Workers Issues in the US

Dockworkers’ union threatens one-day strike on US East Coast

By Daniel de Vries, 27 February 2017

Tens of thousands of longshoremen are poised to shut down ports from Maine to Texas.

“They are leaving us basically to fend for ourselves”

Detroit GM workers speak on layoffs as deadline draws near

By Shannon Jones, 25 February 2017

The layoffs will add to the already high unemployment rate in Detroit, which stands at close to 10 percent.

US retail chain J.C. Penney announces over 130 store closures

By Niles Niemuth, 25 February 2017

The department store chain is only the latest retailer to announce major store closures in the US this year, including Macy’s, Sears and Kmart.

Iowa governor signs bill limiting collective bargaining for state employees

By Marcus Day, 18 February 2017

Iowa’s Republican-controlled state government enacted legislation Friday gutting collective bargaining rights for teachers and other public workers.

Stunning rebuke to machinists’ union at South Carolina Boeing plant

By Jerry White, 17 February 2017

The IAM’s record of collaboration with Boeing’s attack on jobs and living standards did far more to repel workers than the campaign against the union by the aerospace giant.

On eve of GM Detroit layoffs

Jeep announces partial shutdown of Toledo, Ohio complex

By Shannon Jones, 17 February 2017

The UAW is collaborating with GM to lay off some 1,300 workers at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant while trying to divert anger with a reactionary “Buy American” campaign.

Momentive strikers forced to take pay and health cuts as US owner throws a multi-million-dollar party

By Jerry White, 15 February 2017

As the unions told workers to accept a concession-laden contract, the billionaire who owns a substantial share of Momentive was enjoying a birthday party complete with camels, acrobats and fireworks.

“It’s like we’re working for a temporary agency”

As deadline nears, autoworkers speak on General Motors layoffs in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 10 February 2017

With only weeks to go before 1,300 layoffs, opposition is mounting to the job cuts.

SEP meeting in Detroit Saturday to oppose GM layoffs

By , 10 February 2017

The SEP and the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter have called this meeting to organize and mobilize opposition to the layoffs throughout the region.

Caterpillar workers in US overwhelmingly authorize strike

By Marcus Day, 9 February 2017

Workers at the heavy-equipment giant voted by 93 percent to authorize a strike last Thursday.

UAW agrees to sweetheart settlement in Michigan “robo-fraud” scandal

By Debra Watson, 8 February 2017

A US District Court judge has agreed to an out of court settlement in the Michigan “robo-fraud” scandal that lets state officials off the hook and leaves thousands of claimants out in the cold.

GM makes $9.4 billion in global profits as it slashes thousands of jobs

By Jerry White, 8 February 2017

GM is doling out $14 billion in stock buybacks even as it lays off 3,300 workers in Michigan and Ohio.

Workers killed on the job near Rochester, New York

By Steve Filips, 1 February 2017

Workplace fatalities will be certain to increase under the administration of Trump, which has pledged to gut what little remains of federal workplace safety regulations.

“It’s not the fault of Mexican or Chinese workers”

1,200 GM workers laid off at Lordstown plant in Ohio

By Jerry White, 31 January 2017

More than 2,000 General Motors workers, including 1,245 in Lordstown, Ohio, were laid off the same day that Trump delivered his inaugural address.

Illinois attorney general files request to halt state workers’ pay

By George Gallanis, 30 January 2017

The aim is to force the Illinois government to agree to a new state budget that will include sweeping attacks on social programs and public education.

Iowa worker killed in partial mine collapse

By Matt Rigel and Marcus Day, 27 January 2017

In the first US mining fatality of 2017, a truck operator died after a partial collapse at Linwood Mining and Mineral in eastern Iowa.

Video game industry strike in US now second-longest in screen actors’ history

By Kevin Martinez, 27 January 2017

The 99-day strike over pay and work conditions involves voice actors who perform for the highly profitable video game industry.

New York raises transit fares as train and bus workers vote on concessions deal

By Alan Whyte, 27 January 2017

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation voted Wednesday to increase its fare and tolls about 4 percent.

Book review

Lessons from the 1937 Little Steel strike in the US

The Last Great Strike: Little Steel, the CIO, and the Struggle for Labor Rights in New Deal America, by Ahmed White

By Tom Mackaman, 23 January 2017

If the Little Steel Strike has been ignored by historians, it is perhaps because it does not fit the standard narrative of American labor history.

