Photo credit: @leozino, Twitter
Workers’ Resistance Bulletin is an overview of workers’ resistance, as well as the repression of workers, taking place all across the US, from small workplaces to large factories. The growing wave of worker mobilizations makes clear that the general crisis of imperialism will be met with greater struggle from the proletariat. If you have a tip or suggestion for worker coverage, or you are a worker interested in becoming a worker correspondent, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Maintenance Workers Locked Out
Electricians and instrumentation technicians have been locked out of the DuPont plant in Richmond, Virginia since October. The workers are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Contract negotiations reached a standstill after the company cut overtime pay and refused to give the workers raises. The workers haven’t been paid since October 11, and the company has brought in scabs (non-union replacement workers) to do maintenance work.
Kellogg’s Threatens to Permanently Replace Strikers, Union Proposes Tentative Agreement
Kellogg’s has announced its intention to permanently replace 1,400 striking workers at its food production plants after contract negotiations broke down last week. The workers have been on strike since October 5, demanding an end to the two-tier payment system, which pays new employees significantly less and offers them poorer benefits. Over 30% of Kellogg’s workforce falls under the lower tier of this system. Kellogg has refused to end this practice, and has already brought in scabs.
On Thursday, the union representing the workers announced a tentative agreement which does not meet any of the workers’ demands. Read our full coverage: “Union Reaches Tentative Agreement with Kellogg’s After Threatening to Replace Striking Workers.”
Massachusetts Tire Recycling Workers Face Mass Retaliation after Protest
Dozens of workers at tire recycler facility Bob’s Tires in New Bedford, Massachusetts have been fired in response to a protest in late October that demanded higher pay, better working conditions, and an adequate response to allegations of sexual harassment. The majority of workers at the facility are indigenous Mayans originally from Guatemala, and many of them are undocumented. The protest occurred after years of bad treatment of the worker by the company’s owner, Bob Bates. Workers told local public radio station WBUR that Bob Bates refused to learn their real names, laughed off continuous allegations of sexual harassment by one worker towards many other workers, and refused workers breaks and time off.
One worker who was arrested during the protest explained: “I have the right to protest. They are paying me a miserable $13.50 per hour. I’m asking for a right to vacation and time for breaks during the day.” Workers at the facility voted to unionize in 2015 under the United Food and Commercial Workers, but as one community activist told WBUR, “the union abandoned them,” and has done little to protect the workers or organize to win their demands.
North Carolina Bojangles Workers Strike over COVID Safety Concerns
Fast food workers at a Bojangles in Burnsville, North Carolina went on strike for a week this past month after management hid positive COVID cases from workers during an outbreak at the restaurant. Workers told local monopoly news outlet ABC 13 News that management continued to tell workers it was safe to work even as more and more workers tested positive and were exposed to positive cases without knowing. One worker interviewed stated: “Bojangles didn’t do what they needed to do to protect us. So now we’re on strike to fight for what really matters. We’re fighting to keep each other safe.”
Another worker raised the issue of higher wages in an interview with ABC 13: “This was our first time going on strike, and it feels good to stand up. Bojangles has the power to give us a safer environment, and they can afford to pay all of us at least $15/hour, with all the profit that we bring in at our store.”
Walmart Employees Walk Out for Better Pay, Working Conditions in North Carolina
Workers at a Walmart in Mooresville, North Carolina walked out on Black Friday to protest their low pay and poor working conditions. The workers demanded a right to unionize and a $15 minimum wage, as well as more consistent scheduling and more flexible time off policies. The walk-out lasted a day, and workers on the picket line chanted “Whose Power? Worker Power!”
Wirecutter Workers Strike for Higher Pay
Employees for the New York Times product review service Wirecutter went on strike this past week, from Thanksgiving through “Cyber Monday,” to protest stagnant wages and low pay. In online testimonials from the Wirecutter union website, the tech workers stated that while the service continued to bring record revenue for the monopoly media publication The New York Times, the paper has offered “paltry guaranteed wage increases of only 0.5%, despite soaring inflation and cash flows.” Employees for the service had been in contract negotiations with the paper for over two years prior to the strike.
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