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

Workers on Strike

Aug 7, 2023

Here are some strikes that are currently going on in the U.S. These strikes may remain isolated and separated today. But others could join them. All the workers have the same basic problems.

Actors and Writers Strike Goes On

Actors in the Screen Actors GuildAmerican Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAGAFTRA) continue their strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers (AMPTP). The 11,500 Writers Guild of America (WGA) workers are on strike since May 2. Altogether the strikers number 76,500, against the combined entertainment giants of Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Warner Bros., Apple, Amazon, and Discovery.

Wabtec Locomotive, Erie, Pennsylvania

United Electrical Workers Locals 506 and 618, 1,400 strong, have been on the picket line since June 22. They are on strike against Wabtec Corp., previously the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, which bought out the General Electric locomotive business in 2019 for 11 billion dollars. The UE strikers build the locomotives.

Wabtec buys up rail-related businesses all over the world. Its profit in 2022 was 1.011 billion dollars.

The UE workers’ issues are low pay, too much mandatory overtime, poor healthcare coverage, and job security related to their diesel-engine assembly work. In addition, the union is demanding the reinstatement of their right to strike over unresolved issues, in between contracts.

Wabtec is busing in scab labor and housing them in a downtown hotel. Wabtec got a court order that workers cannot block plant gates. An on-scene federal mediator supports the company’s right to use these tactics.

Los Angeles Hotel Workers’ Fight

Striking workers of UNITE HERE Local 11, whose contract expired June 30, have been walking off the job for anywhere from three to five days in “rolling strikes” against major Los Angeles hotels and hotel chains.

The workers’ jobs are more hurried and less safe, as the hotel business has picked up after COVID, but hotels have not hired back enough workers to keep up. One typical hotel demands that a 90-minute job now be done in 30 minutes.

The workers’ wages are extremely low, compared to the cost of living in Los Angeles. Workers can only find affordable housing if they live hours of commute time away. Along with a big wage increase, Local 11 proposes that the hotels join with the city to create affordable housing near to work. Who else knows housing better than hotels?