Automakers announce US investments, anticipate big profits under Trump

By Jerry White, 20 January 2017

Over the past weeks major US- and foreign-based automakers have announced they will maintain or expand production in the US and, in some cases, trim back operations in Mexico.

“We should take a stand and reject this contract”

New York transit workers denounce sellout agreement

By a WSWS reporting team, 20 January 2017

New York transit workers will be voting on a tentative agreement that will continue the erosion of their living standards and working conditions.

Union reaches deal to block New York transit workers from recouping concessions

By Alan Whyte, 18 January 2017

Transport Workers Union Local 100 announced an agreement Monday that will do nothing to stop the erosion of living standards for 38,000 bus and subway workers in New York.

New York transit workers denounce sellout

By our reporting team, 18 January 2017

Transit workers spoke to the World Socialist Web Site after the Transport Workers Union announced a deal for a new four-year agreement covering 38,000 bus and subway workers employed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Dayton transit workers set to vote on sellout contract

By Shannon Jones, 17 January 2017

Published details of the agreement include a major attack on health care benefits and a derisory pay increase.

New York City transit workers and riders made to pay for system’s ballooning debt

By Philip Guelpa, 16 January 2017

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City’s buses and subways, is tens of billions of dollars in debt.

Ford contract worker killed at Rouge complex outside of Detroit

By Tim Rivers, 14 January 2017

A contract worker, Ricky Mcintosh, died Wednesday morning after a fall from an overhead crane.

“The union is not for us”

Detroit autoworkers speak out against GM layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 14 January 2017

With layoffs scheduled for March 5, workers are facing temporary plant closures that play havoc with their lives and finances.

Low turnout for University of California workers’ one-day strike

By our reporters, 11 January 2017

Teamsters Local 2010, which represents over 12,000 UC administrative, support and clerical staff, staged a limited one-day strike Tuesday.

Ohio workers face precedent-setting pension and retiree health cuts

By Evan Winters, 11 January 2017

Members of Cleveland Iron Workers Local 17 are being forced by their union to vote on whether to cut current pensions in half, or lose everything within ten years.

Dayton, Ohio transit workers strike over wages, health care

By Shannon Jones, 10 January 2017

The walkout by 463 drivers and mechanics is the first by transit workers in Dayton in nearly 60 years.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 10 January 2017

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

As contract expiration nears, union moves to block fight by New York transit workers

By Alan Whyte, 9 January 2017

Transport Workers Union Local 100 officials have praised state Democrats who have overseen the attack on workers’ wages and pensions.

“The working class needs better health care, wages, and retirement.”

New York transit workers discuss issues in contract battle

By a WSWS reporting team, 9 January 2017

Transit workers who came to the mass membership meeting spoke to the WSWS about their most pressing concerns.

Macy’s, Sears announce mass layoffs, hundreds of store closings across the US

By Niles Niemuth, 6 January 2017

The closings and layoffs are an indication of the actual state of the economy, more than seven years after the beginning of the supposed economic “recovery.”

New York City transit workers must fight to defend living standards and basic rights!

By , 6 January 2017

The following statement is being distributed to New York City transit workers who are holding a mass meeting Saturday, ahead of the January 15 contract deadline for 30,000 bus drivers, subway workers and other transit authority workers.

The class struggle in the US in 2017

By Jerry White, 4 January 2017

This year promises to be one of increasing class struggle in the United States and around the world.

As strike enters third month

Momentive workers fight Trump’s billionaire appointee Schwarzman

By Philip Guelpa, 3 January 2017

The 700 striking workers at Momentive Performance Materials will be among the first to experience the full force of the Trump administration’s viciously anti-working class policies.

“People are working two to three Saturdays in a row and they are laying people off”

Anger mounting among US autoworkers in wake of GM layoff announcement

By Shannon Jones, 30 December 2016

Young workers and temporary workers will be hardest hit by the layoffs as many gave up other jobs to work at GM.

Trumka on Trump: AFL-CIO chief urges president-elect to work with unions to save capitalism

By Jerry White, 30 December 2016

AFL-CIO head Trumka wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times offering the services of the unions to suppress working-class opposition to the incoming administration.

