Workers Issues in the US

Sixty-one-year-old worker dies in horrific fall into vat of oil near Disney World

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 August 2018

John Korody was killed shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning when he slipped on a grate and fell into a vat of oil.

Late Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne lied to federal investigators about gift to UAW official

By Marcus Day, 17 August 2018

The latest revelation of bribery in the UAW corruption scandal follows Monday’s statement by lawyers for an indicted Chrysler executive that the conspiracy “started long before” 2009.

UAW bribery predated 2009, lawyer for former Fiat Chrysler executive tells court

By Shannon Jones, 15 August 2018

In a sentencing memorandum, the lawyer for Alphons Iacobelli asserted that the bribery of UAW officials dates back “many years” earlier than has so far been charged by federal prosecutors, and involves many more officials.

Puerto Rican teachers’ anger builds against privatization, firings and lack of pay raises

By Shelley Connor, 14 August 2018

Teachers have had no pay raises in the past 10 years, classes are overcrowded and hundreds of teachers are starting the school year with no knowledge of where they will be placed.

Break the UPS-Teamsters conspiracy! Mobilize opposition to the sellout contract!

By the WSWS UPS Workers Newsletter, 14 August 2018

The Teamsters union is keeping workers totally in the dark, five days after its endorsement of the cost-cutting contract.

500 Trane Co. workers strike in La Crosse, Wisconsin

By Michael Walters and George Gallanis, 14 August 2018

The strike at Trane is in danger of being smothered by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Allentown, Pennsylvania credit union employees strike over wages and health care

By Samuel Davidson, 14 August 2018

Employees of People First Federal Credit Union went on strike against the company’s demand to shift health care costs onto the backs of already low paid employees.

UPS pays out $700 million to stockholders: An object lesson in the operation of capitalism

By Will Morrow, 13 August 2018

UPS announced its corporate handout the same day that the Teamsters national conference voted to endorse contracts for UPS workers that enforce poverty-level wages and introduce major new concessions.

“We need joint strike action, nationwide!”

Autoworkers call for united struggle with UPS workers against low-pay and part-time jobs

By Tim Rivers, 13 August 2018

Autoworkers expressed their support for the widespread opposition among UPS workers to the sellout contracts agreed to last Thursday by a national meeting of Teamsters officials.

Fifteen workers hospitalized after explosion at US Steel mill south of Detroit

By Jessica Goldstein, 13 August 2018

According to local news reports, workers initially refused a supervisor’s directive to clean out a dust separator, warning that it posed a safety issue.

Coca-Cola workers in Alabama on strike for better wages, health insurance

By Shelley Connor, 13 August 2018

The Teamsters union is determined to prevent the Coca Cola United workers from joining their struggle with that of UPS workers and the working class more generally.

“We are underpaid slaves”

Growing opposition among UPS workers as Teamsters conference endorses sellout contracts

By Kayla Costa, 11 August 2018

UPS management responded to the Teamsters executives vote by gloating that the contract will provide “greater flexibility” and help “address challenges from competitors.”

Amazon worker Shannon Allen opposes censorship of her video statement by Teamsters-linked Facebook page

By Will Morrow, 11 August 2018

Shannon said the censorship of her video showed that the Teamsters union is fearful of workers from Amazon and UPS forming rank-and-file committees and linking up their struggles.

Mass exodus of South Carolina teachers continues

By Hiram Lee, 11 August 2018

As the 2018-2019 school year begins, South Carolina will likely face an even greater shortage of teachers than in previous years.

Missouri referendum vote kills “right-to-work” law

By Patrick Martin, 11 August 2018

The more than two-to-one margin of the vote surprised union officials and shocked the Republican right.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union-linked Facebook page censors Amazon worker’s video calling for a united struggle with UPS workers

By Will Morrow, 10 August 2018

The Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a dissident faction of the union apparatus, is terrified of Amazon and UPS workers linking up in a common struggle.

