Workers Struggles

Concessions contract ratified by Detroit teachers after campaign of intimidation

By Walter Gilberti and Joe Kishore, December 21, 2009

Detroit teachers voted to approve a concessions contract following two weeks of threats and intimidation from the school district, the corporate media and the Detroit Federation of Teachers union.

See Also: Detroit teachers union launches intimidation campaign to push sellout deal, 15 December 2009

The way forward for Detroit teachers

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party,
December 9, 2009

The mass opposition of teachers to the concessions contract signed by the Detroit Federation of Teachers and the Detroit Public Schools deserves the full support of the entire working class.

See also:

Unite Michigan teachers, students, workers to stop school cuts!
(Statement of the Socialist Equality Party, 23 October 2009)

Detroit teachers denounce sellout deal at mass meeting

By Jerry White, December 8, 2009

Detroit public school teachers expressed overwhelming opposition to a contract negotiated between a state-appointed financial director and the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) at a mass meeting Sunday afternoon.

See also:

Video: Detroit teachers speak out against DFT Contract, 8 December 2009

Teachers speak to WSWS on concessions contract, 8 December 2009

Corporate media denounces resistance by Detroit teachers, 11 December 2009


Recent Workers Struggles

Australia: Employers using Labor’s laws to impose lockouts

By Terry Cook, January 11, 2010

Aided by the unions, employers are using their new powers under the Australian government’s “Fair Work” legislation to suppress industrial action.

Australia: Telstra unions call limited action over enterprise agreement

By Noel Holt, January 5, 2010

While calling for a pay rise, the unions are keeping their members in the dark about how the agreement will facilitate substantial restructuring under the government’s plans for a national broadband network.

Australia Post workers voice growing discontent

By our reporters, December 24, 2009

Australia Post workers express mounting frustration with the destruction of their conditions, and the role of the Rudd Labor government.

Australian postal unions call off industrial action

By our reporters, December 24, 2009

The Communications Electrical Plumbing Union staged limited stoppages and protest rallies in a bid to head off anger among postal workers about mounting provocations by Australia Post.

250,000 jute workers continue indefinite strike in West Bengal

By Palash Roy and Arun Kumar, December 24, 2009

Two hundred and fifty thousand jute workers in West Bengal have been on indefinite strike since Dec. 14 to force their employers to pay back wages and other arrears.

India’s almond workers mount militant strike

By Kranti Kumara, December 24, 2009

In what is perhaps the biggest strike in recent years in India’s “unorganized” sector, 20,000 to 30,000 almond workers and their families have been mounting a militant strike since Dec. 14.

Australia: Union cuts short NSW bus drivers’ strike

By Terry Cook, December 22, 2009

By shutting down the strike and accepting the tribunal ruling, the union established the framework for closed-door horse-trading to deliver the state Labor government’s demands for cost savings.

Australia: Rudd government backs moves to outlaw national postal workers walkouts

By Terry Cook, December 18, 2009

National walkouts by postal workers over poor pay and conditions this week triggered immediate legal action under the Rudd Labor government’s new industrial laws to ban the stoppages and shut down p...

Australian government threatens Pluto construction workers

By Terry Cook, December 16, 2009

The Labor government has threatened to use the “full force” of its draconian Fair Work Australia industrial relations laws against 2,000 construction workers seeking to defend their on-site condit...

New Zealand: Public sector workers protest government wage freeze

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, December 15, 2009

Low-paid state sector workers held protests across New Zealand on November 27 against the government’s wage freeze, but the trade unions used the day of action to divert workers’ anger into support for the opposition Labour Party and the Greens.

Australia: Union prepares sell-out of TAFE teachers struggle

By our reporters, December 10, 2009

NSW TAFE teachers are continuing to oppose a new teaching award handed down by the Industrial Relations Commission on October 15. But the NSW Teachers Federation is seeking a deal with newly-installed Premier Kristina Keneally that would preserve the central thrust of the IRC ruling.

See also:
Australia: Labor governments launch major assault on TAFE teachers (4 December 2009)

GM Europe announces 9,000 job cuts

By Dietmar Henning, November 28, 2009

The new head of General Motors’ European division has announced the company will eliminate at least 9,000 jobs on the continent. The cuts underscore the impossibility of defending jobs based on the nationalist and divisive policies of the trade unions.

International Paper shuts three mills, laying off 1,600 workers

By Jeff Lassahn, November 28, 2009

On October 23, International Paper announced the closure of three plants, resulting in the loss of 1,600 jobs. Most devastating is the spring 2010 closure of an enormous mill in Franklin, Virginia, which will result in 1,100 job cuts.

Ireland: 300,000 public service workers strike

By Steve James, November 25, 2009

Up to 300,000 public service workers in Ireland struck November 24 against proposals by the Irish government to impose devastating spending cuts in the 2010 budget.

