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

Oct 2, 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. New strikes arise almost every week.

BCBSM Workers Strike Michigan Blue Cross

Local 2500 workers of the UAW’s Office and Professional Department are on strike against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Workers demand pay to keep up with the cost of living and an end to the hated tier system of wages and outsourcing. Tiers force new workers to work 22 years to gain top pay! The 1100 workers in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing handle customer service calls and claims adjustments. "Don’t get sick tonight, Blue Cross is on strike."

ZF Chassis on Strike in Tuscaloosa

ZF Chassis Systems in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, makes front axles for the nearby Mercedes-Benz assembly plant. The 190 workers of UAW Local 2083 went on strike on September 30. The workers voted NO to the first contract offer, NO to the second, and NO to the third. This big international company continually ignored the workers’ needs for reasonable healthcare, livable wages, and an end to the hated tier pay system. Now it’s NO contract, NO axles!

Strike at Dometic Mfg. in Pennsylvania

Local 644 of the UAW in Royersford, Penn., continues on strike to bring all of the 103 workers up above poverty-level wages. The workers make steering and throttle control cables sold to boat and RV manufacturers. This international company has offered less than half of what the workers need, insists on keeping the two-tier wage and benefit system, and also demands that the workers pay a bigger share of their health insurance.

Chemical Workers in Bradley, Illinois

On September 27, Local 498C of the Chemical Workers Union Council, a branch of the UFCW, went on strike against CSL Behring of Bradley, Illinois. The company’s final contract offer was overwhelmingly rejected by a 648—5 vote, and strike authorization passed 652—1. The workers want a stop to the outsourcing of their work, which has been going on for two years. CSL Behring is a global pharmaceutical company. It reported an after-tax profit of $2.61 billion last year.

L. A. Hotel Workers’ Rolling Strikes

Since early July, the hotel employees of the Los Angeles area have engaged in “rolling strikes” of a few days to a week against hotel companies who refuse to grant pay raises for workers to cope with the insane cost of living in the Los Angeles area. The week of September 25, five hotels in the Santa Monica area were struck by UniteHERE’s Local 11 housekeepers, bartenders, and other staff. Workers’ message to conventions and travelers: "Don’t risk coming to a strike-ready hotel!"

Kaiser Permanente Workers Set to Walk Out

The union coalition representing more than 75,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente has announced a three-day strike beginning on October 4 if no agreement is reached by October 1. The workers at hundreds of Kaiser facilities in six states and Washington, D.C. demand pay raises and better staffing, as well as improved benefits and protections against outsourcing.

Kaiser workers say the understaffing is so severe that many patients cannot get much-needed medical appointments in a timely fashion. Being short of workers also means overwork and burnout among the existing workers, causing many to quit. As for pay, Kaiser is offering pay raises between 12% and 14% over four years, which is far below the increase in cost of living.

Kaiser has made 3.3 billion dollars of profit in the first six months of 2023 alone. It has no excuse not to meet the needs of its patients and workers.