The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

U.S. On Strike!

Apr 17, 2023

(Updates on some recent strikes across the country.)

Teamsters Local 89 struck Sysco food services in Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana for 13 days. On April 8 they accepted a new contract with 34% wage increases spread over 5 years, co-pays of 20% instead of 50% for health insurance premiums, hiring nine new drivers and promised minimum staffing of 96 drivers per shift. Workers were tired of 16 hour shifts! Picket lines were honored in Los Angeles by Sysco members of Teamsters Locals 495, 630, and 848; in San Francisco by Sysco members of Teamsters Local 853; and in Seattle by Sysco members of Teamsters Local 117.

Tyson workers in Van Buren, Arkansas, struck on April 10 against being cheated in severance pay, workers comp claims, and nonpayment of vacation time. Tyson is closing their plant May 12, and the 969 workers are not getting what Tyson management told the newspapers they would get. Workers were heroes and essential for coming to work during Covid on crowded poultry processing lines. Now Tyson shows its other face.

Rutgers University teachers of AFT-NJ went on strike April 10. The 9000 teachers have worked without a contract since last summer. It was the largest public sector strike in New Jersey in 30 years. After five days the strike was “suspended” to consider a “tentative framework” for negotiations, with “significant” pay raises.

On April 12, 88 Teamster workers struck Republic Services waste management in Memphis and Millington, Tennessee. Contract negotiations had been stalled for weeks. On March 31, a worker was killed at a Republic landfill. The workers of Local 667 boiled over.

On April 10, over 350 workers of UNITE HERE Local 11 struck Flying Food Group at LAX International Airport. The workers prep in-flight meals. They have worked without a contract since June 2022. A worker with 12 years’ time is still stuck at $18.04. The strike is also about management refusing to correct supervisors who continually hit on women workers and harass them. A union rep said, “It’s companies like this that push workers to the edge.”

On April 10, 340 workers of United Chemical Workers Local 591C struck AdvanSix chemical manufacturer in Hopewell, Virginia. The plant makes ammonium sulfate for fertilizer and nylon for carpeting. The contract expired April 6 and workers walked when the company offered only to give half the workers any raise at all.