September Strikes
September 16, 2019 8:34 AM   Subscribe

UAW workers on strike. 46,000 workers at the nation’s largest auto manufacturer walked out after negotiations collapsed Sunday. CNN Live updates. Workers pour out of GM plant in Rochester. (Twitter) Working People Podcast interviews people on the massive layoffs and cutbacks that lead to the strike conditions and the need for international solidarity 1, 2, 3, 4 (Patreon) Grocery workers ready to walk in 3 states . Oregon University Workers set to cast strike vote. Kaiser healthcare workers plan for nation's largest strike since 1997. How To Support The Global Climate Strike Sept 20-27th. posted by The Whelk (37 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
 
Jane McAlevey on Twitter “Green New Dealers & everyone: find a picket line & support this strike, call your electeds to demand they support striking workers, call media. Auto Workers Go on Strike After Years of Tirelessly Helping General Motors Reach Record-Level Profits
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on September 16, 2019 [10 favorites]


It begins.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 AM on September 16, 2019 [6 favorites]


Can't wait for Fox and co. to blame the recession that's been predicted for months on this.
posted by Reyturner at 9:02 AM on September 16, 2019 [9 favorites]


Some promising union-related news (not on the strike-front but on the organizing front): Yoga instructors are the latest gig workers to unionize. And union approval is at a 50 year high with 64% of Americans approving of labor unions.

There have definitely been some recent setbacks too-- Kickstarter is retaliating against union organizers and Uber won't reclassify drivers as employees despite California's AB5 ruling, which is fully unsurprising.

But I'm very excited by this new wave of labor movement. Organize organize organize!
posted by edgybelle27 at 9:18 AM on September 16, 2019 [19 favorites]


Plus and Chicago Teachers Inch Closer to Possible Strike
posted by MrJM at 9:30 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


I call GENERAL STRIKE, step away from the keyboard.
posted by sammyo at 9:32 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


Guardian: Workers shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the US, as well as 22 parts distribution warehouses.
posted by katra at 9:33 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


> Oregon University Workers set to cast strike vote.

As a former member of this group, would just like to mention that this is mostly formality. The membership authorizing a strike simply means leadership can use that threat in negotiations. Actually striking is essentially a failure, especially considering the web of political donations between the union and management.

> SEIU wants to add an extra step to these wage increases so that long-term employees who have “topped out” on their step increases can continue to see their earnings grow.
> Veen said that he took a 40% pay cut when he started working at OIT five years ago.

As usual, the union is pushing for more money for its most senior members, and doing nothing in particular for the rank and file that haven't been around 25 years. When I left a job in a rural midwestern state to take an Oregon university union-represented job, the union negotiated wage was somehow worse than what I was making in low CoL flyover country. And that was their highest pay classification. I attribute all this mostly to union voting demographics. Just like politics writ large, voting rate increases with age. And as a bonus, people the university has yet to hire have no seat at the negotiating table. In the end, I stayed just long enough to collect a pension -- which is another can of worms that I can fortunately afford to watch from the sidelines.
posted by pwnguin at 9:34 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


Can't wait for Fox and co. to blame the recession that's been predicted for months on this.

There's some early coverage tying Trump to the recession: Recession Already Grips Corners of U.S., Menacing Trump’s 2020 Bid -- The president’s trade wars are creating a scenario similar to 2016. (Shawn Donnan for Bloomberg, September 9, 2019)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:24 AM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]


I live within walking distance of Toledo's GM Hydramatic transmission plant and UAW Local 14. The strikers are getting a lot of support from passerby, the honking has been pretty much non-stop since they hit the picket lines - I can hear it from my house.

Good. The workers sacrificed a lot during the bankruptcy, it's time for the company to step the hell up.
posted by MissySedai at 10:36 AM on September 16, 2019 [16 favorites]


The Oregon strike is also about cost of living increases which until quite recently the offer was literally zero from management. They also want to remove the bottom "step" from the current pay scales, so the bottom earners will start out at least a little higher.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:51 AM on September 16, 2019 [12 favorites]


In Chicago the nurses at U of C medical center are also striking this Friday. If the teachers strike it will be a big test for our new mayor Lori Loghtfoot. The previous strike was one of the things that really hurt Rahm’s popularity. If you come for the teachers you best not miss.
posted by mai at 11:22 AM on September 16, 2019 [8 favorites]


I need to get confirmation but judging from everything that’s happening it seems like the state of Oregon is super close to having a state-wide general strike.
posted by gucci mane at 12:05 PM on September 16, 2019 [7 favorites]


As usual, the union is pushing for more money for its most senior members, and doing nothing in particular for the rank and file that haven't been around 25 years.

One of the key demands for the strike: "The U.A.W. is also pushing the automaker to improve wages and close or narrow the difference between pay rates for new hires and veteran workers."
posted by JackFlash at 12:17 PM on September 16, 2019 [14 favorites]


Uber won't reclassify drivers as employees despite California's AB5 ruling, which is fully unsurprising.

Uber currently has pretty deep pockets and one of the people coming after them for misclassification will be the IRS and SSA because they aren't withholding and they aren't contributing employer contributions. It's a bold strategy; let's see if it pays off for them.
posted by Mitheral at 12:23 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also with the Oregon SEIU negotiation management wants to raise the meal cost from $1 to $3 for food service workers, who are far from the highest paid people in the union.
posted by kevin is... at 12:25 PM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]


Uber currently has pretty deep pockets and one of the people coming after them for misclassification will be the IRS and SSA because they aren't withholding and they aren't contributing employer contributions. It's a bold strategy; let's see if it pays off for them.