Sixty-three-year-old pipeline worker killed in blast in Texas

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 August 2018

Bud Taylor, a 63-year-old pipeline worker, was killed in a natural gas pipeline blast in Texas that left six others seriously injured.

The fight to defend jobs and the lessons of the 1972 Lordstown strike

By Carl Bronski, 8 August 2018

An examination of the strike at Lordstown in 1972 sheds further light on how the union has acted, alongside management, to suppress the strivings of workers for decent jobs and conditions.

Arizona teachers return to classrooms with limited gains and broken promises

By Nancy Hanover, 8 August 2018

In the aftermath of the largest statewide walkout last spring, Arizona teachers are still facing a battle for decent wages and education funding.

“The UAW cannot be trusted”

Kokomo Fiat Chrysler workers kept in dark by UAW following strike vote

By Shannon Jones, 4 August 2018

The UAW local is seeking to prevent a struggle over accumulated grievances and deteriorating conditions.

Washington, D.C. metro union seeks to bury members’ strike vote

By Nick Barrickman, 2 August 2018

After an overwhelming vote by its members to strike in July, ATU Local 689, with a membership of over 8,000 public transit workers, has sought to drag out discussions between it and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

UK Parliament “fake news” report demands sweeping internet censorship

By Robert Stevens, 1 August 2018

The report calls for a crack down on individuals and political organisations, social media and alternative media sources that expose the plans of the imperialist powers.

Five months after strike, West Virginia teachers say “nothing has changed”

By Nancy Hanover, 31 July 2018

The unions double-crossed the West Virginia teachers, ending their struggle without securing funding for the PEIA, which underwrites their health insurance.

Tesla assembles cars in a tent amid investigations of workplace safety

By Toby Reese, 31 July 2018

The company continues to show a net loss despite massive outside investments as it attempts to work out assembly line problems amid reports of serious workplace safety violations.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

31 July 2018

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

As UPS, steel and telecom companies demand wage freezes

Workers in US face growing class battles

By Jerry White, 30 July 2018

Employers are not only refusing to relent on wages, they are doubling down and demanding new givebacks on healthcare, pensions and work rules.

Teamsters union blames opposition to sellout contract on “internet trolls”

By Will Morrow, 30 July 2018

The union’s campaign recalls the United Auto Workers’ denunciations of exposures of its 2015 sellout contract as “fake news.”

Mobilize the working class behind Indiana autoworkers

Kokomo Fiat Chrysler workers: Form a rank-and-file strike committee to fight for jobs and safety!

By the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter, 30 July 2018

If autoworkers are to prevent another sellout by the UAW, they must take control of the struggle into their own hands by electing rank-and-file strike committee.

UAW corruption scandal reaches the top

By Shannon Jones, 27 July 2018

The revelation that the just-retired UAW president authorized the illegal use of money from company-funded joint training centers demonstrates that the organization is engaged in a criminal conspiracy against auto workers.

Top aide to former UAW vice president makes plea deal

By Shannon Jones, 25 July 2018

Nancy Johnson pleaded guilty to charges related to the illegal payout of more than $1.5 million by Fiat Chrysler aimed at securing favorable contract terms from the United Auto Workers.

Verizon and CWA cut a deal to shift healthcare costs to workers

By our reporter, 25 July 2018

In an effort to prevent a repeat of the 2016 strike, the Communications Workers of America has agreed to a deal that will impose further healthcare givebacks.

Hospital workers go on strike in Rhode Island

By John Marion, 25 July 2018

Workers called the strike after rejecting a new contract by vote last week.

Near unanimous vote to strike by Fiat Chrysler workers in Kokomo, Indiana

By Marcus Day, 24 July 2018

Autoworkers are increasingly seeking to fight back against the deterioration of working conditions, in particular the atrocious treatment of temporary part-time (TPT) workers.

After overwhelming vote for strike action

Washington, D.C. transit union conspires with Metro officials while keeping members in the dark

By Nick Barrickman, 24 July 2018

Metro workers have been without a contract since 2016, when negotiations broke down over questions of pay cuts, job security and privatization of services.

