Workers Issues in the US

Federal indictment charges Fiat Chrysler paid top UAW negotiator $1.2 million in bribes

By Jerry White, 27 July 2017

A federal indictment filed in US District Court in Detroit Wednesday charges that a former vice president of Fiat Chrysler funneled more than a million dollars in bribes to United Auto Workers Vice President General Holiefield between 2009 and 2014.

“We don’t blame Mexico, we blame the company”

Workers denounce layoffs at Indianapolis Carrier plant

By Shelley Connor and Jerry White, 25 July 2017

Sacked workers at the United Technology Corporation's Carrier plant have responded with outrage and hostility, not only towards UTC, but to Trump and the United Steelworkers union.

Government gives Amazon millions in free money for Romulus, Michigan warehouse

By Robert Verdine, 25 July 2017

The multi-billion corporation is pocketing millions in investments and tax breaks from Detroit area suburbs for the building of new fulfillment and warehouse facilities.

Teachers’ unions attract few at “March for Public Education” in Washington, D.C.

By our reporters, 24 July 2017

The small turnout shows popular alienation from the unions, which have colluded in the attacks on teachers and public education.

Harley Davidson to cut 180 jobs at Milwaukee and Kansas City plants

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 July 2017

Neither the International Association of Machinists nor the United Steelworkers have made even a pretense of fighting the threatened layoffs.

Connecticut Democrats, unions impose $1.5 billion in givebacks on state workers

By John Marion, 24 July 2017

Governor Dannel Malloy and union executives browbeat the 40,000 state workers into accepting the deal with the threat of mass layoffs and potential bankruptcy of the City of Hartford.

Study reveals gutting of health care and pensions for US workers

By Isaac Finn, 21 July 2017

Global risk management firm Willis Towers Watson revealed the impact of the corporate-government assault on workers’ retirement and medical benefits.

Tufts Medical Center lockout to end with no gains for nurses

By John Marion, 17 July 2017

The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) and Democratic Party politicians are using stunts to pressure management into negotiations while nurses go without pay.

SEIU cuts short three-day strike of New York airport workers

By Isaac Finn, 13 July 2017

Following a walkout on July 11 of roughly 700 workers at Newark Liberty International Airport, SEIU 32BJ ended a threatened three-day strike against PrimeFlight Inc., after the company agreed to negotiate.

AT&T West workers reject deal pushed by Communications Workers of America

By Jake Dean, 11 July 2017

After AT&T workers in California and Nevada rejected the sellout deal, the CWA immediately agreed to federal mediation, a blackout on information and a no-strike pledge.

“They said that to protect the company”

Coworkers denounce false report of suicide after Detroit electrician falls to his death

By Tim Rivers, 7 July 2017

Medical examiner’s report repudiates claims by police and the media that veteran electrician Michael Morrison, who plummeted 75 feet at the Little Caesars sports arena, took his own life.

Many questions in Detroit GM plant explosion

By Shannon Jones, 6 July 2017

A Wednesday morning explosion at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant has left three workers injured and one hospitalized.

The way forward for West Coast port truck drivers

By Dan Conway and Jerry White, 4 July 2017

The Teamsters union shut down the strike, the 15th such walkout over the last four years, without resolving any of the critical issues demanded by the drivers.

Two US coal miners killed in June

By Naomi Spencer, 1 July 2017

The deaths of two coal miners last month put 2017 on track to reach fatality figures not seen since the relative boom period of 2011-13.

California Amazon worker speaks out:

“Amazon fired me because I complained about age discrimination”

By Evan Blake, 20 June 2017

The former Amazon employee described a climate of favoritism and abuse against older workers at the multinational behemoth's warehouses.

Los Angeles and Long Beach port truckers strike over misclassification

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 June 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by writing to comments@wsws.org.

Trump administration rolls back “joint-employer” labor provision in favor of big business

By E.P. Milligan, 13 June 2017

The decision will serve to further empower the major corporations while reducing their accountability and restricting the rights of workers.

Trump, the coal miners and the environment

By Jerry White, 6 June 2017

Stripped of the demagogy and lies, the line of the Trump administration amounts to the proposition that miners must place their full trust and confidence in the benevolence of the coal bosses.