“They have no concern for workers. You are just a number”

US autoworkers express anger, opposition to GM layoffs

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 December 2016

Autoworkers reacted with anger and defiance in the face of the announcement by GM that it is cutting 1,192 jobs at the company’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant.

“Instacart is stealing, manipulating and creating stress”

US grocery delivery workers file lawsuit over reduced pay

By Kevin Martinez, 23 December 2016

Instacart, like ride services Uber and Lyft, classifies their workers as “independent contractors” to avoid having to pay benefits and overtime.

New York Daily News column hails assassination of Russian ambassador

By Bill Van Auken, 23 December 2016

The filthy column supporting the assassination was made even more offensive by comparing the Turkish cop who carried it out to 17-year-old Herschel Grynszpan, who shot and killed a Nazi official in 1938.

US coal miners hit by sharp rise in deadliest black lung disease

By Clement Daly, 19 December 2016

New reports have revealed a spike in the deadliest forms of the respiratory disease, which miners contract by inhaling coal dust.

The United Steelworkers, Wilbur Ross and economic nationalism

By Evan Winters, 14 December 2016

The USW has a long history of collaborating with billionaire asset stripper Wilbur Ross, Trump’s pick for commerce secretary.

US coal miners face cutoff of health, pension benefits

By Jerry White, 13 December 2016

More than 120,000 retired coal miners are threatened with the cutoff of health and pension benefits over the next several months as the United Mine Workers Health and Retirement Fund runs out of money.

Judge temporarily delays imposition of draconian contract on Illinois state workers

By George Gallanis, 12 December 2016

The legal maneuver by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is aimed at convincing the governor to let the union impose his deep cuts.

Michigan legislature targets school employee pensions

By Shannon Jones, 8 December 2016

Republican lawmakers are seeking to end defined benefit pensions for new hires under conditions in which the entire system is massively underfunded.

After Carrier deal, effusive praise for Trump from steelworkers union

By Jerry White, 7 December 2016

The United Steelworkers union praised Trump’s protectionist and chauvinist policies along with his deal with Carrier, which will wipe out 1,300 of the firm’s 2,100 production jobs in Indiana.

120,000 coal miners face loss of retirement benefits

By Clement Daly, 7 December 2016

The growing insolvency of the various UMWA health and retirement funds is rooted in the continuing global economic crisis and the resulting collapse of commodities prices.

Union cancels strike by California state workers, seeks to impose concessions

By Dan Conway, 5 December 2016

The Service Employees International Union called off the strike by 95,000 California state workers to prevent a struggle against the austerity measures of Governor Brown and the Democrats.

Trump outlines right-wing program of extreme nationalism at Cincinnati rally

By Joseph Kishore and Jerry White, 2 December 2016

While couched in populist rhetoric, Trump’s proposals center on corporate tax cuts and deregulation, combined with expanding the military, widening police powers and curtailing immigration.

Former Bethlehem Steel plant near Buffalo, New York destroyed by fire

By Jason Melanovski, 2 December 2016

The massive fire last month exposed firefighters and residents in nearby neighborhoods to smoke and high levels of carcinogens, leaving homes covered in toxic soot.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 29 November 2016

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

Federal judge blocks new Obama administration overtime rules

By Shannon Jones, 28 November 2016

The court ruling upset 70 years of prior precedent that gave the Labor Department the authority to set rules regulating overtime pay.

After six-month lockout, workers reject UAW-Honeywell ultimatum

By Jerry White, 26 November 2016

Honeywell workers in the US are waging a courageous struggle against corporate management and the UAW, which is backing the company’s demands for health care concessions.

Four workers critically injured in fire at Louisiana refinery

By Tom Hall, 26 November 2016

The fire at ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge refinery, the fourth largest in the country, flows from the betrayal of the 2015 refinery strike by the United Steel Workers union.

Sharp Healthcare nurses in San Diego, California to begin three-day strike

By Marko Leone, 26 November 2016

Nurses are determined to fight, while the union has called a limited strike to let off steam while it works to impose a contract on management’s terms.

Incoming Trump administration prepares assault on federal workers

By Nick Barrickman, 25 November 2016

In the first of many attacks on the living standards of American workers, the incoming Trump administration is targeting federal employees for job and pension cuts.