Egypt hit by wave of strikes and protests

By Johannes Stern, November 23, 2009

Increasing social inequality has led to a series of workers' protests in Egypt.

Australia: Engineers place bans, defying Qantas intimidation

By Terry Cook, November 23, 2009

Aircraft engineers at Qantas began industrial action on November 13 in support of improved pay and working conditions. The 190 professional engineers, members of the Association of Professional Engineers Scientists and Managers of Australia (APESMA), have placed indefinite bans on overtime and on attending out of hours calls between 5pm and 9am daily.

See also:
Australia: Qantas aircraft engineers vote for industrial action (7 November 2009)

Illinois teaching and research assistants strike

By Tom Mackaman and Clement Daly, November 17, 2009

Graduate student employees at the University of Illinois went on strike on Monday against the university’s demand that it be allowed the right to impose tuition on teaching and research assistants.

Mt. Clemens, Michigan school bus drivers strike

By a WSWS reporting team, November 11, 2009

School bus drivers in Mt. Clemens, Michigan ended their one-and-a-half day strike Tuesday amid company threats to break the strike.

Transit workers end strike in Philadelphia

By Alan Whyte, November 10, 2009

A six-day transit strike in Philadelphia ended Monday morning after Transport Workers Union Local 234, the bargaining agent for 5,100 drivers, operators and mechanics, reached an agreement with the So...

See also:

Philadelphia transit worker killed as SEPTA strike enters third day (6 November 2009)

Transit workers strike in Philadelphia (4 November 2009)

Opel workers in Germany protest threatened mass redundancies

By our reporters, November 7, 2009

On Wednesday, thousands of Opel workers took part in protests throughout Germany directed against the massive job cuts to be implemented following General Motors’ decision earlier this week not to sell Opel to the auto supplier company Magna.

See also:
The Opel-Magna fraud: A betrayal of GM employees in Europe
(5 November 2009)

Fire Brigades Union capitulates to South Yorkshire management

By Simon Whelan, November 7, 2009

With just two hours to go before the next in a series of strikes by South Yorkshire firefighters, the Fire Brigade Union capitulated to management demands and called off the stoppages.

A socialist perspective for public sector workers in Sri Lanka

By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), November 3, 2009

Two public sector industrial disputes have erupted in Sri Lanka over pay and conditions fuelled by widespread discontent among workers over the government’s austerity measures.

WSWS speaks to workers who exposed GM payoff to Canadian auto union

By Jerry White, October 30, 2009

The WSWS recently spoke with two auto workers at a General Motors transmission plant in Windsor, Ontario, who have been involved in campaigning against a secret agreement between GM and Canadian Auto ...


Ford and the UAW

UAW installs Bob King as new president

By Jerry White, December 22, 2009

The United Auto Workers last week selected as its new president Bob King, who was repudiated by auto workers last month when they voted down the concessions contract he negotiated with Ford.

The Ford vote and the UAW’s defenders

By Jerry White, November 9, 2009

Last week’s defeat of the UAW-Ford concessions contract by the rank-and-file has not diminished the claims by various middle class organizations that all opposition should be channeled through the UAW.

See also:
The way forward for Ford workers

By Socialist Equality Party, October 29, 2009

With votes tallied at factories employing more than a third of Ford’s 41,000 US workers, the concessions contract being pushed by the UAW appears headed for defeat.

Video: Ford workers speak on contract rejection

November 4, 2009

The WSWS spoke to workers at the Ford Dearborn Truck plant in Michigan on the rejection of contract revisions backed by the company and the UAW.

Mass opposition grows: Ford workers speak out against contract

By our reporters, October 28, 2009

Mass opposition to Ford-UAW concessions contract

By Andre Damon, October 27, 2009

related articles »


British Post Strike

Britain: Socialist Workers Party colludes in postal strike sellout

By Tony Robson, November 14, 2009

Among the 17 members of the executive of the Communication Workers Union of Britain (CWU) who voted unanimously to call off the postal strikes scheduled for November 6 and 9 is union president and Socialist Workers Party (SWP) member Jane Loftus.

See also:
Britain: Post union president resigns from Socialist Workers Party (3 December 2009)


London postal workers condemn strike sell-out by Communication Workers Union

By our correspondents,
November 11, 2009

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site have been talking to postal workers in London about the decision by the Communication Workers Union to call off the national postal strike.

Britain: Communication Workers Union sabotages postal strike

By Chris Marsden, November 7, 2009

All strikes by Britain’s 120,000 postal workers were called off until at least the New Year, on the evening that two days of action were about to begin.

No compromise possible in UK post strike
A political and industrial offensive against Labour government is required

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), October 31, 2009

Striking postal workers in Britain are involved in a fundamental political struggle, against not just Royal Mail but also the Labour government.