by Shanaz Uddin and Prerna Jagadeesh
The month of October was an inflection point for organized labor in the United States, with workers organizing the largest wave of private-sector strikes in recent American history. At company after company, workers still reeling from the pandemic said they refused to accept crumbs while the economy roars back and their employers report record profits.
From the Amazon strikes in Bessemer, Alabama earlier this year to the striking workers of John Deere, More Perfect Union has been closely following the stories of working people fighting for fair wages and better conditions. Here’s a roundup of More Perfect Union’s essential #Striketober coverage.
10,000 John Deere workers went on strike on October 14th, making it the largest private sector strike in the U.S. in 2 years. Last year, the company laid off hundreds of workers while the CEO got a 160% salary increase.
Kellogg’s workers are on strike at all 4 U.S. cereal factories to demand decent pay, hours, and retirement benefits. Kellogg’s CEO made more than $11.6 million in 2020, but now Kellogg’s is cutting jobs and slashing benefits.
Thousands of nurses and workers went on strike at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo to fight understaffing that has led to dangerous working conditions. Catholic Health, which owns Mercy Hospital, has refused demands for higher pay, and recently moved to cut off health care for striking workers.
Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Massachusetts have been on strike for over 200 days. They are fighting short-staffing practices by Tenet Healthcare, the massive for-profit corporation that owns the hospital, who have put nurses’ and patients’ at risk.
Over 1,100 miners in Alabama are on their 8th month of striking against Warrior Met Coal. The workers are in pursuit of a new, fair contract that will restore pay and benefits they sacrificed in 2016. The strikers have already cost the company $7 million in the last quarter.
60,000 IATSE workers struck a potential deal with producers on October 17th after being prepared to go on strike. Hollywood workers have been fighting for better wages, hours and quality of life. The tentative deal includes 10 hour-turnarounds, 54-hour weekends and 3% raises. It will now be up to rank and file IATSE members to decide if they will accept or reject the contract.
October is over, but working Americans’ and organized labor’s fight for a bigger piece of the pie goes on. More Perfect Union will continue to closely follow strikes across the nation.