Over 40,000 Rail Workers Go on Strike in the United Kingdom

On Tuesday, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) called over 40,000 workers for a four-day strike that will paralyze the United Kingdom until Saturday. The massive strike occurs after the failure of negotiations with the railway company Network Rail, which did not want to carry out a 7 percent increase in wages as requested by workers in a country whose inflation has already exceeded 11 percent. The latest protests have been led by health workers, doctors, ambulance drivers, postal workers, teachers. This week, nurses, highway maintenance workers and baggage handlers at London’s Heathrow airport will also go on strike.

— source telesurenglish.net | 13 Dec 2022

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Working people need political representation

The U.S. labor movement has gained traction in the past year with successful organizing drives at the first Amazon warehouse and Apple store, along with some 250 Starbucks stores and many others. Polls show more than 70% of Americans support labor unions. Democrats in Congress have proposed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, known as the PRO Act, to make it easier for workers to unionize. The bill faces defeat if Republicans take control of the Senate.

Because working people everywhere have had it. Enough is enough. They are joining together to use their power, to take low-wage poverty jobs at Amazon warehouses and Starbucks stores and all the places you just mentioned, and joining together and demanding a union from their employer and demanding elected officials support them in the demand to tackle the worst economic and racial inequality in our time. And that’s why I was proud to be with Mandela Barnes at that roundtable and then march all of the nonunion workers that are organizing in Milwaukee with our members to the early vote site at the Fiserv Forum so that people could kick off the early voting that’s happening now in Milwaukee.

— source democracynow.org | Nov 02, 2022

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This Year’s Biggest Strike Is by 48,000 Academic Workers at the University of California

Across the prestigious University of California system, tens of thousands of workers walked off the job last week for the nation’s largest strike of 2022, and the largest strike of academic workers in U.S. history. The energy was palpable as nearly 5,000 academic workers gathered at UC-Berkeley’s campus November 14 to launch our strike. Over the first week of our strike we shut down classes and lab operations, felt the solidarity from Teamsters drivers and building trades workers who honored our 5 a.m. pickets, marched with our students to the university president’s mansion, and showed the UC just how organized we are—and how ready we are to win big.

According to Auto Workers (UAW) membership surveys, 92 percent of graduate workers and 61 percent of postdocs report being rent-burdened. That is, they are paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent. In fact, the average graduate worker is spending more than half their gross income on housing costs. Our demand for a living wage

— source scheerpost.com | Nov 25, 2022

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‘Greedy Behavior’ of Profit-Hungry Rail Industry Blamed for Looming Strike

A new analysis shines fresh light on U.S. railroad giants’ “greedy behavior”—from gorging on their own stock to ramping up fees to pad their bottom lines—as workers struggle for basic rights and benefits in ongoing contract negotiations that could result in the first national rail strike in decades.

Updated figures compiled by the watchdog group Accountable.US and released Tuesday show that BNSF, a subsidiary of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway that operates one of North America’s largest railroad networks, saw its net income rise 4% to $4.4 billion during the first three quarters of 2022. Union Pacific, meanwhile, saw its profits jump 11% to $5.36 billion during that period.

In those nine months, Union Pacific spent nearly $8 billion on stock buybacks and dividend payouts to shareholders, Accountable.US notes.

The rail transportation giant CSX reported a 37% surge in Fiscal Year 2021 net income, the watchdog added, and the company repurchased $3.7 billion worth of its own shares during

— source commondreams.org | Jake Johnson | Nov 23, 2022

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The Ruling Class Broke the Railway Strike

Because That’s What It Means to Be the Ruling Class

The Congressional decision to prohibit railroad workers from going on strike and force them to accept a contract that meets few of their demands is part of the class war that has defined American politics for decades. The two ruling political parties differ only in rhetoric. They are bonded in their determination to reduce wages; dismantle social programs, which the Bill Clinton administration did with welfare; and thwart unions and prohibit strikes, the only tool workers have to pressure employers. This latest move against the railroad unions, where working conditions have descended into a special kind of hell with massive layoffs, the denial of even a single day of paid sick leave, and punishing work schedules that include being forced to “always be on call,” is one more blow to the working class and our anemic democracy.

The rage by workers towards the Democratic Party, which once defended their interests, is legitimate, even if, at times, it is expressed by embracing proto-fascists and Donald Trump-like demagogues. Dating back to the Clinton administration with NAFTA, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, the Democratic Party has become a full partner in the corporate assault on workers. The cloying feel-your-pain rhetoric, a staple of the Joe Biden White House, is offset by a hypocritical subservience

— source commondreams.org | Chris Hedges | Dec 05, 2022

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Over 55,000 Canada’s education workers strike in defiance of ‘draconian’ law

More than 55,000 education workers in Ontario have walked off the job, pledging to strike for “as long as it takes” in defiance a “draconian” new law amid a bitter fight with the provincial government over pay. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents custodial staff, early childhood education and education support workers, launched the strike on Friday, despite legislation fast-tracked by the Ontario premier, Doug Ford, that bars it from striking and unilaterally imposes a contract on employees.

Ontario fast-tracked passage of Bill 28 earlier this week, which fines striking workers C$4,000 ($2,955; £2,260) a day – nearly a full month’s salary for the average employee. “An important piece of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is being shredded before our very eyes,” the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, warning that Bill 28 shatters the norm of governments restraint in invoking the clause and putting other rights – free speech, freedom of religion – at risk.

— source theguardian.com | 4 Nov 2022

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What an Alabama Prisoners’ Strike Tells Us About Prison Labor

People incarcerated in the Alabama prison system began striking Monday over what they’ve described as inhumane treatment. Organizers say thousands have participated in the work stoppage.

The protesters have a list of demands, including changes to the state’s parole and sentencing laws. Gov. Kay Ivey has called the list “unreasonable.”

In the wake of the strike, some Alabama prisoners have shared pictures of the miserable portions of cold food now being served, with some calling it an “attempt to starve out protests.” One image shows a hard dollop of grits served with a single slice of cheese and a few bits of canned fruit. Prison officials have said the change to meals is not retaliation, but simply a matter of capacity, since the people who typically cook are not working.

Whether or not you buy that, one thing is indisputable: Incarcerated people, in Alabama and across the rest of the country, perform a tremendous amount of labor both within

— source themarshallproject.org | Jamiles Lartey | Oct 12, 2022

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U.S. Rail Strike Averted by Tentative Deal as Workers Decry Grueling Conditions

Negotiators for railroad companies and workers have reached a tentative deal to avert a potential strike that was set to start at 12:01 Eastern time, just after midnight tonight, and could have shut down rail service across the United States. This comes after Labor Secretary Marty Walsh met with union leaders and railroad company negotiators for some 20 hours, into the early morning today, with President Biden calling in personally around 9 p.m. Wednesday night to the meeting.

A railroad worker strike could upset the country’s supply chain of food and much more, potentially causing prices to skyrocket. It would also shut down travel for long-distance passenger trains which use the same tracks as freight rail.

The White House announced the agreement in a statement early this morning, calling it an “important win for our economy and the American people.” The deal must still be ratified by union members.

The Washington Post reports it meets one of the workers’ key demands: quote, “the ability to take days off for medical care without being subject to discipline.” Washington Post

— source democracynow.org | Sep 15, 2022

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