Workers Issues in the US

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.

Strike by 50,000 Las Vegas workers looms as casino owners resist pay demands

By Trévon Austin, 31 May 2018

The Culinary Workers Union and the two largest casino operators—MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. are reportedly $110 million apart on wage and benefits.

Construction worker killed at drill site in Phoenix, Arizona

By Trévon Austin, 30 May 2018

The construction company which subcontracted 52-year-old drill operator Melvin Self had previously been fined for maintaining hazardous working conditions.

UAW President Dennis Williams backs Trump’s policies of militarism and trade war

By Shannon Jones, 29 May 2018

The extreme economic nationalism promoted by the UAW, the United Steelworkers and other unions dovetails with the fascistic “America First” nationalism of Trump and the far-right.

Canadian rail workers, Las Vegas casino workers set to strike as class conflict widens across North America

By Jerry White, 29 May 2018

Three thousand Canadian Pacific rail workers and 50,000 Las Vegas casino workers are the latest entering battles as strikes and protests spread across North America and the world.

Support for strike action at UPS as Teamsters union prepares sell-out contract

By Tom Hall, 29 May 2018

The Teamsters’ offer to create a new tier of low-paid “hybrid” drivers demonstrates that it is not a workers’ organization, but an agency of management.

Canadian Pacific Railway workers set to strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

29 May 2018

Some 3,000 rail workers across Canada are set to strike Tuesday evening after rejecting management’s last offer, which failed to meet worker demands for improvements in working conditions and other issues.

President Trump signs executive orders attacking federal employees

By Nick Barrickman, 28 May 2018

Civilian employment within the federal workforce has dropped to 2.7 million—less than during the 1960s, due to multiple bipartisan cutbacks since then.

Louisiana teachers support strike for wage increase

By J. L’Heureau, 28 May 2018

The union is seeking to prevent a walkout and has warned that teachers may “take action sooner than we predict.”

Anger grows as layoff approaches for 1,500 auto workers at Lordstown GM plant

By Samuel Davidson, 26 May 2018

Lordstown workers are seething over a deal between General Motors and the United Auto Workers to layoff the second shift at the plant while hiring subcontractors at lower pay and benefits.

Dekalb County Georgia school bus drivers continue fight for reinstatement of fired colleagues

By Kranti Kumara, 26 May 2018

Workers are continuing their courageous and principled fight in the face of arrogant and provocative statements by the district’s superintendent.

Food and hospitality workers at Las Vegas casinos vote to strike

By Shelley Connor, 24 May 2018

Casino workers in Las Vegas voted by 99 percent to authorize a strike when their contract expires June 1.

A reply to the communications director of the South Carolina Education Association

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 24 May 2018

The following is an exchange about the May 21 World Socialist Web Site article, “Teachers and public workers protest in South Carolina.”

US Supreme Court eliminates workers’ right to collectively sue corporations

By Eric London, 23 May 2018

The ruling in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis will result in the transfer of billions of dollars from the working class to the oligarchy that controls the government and the courts.

As unions try to block further walkouts

US education secretary pledges to escalate war on teachers

By Jerry White, 23 May 2018

In remarks before the House Education and Workforce Committee, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos outlined the administration’s plans to accelerate the war against teachers and public education.

AT&T Midwest workers press for strike action as CWA seeks to block struggle

By Jerry White and Zac Corrigan, 22 May 2018

More than five weeks after the expiration of their contract, 7,000 AT&T Midwest workers are increasingly colliding with the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

In wake of recent workplace accidents US autoworkers speak out on safety conditions

By Shannon Jones, 22 May 2018

Autoworkers deplored lack of safety training and the UAW’s collusion in management’s drive for more profits.

Windsor casino workers reject contract, Mexico City professors strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

22 May 2018

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

Funeral held for S. Milwaukee Caterpillar welder Steven Wade

By Jessica Goldstein, 21 May 2018

Family, friends and coworkers paid tribute to Steven Wade, a 60-year-old welder who died last week from injuries he suffered at Caterpillar’s South Milwaukee plant on May 10.

Teachers and public workers protest in South Carolina

By Hiram Lee, 21 May 2018

Workers held signs that read, “Teachers need to eat too!”, “My income won’t pay my student loans!”

South Carolina teachers to rally for better pay and funding for schools

By Hiram Lee, 19 May 2018

For the unions, the aim of the demonstration is to smother opposition, isolate it from protests in other states, and channel workers behind the Democratic Party.

Seattle City Council and Kshama Sawant capitulate to Amazon, pass watered-down head tax

By Alec Andersen, 19 May 2018

The city council unanimously gave in to Amazon’s demands after the company threatened to cut 7,000 jobs if a higher head tax were enacted.

North Carolina teachers oppose unions’ shutting down of walkout

By Will Morrow, 18 May 2018

While teachers have returned to work, none of the issues that led to yesterday’s walkout have been resolved.

Twenty thousand teachers rally in North Carolina

By Rosa Shahnazarian and Will Morrow, 17 May 2018

While teachers expressed their determination for a united struggle, the unions called the rally to avert a strike and channel opposition behind the Democratic Party.

Caterpillar worker dies after being crushed at South Milwaukee plant

By Shannon Jones, 17 May 2018

A 60-year-old Caterpillar worker died Monday of injuries he suffered at Caterpillar’s global mining equipment facility, which has been targeted by the company’s cost-reduction effort.

As report shows teachers spending hundreds of dollars on school supplies

Wave of US educator walkouts hits North Carolina today

By Will Morrow, 16 May 2018

Today’s walkout in North Carolina is the latest in an ongoing wave of strikes by teachers across the United States and internationally.

Michigan auto parts plant explosion highlights brutal conditions in supplier industry

By Tim Rivers, 16 May 2018

In recent years the company has been cited for more than half a dozen safety violations, including several incidents where workers suffered serious burns.

Deals by unions to end US teacher strikes funded by regressive taxes, more budget cuts

By Nancy Hanover, 15 May 2018

The meager pay raises and funding increases in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, hailed as “victories” by the unions and their supporters, will be funded through new attacks on workers.

Flint high school teachers criticize deteriorating working conditions

By Genevieve Leigh and Sam Wayne, 15 May 2018

Multiple educators reported that Southwestern Academy high school has held dozens of classes without teachers for months at a time over the course of the current school year.

Colombian teachers hold nationwide two-day strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

15 May 2018

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