1,700 Detroit janitors on poverty wages face a July 31 contract expiration

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 July 2018

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

Rates of black lung highest in 25 years among Appalachian coal miners

By Tom Hall, 23 July 2018

Decades after the deadly disease was nearly eradicated, more than one in five veteran coal miners now suffer from black lung disease.

Teamsters union blackmails UPS workers: Approve contract or your wages will be cut

By Will Morrow, 23 July 2018

Teamsters Local 647 president Brian Hammond sent a letter to UPS workers that wage increases will be diverted to their pensions if they fail to ratify the contract.

Boston rally supports locked-out National Grid workers

By Kate Randall and Steve Filips, 23 July 2018

Some 1,000 workers attended the rally in support of the locked-out workers whose struggle is being directed by the USW into futile appeals to big business politicians.

Democrats, Teamsters and UAW promote deal to continue robbing pensions

By Kayla Costa, 21 July 2018

The Butch-Lewis Act of 2017, backed by the Democrats and unions, only serves as a new way to cut pensions down to poverty levels.

UAW holds strike authorization vote at Fiat Chrysler’s Kokomo, Indiana transmission operations

By Shannon Jones, 21 July 2018

Workers have expressed a determination to fight deteriorating working conditions, including management’s attempt to force temporary part-time workers to perform overtime.

Seventeen dead in Missouri after duck boat sinks during thunderstorm

By Jacob Crosse, 21 July 2018

Multiple safety warnings were ignored for the sake of ticket sales.

Washington D.C. transit union calls for “cooling off period” after Metro workers overwhelmingly vote to strike

By Nick Barrickman, 21 July 2018

The struggle for decent pay, job protections and high quality benefits be removed from the hands of the ATU bureaucrats immediately.

“We should be governing ourselves in this fight”

UPS workers’ opposition grows to Teamsters sellout

By Will Morrow, 19 July 2018

The proposed deal maintains poverty level wages for part-time workers, introduces a new lower-paid “hybrid” worker, and does nothing to address unsafe working conditions.

American Federation of Teachers convention devoted to boosting Democratic Party candidates

By Nancy Hanover, 19 July 2018

In the aftermath of the biggest teachers’ strike wave in 40 years, the American Federation of Teachers bureaucracy is seeking to head off a militant movement and defend its interests by promoting the Democrats in the mid-term elections.

“Profit over people? The people make those profits possible”

UPS workers respond to surge in company stock following Teamsters’ sellout contract

By Kayla Costa, 18 July 2018

A driver with 12 years told the WSWS the union was “making deals with the company to suit them, not the members.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agrees to contract with city’s largest union

By Ali Elhassan, 18 July 2018

The three-year deal, covering 100,000 workers, contains a paltry raise that will be paid for by increased out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Washington, D.C., metro workers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike action

By Nick Barrickman, 18 July 2018

The “yes” vote by 8,000 Washington, D.C., transit workers sets the stage for a possible strike in the US capital, the first in 40 years, amid threats of jail time by the Democratic Party city administration.

Wall Street celebrates Teamsters deal with UPS

By Kayla Costa, 17 July 2018

UPS workers are in a direct fight with the Teamsters union, which is seeking to impose management’s dictates and defend the financial interests of the union executives.

Vermont Medical Center nurses fight low pay and understaffing

By Mike Ingram, 17 July 2018

Nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center held a 48-hour strike last week after months of stalled negotiations for a new contract.

An interview with a part-time UPS worker

We all see “the union being paid out and working with the company”

By Will Morrow, 16 July 2018

Part-time workers make up more than two-thirds of United Parcel Service’s 230,000 employees and are paid as little as $10 per hour.

Ford contests token fines for death of electrician Ivan Bridgewater

By Jessica Goldstein, 16 July 2018

The Kentucky state OSHA office report found that Ivan Bridgewater "suffered crushed injuries to include rib fractures and hemorrhaging which killed him.”

