workers at Pittsburgh-based steel manufacturer enters second week

By Evan Winters, 24 August 2015

The United Steelworkers union is isolating locked-out workers at Allegheny Technologies Inc., which is demanding steep cuts and the conversion of the workforce into low-wage casual labor.

Thousands of US steelworkers rally in advance of contract expiration

By Shannon Jones, 22 August 2015

Workers at US Steel and ArcelorMittal demonstrated across the US this week in opposition to concession demands.

Locked out Allegheny Technology steelworkers determined to fight

By Phyllis Scherrer, 21 August 2015

Locked out workers and their supporters in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area spoke to the WSWS about the issues in their struggle.

US steelworkers, autoworkers demand wage hikes in new contracts

By Jerry White, 20 August 2015

Steelworkers are protesting against wage freezes and benefit cuts as autoworkers vote for strike action.

Amazon office workers subjected to brutal exploitation

By Gabriel Black, 20 August 2015

Amazon’s white-collar employees are routinely expected to work 80 hour workweeks and are penalized for any lost productivity, including from pregnancy or serious illness.

As contract deadline nears

US Steel to close blast furnace, cut 1,100 jobs at Alabama mill

By Jerry White, 18 August 2015

The job cuts by US Steel and the lock out of Allegheny Technology workers are aimed at blackmailing workers into accepting sweeping concessions.

Autoworkers vote for strike as UAW continues silence on talks

By Shannon Jones, 18 August 2015

The overwhelming strike votes by Fiat Chrysler workers stand in sharp contrast to the continued stonewalling by UAW leaders on the content of negotiations.

Pittsburgh-based steel manufacturer locks out 2,200 workers

By Evan Winters, 17 August 2015

Allegheny Technologies Incorporated is demanding increased out-of-pocket health care costs, more flexible work rules and the elimination of defined-benefit pensions for new hires.

Fiat-Chrysler workers overwhelmingly support strike action

By Marcus Day, 17 August 2015

Autoworkers told the WSWS that strike authorization votes this week passed by a landslide at Chrysler’s Jefferson North and Belvidere Assembly plants.

US contract deadlines in auto and steel

For a united offensive of autoworkers and steelworkers against the corporate-government assault

By Jerry White, 17 August 2015

The convergence of these contract expirations poses the potential and the necessity for a joint struggle against the corporate-government attack on the working class.

US, Mexican and Canadian autoworkers face common fight

By David Brown and Jerry White, 12 August 2015

As talks for a new labor contract continue, the US-based automakers are threatening to shift more production to Mexico and other lower wage countries.

Verizon workers rally in New York, authorize strike action

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 July 2015

Workers denounced attacks on benefits and job security at Manhattan demonstration.

Layoffs mount in West Virginia

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.

UAW keeps sellout plans concealed as talks open with Ford

By Shannon Jones, 24 July 2015

Behind the scenes the parameters are being developed for a betrayal of auto workers

Who’s who on the UAW negotiating team?

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.

Contract deadline approaches for Verizon and AT&T workers

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.

Pew report: US unfunded public pension liabilities hit $1 trillion

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.

The battle ahead for US autoworkers

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.

Socialist Equality Party launches digital WSWS Autoworker Newsletter

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.

Workers face 1930s-type exploitation at Chicago Ford plant

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.

Contract talks set to begin for 140,000 US autoworkers

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

Ford threatens mass layoffs at Michigan truck plant

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.

Pittsburgh energy company cuts health care for 4,400 retired workers

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.

Milwaukee transit workers strike

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.

Illinois begins fiscal year without budget as austerity package is drawn up

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

White House steps up assault on pensions

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.

The New York Times, Scott Walker and the unions

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.

Contract covering 16,500 General Electric workers to expire June 21

By John Marion, 16 June 2015

Negotiations between General Electric and an umbrella group of unions began this month in New York.