In move to compete with Amazon, Walmart asks workers to make deliveries during commute

By Evan Blake, 6 June 2017

The two companies are competing with one another to cut costs and boost profits by increasing the exploitation of their workforces.

Settlement at AT&T West, DirecTV, while Spectrum telecom strike continues

Workers Struggles: the Americas

6 June 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by writing to comments@wsws.org.

GM announces more layoffs as US auto sales decline

By Shannon Jones, 3 June 2017

General Motors announced 300 job cuts at its Warren, Michigan transmission plant amid continuing signs of a slowdown in US auto sales after a seven-year boom.

Three Wisconsin workers die in corn mill explosion, several more seriously injured

By Gary Joad, 3 June 2017

Federal agencies have cited the company for multiple safety and environmental violations as far back as the early 2000s.

Amazon ordered employee to work despite heatstroke risk, sought to cover up incident

By Eric London, 30 May 2017

The young Virginia worker told the International Amazon Workers Voice that she has still not received medical attention despite suffering long-term health effects.

Rampant safety hazards, wage theft on Nashville construction sites

By Warren Duzak, 26 May 2017

In a survey of 1,435 construction workers in six major southern US cities, Nashville ranked number one in the frequency of injuries.

Caterpillar, Butterball to close factories in Montgomery, Illinois, laying off 1,400 workers

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 24 May 2017

The dual factory closures in the far western suburbs of Chicago take place in an area already hard hit by decades of deindustrialization.

Wall Street engineers ouster of top Ford executives

By Jerry White, 23 May 2017

The management reshuffling at the number two US automaker, described in industry circles as a “coup,” underscores the complete domination of the banks and financial speculators.

San Diego, California school district pushes forward with layoffs and cuts

By Norisa Diaz and Toby Reese, 23 May 2017

Some 1,500 educators and support staff in the San Diego Unified School District have been finishing the school year with apprehension that they may not have a job next fall.

Strikes in Colombia underscore worsening conditions in schools and among workers

Workers Struggles: The Americas

23 May 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by emailing information to comments@wsws.org.

“It is time we all stood up”

AT&T workers call for broader fight as CWA ends weekend strike

By our reporting teams, 22 May 2017

AT&T workers are determined to recoup past concessions, handed to the world’s largest company by the Communications Workers of America.

West Virginia coal miner killed at pit run by environmental fund

By Naomi Spencer, 22 May 2017

A West Virginia coal miner was killed May 18, bringing to seven the number of fatal coal mine accidents in the US this year.

Union conceals district’s takeaway demands from Detroit teachers

By Phyllis Steele, 22 May 2017

So egregious were the school board’s demands that the Detroit Federation of Teachers executive board could not bring it back to rank-and-file educators.

CWA begins three-day strike at AT&T as US telecom workers press for real fight

By Mark Witkowski and Shannon Jones, 20 May 2017

While continuing the isolation of workers at Spectrum, the CWA has organized a token, three-day, strike against AT&T West and AT&T Mobility.

CWA threatens weekend strike at AT&T as US telecom workers press for real fight

By Mark Witkowski and Shannon Jones, 19 May 2017

While continuing the isolation of workers at Spectrum, the CWA has called for a token, three-day strike against AT&T West and AT&T Mobility.

US autoworkers discuss Ford job cuts, Washington political crisis

By Shannon Jones, 18 May 2017

The cutbacks are a further indication that the boom in auto sales is coming to an end.

University of Puerto Rico students protest austerity measures

By Rafael Azul, 16 May 2017

Striking students occupying the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras are defying a court order to end their protest.

Wildcat strike at Mexican auto parts plant

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 May 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by emailing information to comments@wsws.org

US auto profits soar as sales slowdown threatens more layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 11 May 2017

Higher auto profits are being accompanied by job cuts as management intensifies its assault on autoworkers.

New evidence of UAW vote-rigging in 2015 Ford contract

Part Two

By Eric London, 11 May 2017

Documents provided to the World Socialist Web Site show a UAW conspiracy to silence autoworkers with access to evidence that the union committed election fraud to pass the 2015 contract with Ford.