Construction accident in Queens, New York kills two workers

By Mark Witkowski, 25 November 2016

In the drive to maximize profit for the construction and real estate industries, the safety and well-being of workers is given a back seat to the demands of real estate developers.

Significant opposition as Philadelphia transit workers ratify contract

By Alan Whyte, 21 November 2016

After shutting down a six-day strike to boost the vote for Hillary Clinton, the Transport Workers Union imposed a concessions deal on Philadelphia transit workers.

Barnard College contingent faculty vote on strike authorization

By Sandy English, 19 November 2016

Part-time and temporary faculty at Columbia University’s Barnard College in New York City began voting on a strike authorization this week.

Contract worker killed at Indiana steel mill

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 November 2016

The death of a contract truck driver at ArcelorMittal in Burns Harbor, Indiana, highlights the deadly consequences of the corporate cost-cutting drive backed by the unions.

“Workers are going to see Trump is not going to do anything for them”

Autoworkers react to the election of Trump

By Shannon Jones, 17 November 2016

Autoworkers contacted by the WSWS acknowledged that Trump had been able to tap into the deep social anger and alienation among workers towards the political establishment.

Strikers at Momentive plants vote down union-backed sellout deal

By Philip Guelpa, 9 November 2016

By a more than a 2-to-1 margin, Momentive workers rejected a second contract offer that was even worse than the first.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 9 November 2016

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

Transit officials, Democrats seek injunction to break Philadelphia transit strike

By Alan Whyte, 7 November 2016

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and Democrats on the local and state level want to use the courts to end the strike.

Momentive workers strongly oppose tentative agreement

By Philip Guelpa, 7 November 2016

Momentive Performance Materials is seeking major concessions from its thousand-strong workforce, continuing the trend in past contracts.

California state workers to vote on strike authorization

By Dan Conway, 4 November 2016

The union fears that a strike will cut across its support for the Democratic Brown administration and the Democratic Party.

Class struggle in US intensifies on eve of election

By Jerry White, 4 November 2016

There is growing opposition among American workers to corporate and government demands for endless rollbacks in wages, health care and pension benefits.

Nearly one-third of Chicago teachers reject CTU concessions deal

By Alexander Fangmann, 3 November 2016

The Chicago Teachers Union on Tuesday announced the ratification of a concessions-laden contract.

Pittsburgh Symphony musicians begin their second month on strike

By Samuel Davidson, 3 November 2016

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians are fighting against pay cuts and job reductions.

Musicians speak out at Pittsburgh Symphony strike support concert

By Evan Winters, 3 November 2016

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians spoke to the World Socialist Web Site on the importance public access to arts, especially in schools, after a Halloween-themed concert to support striking orchestra musicians. Over sixty musicians played to an enthusiastic audience of 350.

Strike pits Philadelphia transit workers against budget-cutting Democrats

By Alan Whyte, 3 November 2016

The strike by nearly 5,000 Philadelphia transit workers is an expression of the growing militancy of workers on the eve of the US presidential elections.

Officials threaten court action against Philadelphia transit strikers

By Alan Whyte, 2 November 2016

Transit workers are in a battle against the attack on health benefits, which is being spearheaded by the Obama administration.

Philadelphia transit workers go on strike

By Alan Whyte, 1 November 2016

The nearly 5,000 transit workers are seeking improvements in pensions and resisting management demands for increased health care costs.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

By , 1 November 2016

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

Vote by Chicago teachers on concessions contract begins today, after postponement

By Kristina Betinis, 31 October 2016

The decision by the Chicago Teachers Union to delay the vote by two days, supposedly to allow teachers to read the contract, is an indication that there is widespread opposition.

Harvard concedes main demands of dining hall workers to end strike

By Mike Ingram, 31 October 2016

The strike of Harvard dining hall workers ended after three weeks with a new contract that appears to satisfy the main issues of health care and wages that prompted the strike.

Strikes end at Libbey Glass in Ohio and Jim Beam in Kentucky

By Shannon Jones, 29 October 2016

The strikes by glassmakers and distillery workers are part of a nationwide uptick in strike activity that reflects a growing spirit of resistance.

Boston: Two excavation workers drown in a 12-foot-deep trench

By John Marion, 24 October 2016

While the contractor for the job has been cited dozens of times for safety violations, it is not the only construction company risking the lives of Massachusetts workers.