Uber's pockets are only as deep as the investor capital backing them, and even my cynical self can't picture Silicon Valley techbros thinking it's a good idea to square off against the IRS in court. That's the way things work here in the US: you can viciously exploit your workers, brazenly flaunt labor laws, and trample labor laws until you're blue in the face, but you do not. fuck. around. paying your taxes. The NLRB may not be able to slow them down, but the IRS will grind them into a fine paste.
posted by Mayor West at 12:31 PM on September 16, 2019 [9 favorites]


Interesting stat from the latest NYT piece about the GM strike:
Polling data shows that the public has become increasingly supportive of organized labor. A Gallup poll in late August found that 64 percent of Americans approve of unions, up from below 50 percent a decade ago.
posted by gwint at 12:42 PM on September 16, 2019 [9 favorites]


Right. Dispatch from Flint Mi.

So, GM builds a new1.1 million sq ft. Plant and the workers strike after 4 months. Most of the contention is across town at Assembly but alot of he workers were picketing this morning. Not good for us who are not making 23$ an hour but i still honked.
I watched the death of the U.A.W 20 years ago, what a sight. Not only did workers lose jobs but GM tore down the factories. The old UAW halls are now a pot shop, got trees growing in the lobby, closed or are barely staffed.
posted by clavdivs at 12:59 PM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]


Just drove by a plant with striking workers with my friend and we honked the whole way. There's another one by my house we need to throw support in too. My grandfather worked for GM and is/was? part of one of the local UAW chapters; you can throw a rock and hit someone with family or friends in the union. One of my relatives told off a friend who crossed the picket line and telling other people is met with, like, horror.

I could go on, but yeah.

Clavdivs: oh snap! *waves*
posted by Freeze Peach at 1:08 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


We honk
We do it for a mile or a yard.
Yeah, hey FP, the stigma of "scab" existed up until 2001 here in Flint. Oh, rocks, slashed tires, beating or two. Heck, when Buick City was up there was like a murder a year. But 5000 folks in one plant, it was a city. I remember when the UAW would post signs saying : 'No Foreign vehicles'. So, when an execs Jag got trashed...yeah.
I have one if those signs, I stole it.
Thing is, that stigma is not here in Flint. I saw half the parking lot filled this morning so half of them are working and temps are on the way. The S.P.O. plant was working 6 days, the seventh with temps.

Money is flowing...for Flint. I know 6 people who had little but now are making a good wage. I have studied the UAW and strikes for 32 years. As far as unions go. Ok .

But a real union is created to address problems or displace the union folk and their petit- bourgeois lifestyle.

We will always honk.
posted by clavdivs at 2:49 PM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]


95% of higher ed employees who voted authorized a strike at Oregon’s seven universities last night.

Next bargaining session begins next Monday and if things aren’t resolved by the Monday after that, a strike would begin.

In August OHSU’s VP of HR resigned after an anti-union pseudonymous trolling effort was unveiled, likely increasing skepticism of managements investment in good faith bargaining.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 8:34 AM on September 18, 2019 [5 favorites]


Not at all coincidentally, University of Oregon's fall semester begins on Oct. 1 and it will be an absolute shitshow if all their staff goes on strike.
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2019




Laid off and owed pay: the Kentucky miners blocking coal trains (Guardian)
There are no longer any unionized mines in Kentucky, but Harlan’s miners are currently continuing the region’s legacy of labor struggles against wealthy and powerful coal corporations: they are blocking the coal trains from leaving a mine that laid them off.

A collection of tents next to some rail tracks may not look like much compared to that rich legacy of labor struggle. A small group of families have occupied the site since 29 July, sitting on camp chairs, occasionally hosting live music and attracting sympathetic supporters from all over the US.

The small protest has endured for more than six weeks now, garnering nationwide attention – including a video of support from the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – and preventing trains carrying more than $1m worth of coal from being moved out of Harlan county until workers are compensated for the unpaid wages they’re owed since mining firm Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy.
posted by katra at 8:21 PM on September 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


A list of UAW picket lines
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 PM on September 20, 2019 [1 favorite]




Keep Workers support Strike
posted by The Whelk at 6:44 AM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


Why this strike is important
posted by The Whelk at 9:27 AM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]






Sanders on the UAW Picket line
posted by The Whelk at 10:57 PM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


What if we kissed, in themoicket line?
posted by The Whelk at 7:14 PM on September 26, 2019


From one of The Whelk's links:

Auto workers earn an average hourly wage of $3.30 an hour, compared to $23.80 an hour in the United States. Since 2000, North American vehicle production has rapidly shifted from the United States to Mexico, where plants now run just as efficiently as they do in the United States for a fraction of the cost.

Charlie LeDuff, a Detroit based journalist, has pointed out that wages that low mean a Mexican can still make more money entering the US illegally. So Americans lose middle class jobs, Mexicans don't gain them, and illegal immigration stays high.
posted by riruro at 11:34 AM on September 27, 2019 [1 favorite]




Strike averted as classified employee union, management reach contract agreement
Although the two groups are now in agreement, leading up to what was intended to be a final planned bargaining session on Tuesday, SEIU members felt ignored and disrespected, leading them to skip the session and reiterate their intent to strike.
posted by pwnguin at 8:47 AM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


Voices from the UAW picket line
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 AM on October 15, 2019


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