Inflation cutting real wages of US workers

By Barry Grey, 14 July 2018

Wage stagnation amidst relatively low unemployment and accelerating economic growth is the outcome of a decades-long social counterrevolution, made possible by the trade unions’ suppression of the class struggle.

Widow of UAW vice president Holiefield, guilty of corruption, gets token sentence

By Shannon Jones, 14 July 2018

After pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegally diverted UAW-Chrysler training funds Monica Morgan faces just 18 months in jail, a $25,000 fine and one year supervised release.

“Now we’re all slaves, no matter what color you are”

UPS workers oppose sellout contract, warn of union fraud to pass agreement

By Kayla Costa, 14 July 2018

The union and company are seeking to impose a major new concession on workers after UPS posted $7.5 billion in profits in 2017.

As workers’ opposition grows

Teamsters union extends UPS contract deadline to impose sell-out deal

By Will Morrow, 13 July 2018

The union is seeking to delay any vote on the contract after more than 93 percent of UPS workers voted to authorize strike action last month.

One worker killed, one injured hours apart at Florida’s Walt Disney World

By Jessica Goldstein, 12 July 2018

Juan Alberto Ojeda, 33, was killed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in an accident with a Toro utility cart.

The class war over wages

By Eric London, 12 July 2018

In an article published Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal worries that “rising wages are beginning to eat into the profits of some US companies.”

The way forward for UPS workers

By Tom Hall, 10 July 2018

The World Socialist Web Site calls on UPS workers to form rank and file committees to mobilize all UPS workers, part-time and full-time, along with Amazon, FedEx, USPS and other sections of workers.

“Like you, I want justice for Jacoby!”

Workers honor young Ford worker who died at Detroit-area plant

10 July 2018

Fiat Chrysler workers in Ohio and Indiana sent messages to the family of Jacoby Hennings, who held a memorial picnic Sunday for the young autoworker who died last year.

“Coby was loved by so many people”

Outpouring of support to honor Jacoby Hennings, young autoworker who died in October

By Jerry White, 9 July 2018

Hundreds of family members, friends and co-workers attended a memorial picnic in suburban Detroit Sunday afternoon to celebrate the life of the young autoworker who died at the Woodhaven Stamping plant last October.

“This is a day to honor Coby”

Family of Jacoby Hennings to celebrate young autoworker’s life

By Jerry White, 5 July 2018

Family and friends are holding a memorial picnic on July 8 in the Detroit suburb of Eastpointe to honor the young Ford worker who died on October 20, 2017.

Two XPO Logistics workers killed near Buffalo, New York

By Steve Filips, 4 July 2018

Two warehouse workers unloading 800 pound slabs of Dupont countertop material were killed when the slabs toppled over onto them.

“They want us divided. Workers need to unite everywhere”

In wake of Lordstown layoffs, UAW stokes anti-Mexican nationalism

By Shannon Jones, 3 July 2018

The UAW is denouncing GM’s decision to build its new Chevrolet Blazer SUV in Mexico in order to divert attention from the union’s complicity in the wiping out of 1,500 jobs at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant.

Confrontation between Lima police and striking Peruvian teachers

Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 July 2018

At least 5,000 teachers from the metropolitan Lima area have had their salaries withheld because of strike activity and authorities have begun replacing striking teachers with scabs.

Teamsters resort to lies and intimidation to push sellout deal at UPS

By Hector Cordon, 29 June 2018

Teamsters officials are slandering opponents of the deal, which will introduce a new lower-paid tier of “hybrid drivers”

“Teachers will be in the classroom…there will be no labor activity”

Pennsylvania judge breaks teachers’ strike

By Adam Mclean, 29 June 2018

Less than 24 hours after teachers struck on June 19 in the small town of Dallas, a Luzerne County judge ordered them back to work.

Supreme Court rules against unions in Janus case

By Jerry White, 28 June 2018

Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case is a defeat for the union bureaucracy, not the workers.

Citing tariffs, Harley-Davidson to move US production to Europe

By Jacob Crosse, 27 June 2018

In response to the developing trade war between the US and Europe, motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson said it is shifting some production to international facilities.