New evidence of UAW vote-rigging in 2015 Ford contract

Part One

By Eric London, 9 May 2017

Information provided to the World Socialist Web Site shows a UAW conspiracy to silence autoworkers with evidence that the UAW committed election fraud to pass the 2015 Ford contract.

Each day 150 workers die in the US due to hazardous work conditions

By Matthew Taylor, 1 May 2017

A new report from the AFL-CIO details the perilous state of the US workplace

Trump pushes reactionary “Buy American, Hire American” plan

By Jerry White, 19 April 2017

Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday restricting visas for skilled immigrant workers and mandating the use of domestic products in federal projects.

Latest cuts plan at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe threatens 4,000 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 18 April 2017

ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe has adopted a new program of jobs and cost cutting aimed at slashing €500 million over the next three years.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Strikes hit mines in Peru and Mexico as retired US coal miners face health care cutoff

18 April 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by emailing information to comments@wsws.org

Two more US coal miners killed

By Naomi Spencer, 13 April 2017

Two accidents in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky coal mines bring to five the total number of US coal miners killed this year.

Chicago Teachers Union calls off one-day strike vote

By Kristina Betinis, 11 April 2017

Just hours before a scheduled vote on a one-day walkout union head Karen Lewis announced, “No, we’re not striking.”

No to San Diego school layoffs! Defend the right to high quality public education!

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 11 April 2017

There is widespread opposition to the layoffs of 1,500 teachers and staff, but to fight, school workers must build a political movement against the squandering of resources on war and the interests of the super-rich.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Mexican autoworkers strike, protests against IMF-dictated price hikes hit Suriname

11 April 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by emailing information to comments@wsws.org.

Southern Illinois meatpacking workers enter third week of strike

By George Gallanis and Benjamin Mateus, 5 April 2017

Holten Meat packing workers near East St. Louis, Illinois are striking over work conditions and seniority rights.

Three dead, four injured in boiler explosion at St. Louis factory

By George Marlowe, 4 April 2017

Among those killed in the explosion were two newly hired workers filling out paperwork a block away at Faultless Healthcare Linens.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Anti-austerity protests hit Argentina, Brazil and Puerto Rico

4 April 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by e-mailing to comments@wsws.org.

Days after UAW claims contract ratification

Caterpillar confirms plans to close Aurora, Illinois plant, lay off 800

By Marcus Day, 3 April 2017

There are reports of angry confrontations between workers and local UAW officials following the announcement.

Organizers win lawsuit against United Farm Workers for nearly $1 million in stolen wages

By Matthew Taylor, 3 April 2017

A California judge ordered the United Farmworkers of America to pay its organizers back wages after exploiting them and cheating them out of their pay.

Allegations of vote fraud mount

The UAW betrayal at Caterpillar and the case for rank-and-file committees

By Jerry White, 31 March 2017

The alleged ratification of the UAW-backed deal has provoked widespread charges of vote rigging and fraud.

Caterpillar workers react with anger, suspicion to UAW contract ratification

By Marcus Day, 29 March 2017

While the UAW has claimed that a new six-year contract with Caterpillar was approved by workers at ratification meetings Sunday, it has yet to release company-wide vote totals.

As Trump postures as friend of miners, retirees and widows face April 30 health care cutoff

By Samuel Davidson, 29 March 2017

On March 1, the United Mine Workers of America Health and Retirement Funds sent a letter to 22,600 retirees and widows informing them their retiree benefits would be cut off.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Class struggle heats up in Latin America

28 March 2017

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

“The way I look at it is, the UAW is Caterpillar”

Caterpillar workers in Peoria, Illinois denounce UAW sellout deal

By our reporters, 27 March 2017

Caterpillar workers voting in central Illinois Sunday spoke with the WSWS about the years of reversals they have suffered due to the treachery of the United Auto Workers union.

UAW-Caterpillar contract “highlights” reveal new attacks on jobs and wages

By Marcus Day, 24 March 2017

What little the UAW has revealed about its deal with Caterpillar points to an escalation of the union-backed corporate assault on workers.

