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.
Philadelphia Teachers Stage Sick-Out following Student COVID Death
Over 40 educators at Olney Charter High School, one of the largest high schools in Philadelphia, staged a sick-out (in which many or all workers call in sick on the same day) on December 20 after a student at the school died of complications from COVID-19 the week prior. The student, Alayna Thach, was only 17 years old and had a passion for singing and making change at the school. In the face of teachers calling out of work as well as a growing community outcry, the corporation which runs Olney Charter High School, ASPIRA, Inc. of Pennsylvania, announced that the school would be switching to remote learning until January 14.
Teachers at the school told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the school administration had not been enforcing COVID regulations and was not keeping all students and staff at the school safe. One teacher in particular who supported a switch to remote learning said: “There isn’t really a good protocol for how it all works. We think it’s safest to be virtual until they can come up with a plan for increased safety, just to ensure that something like this never happens again at our school.”
New Jersey Shredding and Recycling Workers Strike over Unfair Labor Practices
Drivers and workers at Shred-It, a paper and document shredding facility in Trenton, New Jersey, have been walking the picket lines since last Monday as they strike over stalled contract negotiations and unfair labor practices committed by the owner of the facility. Workers, who voted to unionize under Teamsters Local 469 in April, have been negotiating for a first-time collective bargaining agreement with the company, which they hope will win them higher pay and better working conditions. One driver at the facility who was interviewed by the publication Waste Today stated that the strike was a product of unfair labor practices committed by Shred-It, who she claims are not bargaining in good faith: “This company continues to trample on the workers’ rights. We decided that enough was enough. We felt we had no choice but to strike.”
West Virginia Fast Food Workers Rally for Union, against Poor Working Conditions
Restaurant workers at the Elkview location of the West Virginia fast food chain Tudor’s Biscuit World staged a rally on December 20 as part of a continuing unionization drive at their location. Workers at the location will have until January 24 of next year to cast their vote over whether or not to form a union associated with the United Food and Commercial Workers at their facility. Tudor’s Biscuit World has been fighting against the unionization effort, and even called the police on workers when they tried to meet with management at the Elkview location last month.
If the unionization effort in Elkview was successful it would make Tudor’s Biscuit World only the second fast food chain in the country with unionized franchise after five Burgervilles in Oregon voted to unionize this past May. When describing the poor working conditions at the Elkview location, one worker interviewed by local monopoly news outlet WCHS 8 explained: “We’re what makes this store go, and without us, they don’t have anyone.”
New York City Educators and Parents Stage Rallies to Protest Lack of Testing, Unsafe Working Conditions
Educators and parents at schools across New York City last week staged rallies and demonstrations outside schools to protest a lack of COVID testing as well as generally unsafe working conditions in the district. Protests were reported across the city’s boroughs at Grace Dodge High School in the Bronx; Bard High School and the Earth School in Manhattan; IS 230 in Queens; and PS 130, MS 839, and Millennium Brooklyn High School in Brooklyn. Educators and parents at the protests held signs with slogans like “Safe Schools = Weekly Testing” and “Tests Save Lives.” New York City currently has one of the highest reported COVID rates in the country.
Alabama Coal Miners’ Strike Now Longest in State History
Over 1,000 miners at several mines owned by Warrior Met Coal in Alabama have been on strike for over nine months in what is now the longest strike in that state’s history. The strike began on April 1 of this year as miners walked out and formed their picket lines to demand higher and more humane shift schedules. The striking miners have experienced significant state repression from police officers and courts who have been collaborating with Warrior Met Coal to defeat the strike. Not only have the police protected scab replacements who have attacked the striking workers, but the Alabama circuit courts banned the striking miners from picketing on or near Warrior Met Coal’s property in order to protect the company and disrupt the workers’ ongoing picket lines.
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