Trump proposes to privatize the US Postal Service

By Hector Cordon, 26 June 2018

Privatization would lay the basis for an all-out attack on postal and all federal workers’ rights, jobs and benefits.

Teachers and the political struggle

By Nancy Hanover and Jerry White, 26 June 2018

In the aftermath of the union betrayal of their strikes and protests, teachers are running for seats in their state legislatures in unprecedented numbers, posing fundamental political issues for the working class.

Chilean copper miners to strike against layoffs; Crane workers strike in Quebec

Workers Struggles: The Americas

26 June 2018

Some 1,700 copper miners at the Chuquicamata mine complex in Chile have announced a strike against layoffs while 2,000 crane operators in Quebec walked off the job in a wildcat strike.

“Nobody knows what is going to happen next”

Residents of Salem, Ohio, remain in shock after immigration raid

By Zac Corrigan and Shannon Jones, 25 June 2018

The raid last week by federal agents has traumatized the immigrant community, ripping families apart and making others afraid to leave their homes.

“The rank and file was absolutely not involved in these contract discussions”

UPS workers denounce sellout deal “in principle” between company, Teamsters

By our reporters, 25 June 2018

The Teamsters are seeking to impose historic givebacks on UPS workers, who voted by 93 percent to authorize a strike against the giant corporation.

Teamsters reach sellout agreement “in principle” with UPS

By Tom Hall, 23 June 2018

The agreement would create a two-tier system for drivers and keep part-time wages at poverty levels.

“If people on the shop floor had more power, things would be a whole lot better”

With UAW complicity, layoffs take effect at GM Lordstown Complex in Ohio

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 June 2018

The elimination of some 1,500 jobs at the Lordstown plant will have a devastating impact in the Youngstown-Warren region, which already struggles with high levels of poverty.

Microsoft workers demand end to contracts with US border agencies

By Will Morrow, 21 June 2018

The workers’ letter to Microsoft’s CEO states, “As the people who build the technologies that Microsoft profits from, we refuse to be complicit.”

The death of Ed Sadlowski and the demise of trade union reformism

By Shannon Jones, 19 June 2018

The failure of the reform movement headed by Sadlowski in the United Steelworkers and similar efforts in other unions foundered on the conflict between the needs of workers and the pro-capitalist program to which the unions are wedded.

Washington Post staff sign open letter to Jeff Bezos asking for fair pay

By Alec Andersen, 19 June 2018

More than 400 workers at the paper released an open letter Thursday beseeching the newspaper’s owner and world’s richest man to intervene on their behalf in protracted contract negotiations.

Two hundred nurses at California hospital authorize strike

By Brian Dixon, 19 June 2018

The nurses have raised concerns over understaffing and the failure of the hospital to provide adequate “meal and break relief.”

“They’re getting more money and we’re losing workers”

In wake of UAW convention, Lordstown GM workers speak out on layoffs

By a WSWS reporting team, 16 June 2018

Autoworkers at the GM Lordstown assembly plant expressed their disgust at both the company and the UAW as next Friday’s shutdown of the second shift looms.

As corruption scandal engulfs union, top execs get pay raise

UAW named “co-conspirator” in illegal funds-siphoning scheme

By Jerry White, 14 June 2018

The four-day constitutional convention, which wraps up in Detroit today, was a showcase for the corruption of the UAW and its contempt for rank-and-file autoworkers.

Lordstown GM worker speaks out against pending layoffs

“Workers all over the world need to unite together”

By Samuel Davidson, 13 June 2018

Some 1,500 Auto workers are set to be laid off June 22 at the General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Las Vegas casino workers to vote on sellout deals

By Adam Mclean and Kayla Costa, 13 June 2018

The Culinary Workers Union is pushing through contracts with Caesars and MGM without giving casino workers time to read and study the agreements before voting June 14 and 19.

