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.
Sanitation Workers Win Raise After Month-Long Strike
After striking for nearly two months, sanitation workers represented by Teamsters Local 542 in San Diego, California won a pay increase and additional benefits from waste-collection monopoly Republic Services. After having their demands continuously ignored, workers went on strike on December 17, and the amount of uncollected trash forced the city of Chula Vista to declare a public emergency.
During the strike, Republic Services brought in scab workers named the “Blue Crew” to replace the workers, but was eventually forced to cede as the scabs failed to keep up with the work. The local community supported the striking workers, dropping off groceries at the picket line. Worker Ladere Hampton told reformist news outlet InTheseTimes, “[Republic is] paying all this money to bring in a crew to try to do our job, and they’re not doing such a good job.” The new contract includes wage increases, which are to progress yearly through 2025, as well as some healthcare benefits. However, the contract accepted by the Teamsters bureaucracy falls short of what workers demanded.
Photo credit: PSL LA Twitter
Workers Block 12th Avenue in Response to Exploitation in Construction Industry
Last Thursday, over 100 workers represented by various trade unions picketed against construction companies exploiting workers, shutting down 12th Avenue in New York City. The picket took place near the Terminal Warehouse development on 261 11th Avenue, a place of contention between workers and construction companies. Companies such as the Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) and the California State Teachers Retirement System CalSTRS have been using union pension funds to fund the construction of the project, in addition to exploiting immigrant workers without the same protections. At the Terminal Warehouse site, five immigrant workers walked off the job on the same Thursday in response to the racist exploitation by the demolition company Alba, contracted to replace the unionized workers.
Photo credit: NYC District Council of Carpenters
Oil Workers Forced to Accept New Contract as Union Bureaucracy Capitulates
On Monday February 21, oil workers in Beaumont, Texas represented by United Steelworkers (USW) voted to approve a six-year contract with oil monopoly ExxonMobil after a 10-month lockout. However, the new contract, while improving a pay increase, allows ExxonMobil to control worker assignments that were previously based on seniority, terminate employee benefits, and extend the company’s probationary period from 6 to 24 months. A similar contract was rejected by workers in October. Before the new contract’s approval, one worker spoke against the union bureaucracy telling the revisionist news outlet World Socialist Website, “We have to build up rank-and-file support to resist this. It won’t come from the union.”
New England Machinists Strike to Protest Proposed Pay Scale
Generator machinists employed by Cummins Inc., a large multinational engine and machinery manufacturer, have been out on strike since February 12 at their Dedham, Massachusetts; Scarborough, Maine; and Concord, New Hampshire locations. The machinists are protesting a proposed contract that does not take into account the ongoing inflationary crisis, and attempts to implement a pay system with insufficient raises that are based on arbitrary administrative performance assessments.
The striking workers almost immediately formed picket lines after they overwhelmingly voted to reject the proposed contract. In a statement from the union representing them, Machinists Union Local 447, their union representative wrote that striking workers at Cummins “are determined to get a fair contract that reflects the current economic conditions.”
Photo credit: Local 264 Machinists Union
Iowa Aerospace Factory Workers on Strike to Fight Benefit Cuts, Poor Wages
Over 400 workers at the Eaton-Cobham plant in Davenport, Iowa went on strike last Friday to attempt to defeat the proposed retirement and healthcare cuts contained in the company’s most recent contract offer. Workers at the plant, which makes airplane parts for private defense companies contracted by US imperialism, voted to approve the strike by a 98% margin the day before the walk-out began. Striking workers on the picket lines held signs with slogans such as “Together Everyone Achieves More in Solidarity [TEAMS]” and “Machinists union on strike.”
Colorado Teachers Stage Sick-Out to Protest Loss of Preparation Time
High school classes in the Academy School District in Colorado, which serves more than 22,000 students, were canceled last Friday when a third of their high school teachers called out sick to protest a planned change in their class load. Under the new rotating class schedule, implemented unilaterally by the district administration, teachers would teach an extra class and might have to lose their preparation period. In a statement announcing the action, the Academy Education Association, which represents the teachers, wrote: “Our educators are being asked to do more with less and we demand that they be compensated accordingly. … Entrust us and utilize us; we know our students and we know what is best for our classrooms. We demand time. We need time to plan. We need time to ensure that each and every student has the time and the resources they need to succeed.”
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