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

Strike Tracker

May 29, 2023

Here are some strikes that are currently going on or have recently taken place in the U.S. While these strikes remain isolated and separated, they show that some workers are ready to fight today. And any strike always brings the possibility of a wider and more generalized fight that starts in one place and spreads. That is what is needed!

Holland, Ohio

On May 8, UAW Local 12 struck Clarios (previously Johnson Controls), a battery maker in Holland, Ohio, near Toledo. The 500 workers need better pay and limits on forced overtime. The company’s contract offer was rejected by a 98% vote, and a later tentative agreement rejected by 76%.

Clarios got a local judge to limit strikers to groups no more than 5 who must stay 100 feet from plant gates. The company brings in vanloads of scabs, and police protect scabs going in and truckloads of batteries going out.

“We’ve been grinding. We’ve been working. We’ve been making a lot of batteries for this company. And even with inflation and everything going on right now, they’ve been cutting our rates, cutting our wages,” a Clarios striker said.

Clarios has many plants worldwide and makes one-third of the world’s lead-acid batteries, including for GM, Ford, Stellantis, Walmart, AutoZone, DieHard, and many others.

Van Buren, Michigan

About 160 workers of UAW Local 174 at a Constellium aluminum components plant in Van Buren, Michigan, continue to strike over workplace safety and low pay. The strike began May 17against the Ford supplier.

Constellium, of Paris, France, ranks No. 84 on Automotive News’ list of the top 100 global parts suppliers, with estimated worldwide sales to automakers of $1.9 billion in its 2021 fiscal year.

Connecticut Caregivers

Day care and group home caregivers of SEIU 1199 NE went on strike May 24 against 6 contractors for the state of Connecticut who care for the intellectually and developmentally handicapped. Over 1,700 striking caregivers demand a pathway to $25/hr minimum wage, affordable healthcare, and a pension plan.

“I’ve been in the long-term care field for 20 years. I make $17.25 an hour,” said Sylvia Grant, a caregiver working with Oak Hill for the past two years. “I cannot afford my health care. I cannot afford to get sick. I should not have to make these choices in my life, while I’m taking care of the lives of other people.”

Chula Vista, California

Four hundred bus drivers at Transdev, a contractor for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), are on an unfair labor practice (ULP) strike.

Teamsters Local 683 tried negotiating with Transdev for six months with no results except retaliation and stonewalling. Workers voted unanimously to strike May 17.

“We are not asking for much,” said Adelene Adams, a Transdev bus operator. “We want clean bathrooms, somewhere safe to take breaks, and better compensation.”