Workers’ Resistance Bulletin: February 11

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 tribuneofthepeople@protonmail.com.


Union Discourages Railroad Workers from Striking after Court Order

Last Week, Tribune reported on a potential strike against BNSF Railway voted on by railroad workers represented by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) in response to a new repressive attendance policy that would punish workers for taking time off for any reason, including sickness or family funerals.

The strike was scheduled to start on February 1. However, not only did a federal judge ban workers from going on strike, but the union bureaucracy of SMART joined in suppressing the strike, warning workers that participation in any strikes or work stoppages could result in fines or suspension, betraying rank-and-file members. The union posted this notice on its website following the court order, siding with federal judge Mark T. Pittman that a strike would disrupt the country’s supply chain.

Teamsters Bureaucracy Seeks to Surrender to Uber and Lyft in Deal

Leading bureaucrats in the Teamsters Union are collaborating with rideshare monopolies Uber and Lyft to draft a bill in the Washington State legislature that would permanently misclassify the companies’ workers as contractors in exchange for some concessions. Under Uber and Lyft’s current business models, workers are considered independent contractors, meaning that they are not entitled to full labor protections. With this new deal, workers would receive some benefits, such as paid sick leave, but they would still not be considered employees.

Photo credit: @GigWorkersRise on Twitter

Oil Workers’ Strike on Hold after Union Bureaucracy Negotiates Contract Extension

Around 30,000 oil workers, represented by United Steelworkers (USW), were preparing to go on strike on February 1 against oil monopolies Exxon-Mobil and Marathon, when USW offered the companies an extension of the deadline on negotiations in exchange for a rolling 24-hour extension of the workers’ current contract. The new contract proposed by the companies included a 9% pay raise over three years, which is lower than the 11% raise over the same period negotiated in the 2019 contract, which itself fell well below matching inflation.

Oil workers are still preparing to go on strike, and staged pickets yesterday in Deer Park and Texas City.

Photo credit: @TexasAFLCIO on Twitter

Right-to-Work’ Foundation, Scabs, Organize Attempt to Strip Workers of Union

Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts began voting last week in an election that will decide whether or not to de-certify their current union representative, the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA). The election comes weeks after striking nurses at St. Vincent overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new contract that contained greater pay and benefits and improved working conditions that was won after an almost 10-month strike. The ballot was triggered after 254 scab nurses petitioned the National Labor Relations Board last month to de-certify the union local that represented the over 500 striking nurses. The vote is also heavily supported and organized by the National Right-to-Work Foundation, a reactionary anti-union organization devoted to de-certifying and undermining unions across the country.

The de-certification vote, if passed, would leave nurses at St. Vincent’s hospital without any union representation and nullify the new contract won after the longest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts history. It is the latest in the long list of union-busting strategies and techniques employed by St. Vincent’s owner, Tenet Healthcare, to punish nurses and their union for organizing such a long and mainly successful strike.

Photo credit: Massachusetts Nurses Association

Colorado Teachers Stage Mass ‘Sick-Out’ to Protest School Board

Over 1,100 teachers for the public school district of Douglas County, Colorado called out sick last week to protest the actions and policies of the county’s school board. The new school board, elected in November, has spent the last month enacting a series of policies unpopular with educational workers in the district. These policies include abruptly repealing the county’s school mask mandate, an attempt to rewrite and replace the district’s “anti-racism” and “equity” mission statement adopted after last year’s May Uprising, and the firing of a long-time popular district superintendent.

The mass “call-out” caused the school district to close on Thursday, and allowed for almost 1,000 parents, teachers, and students to rally outside district offices to give speeches and raise their grievances with the new school board.

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