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That’s What Worker Power Looks Like

In 2018, workers made headlines by walking out and striking for better wages, benefits and the respect that we all deserve as working people. According to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that wave of action continued into 2019:

In 2019, there were 25 major work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers and lasting at least one shift, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Between 2010 and 2019 there were a total of 154 work stoppages, averaging 15 stoppages a year.

According to the report, 425,500 workers were involved in strikes last year. Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor put the numbers into perspective:

To walk out, strike or otherwise forgo your livelihood to fight for what’s right takes incredible courage. Workers who have taken strike votes will tell you their number one concern is providing for their family, but without striking they may never see the kind of wages and benefits needed to truly prosper. Our labor movement was built on the shoulders of workers stepping up and speaking out. The numbers from 2019 show us that now, more than we’ve seen in decades, workers are demanding a better deal and are willing to fight for it. That’s what worker power looks like.

Our friends at the Northwest Labor Press put together a list of the top ten strikes of 2019, click here to read their full article on the issue:

  • 92,700 North Carolina Association of Educators vs. NC Legislature - 1 day

  • 46,000 United Auto Workers vs. General Motors - 29 days

  • 36,400 West Virginia Education Association vs. W.V. Legislature - 2 days

  • 33,000 United Teachers Los Angeles vs. LA Unified School District - 6 days

  • 32,000 Chicago Teachers Union vs. Chicago Public Schools - 11 days

  • 31,000 UFCW vs. Stop & Shop Supermarket in Mass., Conn., and R.I. - 7 days

  • 25,000 AFSCME Local 3299 vs. University of California - 3 days

  • 20,400 Oregon Education Association vs. Oregon Legislature - 1 day

  • 20,000 CWA vs. AT&T in nine southern states - 2 days

  • 18,900 South Carolina Association of Educators vs. SC Legislature - 1 day

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