Five thousand faculty strike at Pennsylvania state campuses

By Samuel Davidson and Douglas Lyons, 20 October 2016

The strike by Pennsylvania faculty is an expression of growing social opposition among different sections of workers in the run-up to the US election.

Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates approves concessions contract

By our reporter, 20 October 2016

Both district officials and union leaders are hailing as a success a contract that will escalate the attack on teachers, while paving the way for the closure of more public schools.

Chicago charter school union announces contract deal

By Jeff Lusanne, 20 October 2016

The American Federation of Teachers has helped craft a new contract for charter school teachers in Chicago that mirrors a concessions contract accepted for public school teachers.

Ohio glass workers discuss strike with SEP presidential candidate Jerry White

By a WSWS reporting team, 20 October 2016

Workers in the second week of their strike against the multinational glass maker are determined to resist further attacks on working conditions, health insurance and pay.

Philadelphia transit workers vote to strike

By Alan Whyte, 19 October 2016

Nearly 6,000 bus, subway and trolley operators, cashiers and mechanics have voted to stop work if a new labor agreement is not reached by October 31.

Cleveland teacher denounces sellout contract

By Phyllis Steele, 18 October 2016

Teachers rejected a contract backed by the unions and the entire political establishment that would accelerate the attack on public education.

Food safety concerns as Harvard dining workers’ strike enters second week

By Mike Ingram, 15 October 2016

The ongoing strike by Harvard dining workers has led to concerns over food safety amid reports of under-cooked food being served to students.

Minnesota nurses’ union claims contract ratification amidst opposition

By Matt Rigel and Anthony Bertolt, 14 October 2016

The contract presented and supported by the MNA is nearly identical to proposals previously rejected four times by nurses, who had been on strike for six weeks.

Workers struggles mount in run-up to US election

By Jerry White, 6 October 2016

Strikes by nurses, orchestra musicians other sections of public and private sector workers reveals the broad scope of social opposition in the United States.

Harvard dining hall workers strike over health insurance, wages

By Kate Randall, 6 October 2016

The strike by Harvard University Dining Services workers is the first since 1983, and the first ever during the academic year.

Faculty set October 19 strike date at Pennsylvania universities

By Samuel Davidson, 6 October 2016

Professors and faculty members at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-run universities have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike against cuts to health benefits and the expanded use of adjunct professors.

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh orchestra musicians on strike

By Fred Mazelis, 3 October 2016

The musicians in both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony face demands for concessions from wealthy patrons and management.

Worker killed at US Steel mill in Indiana

By Jessica Goldstein, 3 October 2016

The death of Jonathan Arrizola comes amid a wave of layoffs at the US Steel mill in Gary, Indiana and rising complaints over unsafe conditions.

Defeat MNA sellout!

Mobilize the working class behind the Minnesota nurses strike!

By Ron Jorgenson, 3 October 2016

The fact that the unions could bring such a sellout agreement to a vote only underscores the need for nurses to take the conduct of the strike into their own hands.

Walmart to cut 7,000 back-office jobs in the US

By Jessica Goldstein, 29 September 2016

The announcement of mass layoffs at the largest employer in the US comes amid a wave of cuts in the retail industry.

Negotiations resume as Minneapolis nurses’ strike enters fourth week

By Ron Jorgenson, 27 September 2016

The federal mediator's recall of both sides indicates that the company, union and Democratic Party are preparing to force through a sellout contract against the resistance of striking nurses.

Allina nurses’ strike and the union’s fraudulent “corporate campaign”

By Ron Jorgenson, 21 September 2016

The AFL-CIO has long used such campaigns to block any genuine mobilization of the working class against the government-backed corporate attacks.

Long Island University lockout ends with contract extension and no issues resolved

By Alan Whyte, 19 September 2016

The union, which has pledged not to strike through the 2016-1017 school year, also agreed to mediation in future negotiations for a settlement.

Detroit Federation of Teachers pushes through sellout contract

By Nancy Hanover, 19 September 2016

Educators greeted the agreement with anger and skepticism in the face of the concerted attempts by the union to derail their struggles over the course of the last year.

Auto companies continue assault on jobs, working conditions

One year since 2015 US auto contract battle

By Shannon Jones, 17 September 2016

The warning raised by the SEP and the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter about the rotten nature of the contracts negotiated by the UAW is being borne out.