Telecom union calls bogus “strike” at AT&T in California and Nevada

By Alan Gilman, 24 March 2017

After less than 24 hours, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) sent 17,000 AT&T workers back to their jobs after the walkout, which was aimed at defusing workers’ anger and frustration.

“Don’t believe what they’re going to tell you”

As Caterpillar-UAW contract vote nears, Deere workers warn of union betrayal

By Marcus Day and George Gallanis, 22 March 2017

With just four days left before voting, workers at agricultural equipment giant Deere & Co. spoke on the lessons of their 2015 contract struggle.

“I think it’s a set-up with the union and Caterpillar”

Caterpillar-UAW deal: Workers denounce information blackout

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 21 March 2017

Less than a week before they are set to vote on a six-year contract proposal, workers have still not received any details on the content of the deal.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

21 March 2017

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

Coal miner killed at mine owned by West Virginia governor

By Clement Daly, 18 March 2017

Jason Kenneth Matthews was killed at the Bishop Preparation Plant, owned by Jim Justice, West Virginia’s governor and richest man.

Los Angeles school district sends layoff notices to 1,600 administrators

By Dan Conway, 18 March 2017

The layoffs are part of an ongoing attempt to gut public education in the nation’s second largest school district.

Workers have the right to study the full contract!

Caterpillar-UAW deal: An anti-worker conspiracy

By Marcus Day, 18 March 2017

In an attempt to overcome worker opposition to further concessions, the UAW and Caterpillar are coordinating an information blackout over details of a proposed six-year contract announced Wednesday.

Rockford, Illinois public school employees go on strike

By George Gallanis, 16 March 2017

While school workers have demonstrated their determination to fight, behind the scenes AFSCME officials are seeking to cut a deal that will accept the bulk of management’s demands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

14 March 2017

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

As backdoor UAW-Caterpillar negotiations and tax fraud investigation continue

Former Caterpillar worker speaks on 2012 Joliet, Illinois strike betrayal

By Marcus Day, 13 March 2017

Caterpillar is in the midst of a worldwide restructuring, laying off tens of thousands and closing multiple plants.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

11 March 2017

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

Boston mass transit privatization scheme proceeds through bullying and tricks

By John Marion, 9 March 2017

The crisis of the MBTA caused by years of deferred maintenance and a massive February 2015 snow storm is being used to implement a prolonged assault on workers.

Rockford, Illinois public school employees set to strike next week

By George Gallanis, 8 March 2017

The AFSCME union is limiting the action to a three-day walkout to blow off steam and curtail the growing combativeness of workers.

“The corporations are our enemies, not immigrant workers”

General Motors announces 1,100 job cuts at Lansing, Michigan plant

By Shannon Jones and Jerry White, 7 March 2017

Just three days after laying off 1,300 workers at its Detroit assembly plant, GM announced it was cutting another 1,100 workers at a factory near the Michigan state capital.

Sanders covers for UAW at Mississippi Nissan rally

By Ed Hightower and Jerry White, 7 March 2017

Sanders was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s rally in Canton, Mississippi where the United Auto Workers is campaigning to win recognition at the Nissan auto factory.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

7 March 2017

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

As UAW maintains information blackout on contract negotiations

Federal agents raid Caterpillar headquarters in Illinois

By Marcus Day, 6 March 2017

The dramatic operation hints at the immense criminality and fraud that characterize the day-to-day workings of giant transnationals.

As attack on jobs escalates, AFL-CIO chief pledges to “partner” with Trump administration

By Jerry White, 4 March 2017

The unions are joining Trump’s efforts to divide the working class and block a unified response to his class war policies at home and imperialist militarism abroad.

“They’re laying people off and scattering them to the winds to find employment”

GM layoffs of 1,300 workers at Detroit assembly plant

By a reporting team, 4 March 2017

The layoffs are a major blow to workers and to the city, which is already the poorest big city in America with an official unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent.

Illinois state workers vote overwhelmingly to strike

By Alexander Fangmann, 3 March 2017

AFSCME leaders are desperately hoping to avoid a strike, while Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has ruled out further negotiations and is preparing to use scabs and the National Guard against workers.

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

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.