As constitution convention opens, UAW promotes Trump’s trade war and downplays corruption scandal

By Shannon Jones, 12 June 2018

Outgoing union president Dennis Williams repeated the absurd claim that the bribing of UAW negotiators by Fiat Chrysler executives had no impact on the outcome of the 2015 labor agreements.

Protests against layoffs across Argentina, Quebec daycare workers strike

Workers Struggles: the Americas

12 June 2018

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

Allegheny Technologies steelworker speaks out on teachers’ strikes

By Evan Winters, 11 June 2018

A longtime steelworker, and veteran of the bitter Allegheny Technologies lockout of 2015-2016, explains her support for the struggles being waged by teachers.

As UAW Constitutional Convention opens: The class issues facing autoworkers

By Shannon Jones, 9 June 2018

The UAW 37th Constitutional Convention is being held against a backdrop of rising worker militancy under conditions where the union is more discredited than ever.

Teachers must prepare for struggle when schools reopen

Oakland Education Association announces contract negotiation impasse

By Jonathan Burleigh, 9 June 2018

Oakland teachers must draw the lessons of this year’s teachers strikes to prepare their own struggle when schools reopen.

Workers at Wisconsin Wendy’s restaurant walk out, demand living wage

By Jacob Crosse, 8 June 2018

Eight workers shut down a Wendy’s restaurant last week after deciding they could no longer tolerate unsafe working conditions, low wages and excessive hours.

“If you don’t like it, they say, 'hit the road'”

UPS loaders describe working conditions and union-management collusion

By Kayla Costa and Hector Cordon, 8 June 2018

With the contract covering 230,000 United Parcel Service workers is set to expire on July 31. The WSWS spoke with two loaders who work in suburban Portland, Oregon.

“Julian Assange has done us a very great service”

New York City transit workers demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 8 June 2018

Train operators and bus drivers expressed strong opposition to the persecution of Assange, linking the fight for his freedom to the defense of democratic rights and free speech.

“If they could, they would hire us for $1 an hour”

UPS workers vote to authorize strike as anger grows over company concession demands

By Shannon Jones, 6 June 2018

While the vote expresses the determination of workers to fight, the Teamsters will do everything in its power to suppress and betray a genuine struggle against the package delivery giant.

Nashville, Tennessee charter school teachers victimized as school’s finances investigated

By Zachary Thorton, 5 June 2018

New Vision Academy is under investigation by the city’s school district for financial irregularities and noncompliance with federal law after teachers came forward as whistleblowers to report the activities.

Windsor casino strike ends, teachers protest in Mexico City

Workers Struggles: The Americas

5 June 2018

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

Union announces deals to prevent strike by Las Vegas casino workers

By Adam McLean and Kayla Costa, 4 June 2018

Workers should demand the full contract and sufficient time to study and discuss it before any ratification vote.

CWA continues token strikes at AT&T Midwest—workers demand decisive struggle

By Shannon Jones, 4 June 2018

One CWA worker in Detroit told WSWS reporters: “People are getting tired and they’re saying we’re not going to wait for the union anymore. We have to do this ourselves.”

Union blocks strike by 50,000 Las Vegas casino workers

By a WSWS reporting team in Las Vegas, 2 June 2018

Union leaders have made clear that the tentative contract does not include significant improvements to wages and working conditions.

“We need to unite workers everywhere”

Rank-and-file Lake Orion workers organize opposition to GM-UAW deal to hire low wage subcontract labor

By Shannon Jones, 2 June 2018

Anger is simmering in the plant following the revelation that the UAW signed a secret memorandum, without a vote by workers, to replace veteran workers with low-wage subcontractors.

Impoverishment pushes another New York City taxi driver to suicide

By Philip Guelpa, 1 June 2018

In the five months from the beginning of the year, five taxi or livery drivers have committed suicide due to dramatic income declines caused by competition from ride-share companies.

Harley-Davidson workers’ anger grows over impending Kansas City plant closure

By Marcus Day, 1 June 2018

Fueling outrage is the company’s brazen display of corporate greed, showering investors with hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends and stock buybacks.