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

Dec 11, 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.

Teamsters Hit Main DHL Cargo Hub

On December 7, ramp and tug workers of Teamsters Local 100 struck the main U.S. cargo hub of DHL Express, at Cincinnati/N Kentucky International Airport. The workers unionized in April, began first-contract negotiations in July, and faced months of unfair labor practices by DHL trying to intimidate and undercut their union. Activists have been singled out for discipline, their legal activity on-site has been punished, and they have even been put under off-site surveillance!

The local NLRB office has backed up their charges. The workers want to see what DHL’s attitude will be after 130 flights per day can’t be unloaded, and 350,000 packages per day can’t be processed, without their essential skills, experience, and labor power!

Nurses Strike in Kansas and Texas

The National Nurses Organizing Committee struck three Ascension Medical Centers in Austin and Wichita on December 6. The nurses are trying to negotiate a first contract. They are way past tired about their patients’ safety being endangered by common hospital cost-cutting that leaves them without basic things like thermometers, patient gowns, blankets for newborns, or working IV pumps!

Short-staffing is a major issue. Cut-to-the-bone nursing staff are rotated to cover beds without regard to expertise. A neonatal nurse specialist might be suddenly assigned to an oncology wing. This is an everyday practice that presents dangers for patients and puts stress on nurses constantly having to adapt to environments they are not familiar with.

Not that Ascension is broke! It is second-largest and wealthiest nonprofit Catholic health system in the country. In 2021, Ascension reported a net income of more than $6.4 billion. The CEO took home compensation of more than $13 million. Ascension ALSO runs an investment company managing more than 41 billion dollars!

After the nurses’ one-day strike, the hospital retaliated and declared them locked out for the next three days. Clearly, patient care comes LAST at Ascension!