Workers’ Resistance Bulletin: November 5

Workers’ Resistance Bulletin is an overview of workers’ resistance, as well as the repression of workers, taking place all across the US, from small workplaces to large factories. The growing wave of worker mobilizations makes clear that the general crisis of imperialism will be met with greater struggle from the proletariat. If you have a tip or suggestion for worker coverage, or you are a worker interested in becoming a worker correspondent, please reach out to us at tribuneofthepeople@protonmail.com.


John Deere Workers Reject Contract Offer

Workers at John Deere, represented by the United Autoworkers, have rejected a second contract offer from the company and are continuing to strike. The proposed contract offered an immediate ten percent raise and better benefits, however workers have told monopoly media outlets that the company has more to offer, citing record profits. John Deere has tried to threaten the workers by saying that it won’t come back to the negotiating table.

El Milagro Workers Win Concessions, Continue to Fight

Workers at the El Milagro tortilla factories in Chicago, Illinois have been protesting since early October against seven-day workweeks and poor working conditions since early October, and have recently won a concession from the company. El Milagro has promised workers that it will end seven-day workweeks in November, giving workers a day off on Sundays. Despite this concession, the workers are continuing to organize, holding a vigil outside the factory for El Milagro workers who died of COVID-19 in 2020.

Philadelphia Delivery Drivers Walk Out

Drivers for Philadelphia-based food delivery company Gopuff, which operates in 650 US cities, walked out last Friday, protesting a trend of cutting pay and hours from the company. One driver, Eric Matos, told the local ABC affiliate, “Now that everything is back to normal, or almost back to normal, they want to take our pay? That’s not right.”

Raleigh, North Carolina Bus Drivers Protest

Following a general trend of bus drivers’ strikes, bus drivers in the Wake County Public School System staged a sick-out (workers collectively calling in sick to protest) last Friday to protest low pay and poor working conditions. The school district reports that they expect the strike to continue. Bus drivers across the country have gone on strike this year for similar reasons.

Buffalo, New York Starbucks Workers Prepare for Union Vote

Source:  SteveCof00

128 workers at three Starbucks locations in Buffalo, New York are in the process of voting to unionize. The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that the vote could proceed despite the company’s efforts to stop it. If the vote is successful, this would be the first of 8,000 US Starbucks stores to unionize.

Michelle Eisen, who has worked at a Buffalo Starbucks for 11-years, told monopoly media outlet The News & Observer, “It’s been disappointing to see Starbucks working overtime to try to stop us from organizing, but today’s decision is a big win and soon we’re going to have an even bigger victory when we vote our union in.”

Reno Bus Drivers Win Contract Agreement After 25 Day Strike

After 25 days on the picket lines, public transportation bus drivers in Reno, Nevada returned to work after Keolis North America reached a tentative contract agreement with the teamsters local representing the workers. This was the second strike in three months for the workers, as the drivers for the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County previously went on strike in August to demand higher pay and a better shift scheduling system. After the first strike, Keolis had only agreed to abstract commitments on increasing wages and other demands, but during the second strike, the union reported they had finally been able to reach a concrete agreement on each of their demands

While some community members expressed their frustration with the delays caused by the strikes, others were supportive of the striking bus drivers. As one bus driver explained the pressing need for worker’s solidarity to labor news outlet Payday Report: “Working class people need to know: it’s time for us to unite. Not only unite individually into unions, but unite as a whole to beat down this corporate attitude that they can just walk all over everybody.”

Florida School Bus Drivers Stage Mass “Sick-out” Against Long Hours, Low Pay

Eighty-two bus drivers for the Lee County Schools staged a sick-out on October 26 to protest the long hours and low pay they face in the Florida school district. The sick-out was a wildcat strike, and the president of the union representing the bus drivers told local publication School Transportation News she did not “condone” the action. A sick-out is a form of striking often used by employees in sectors where it is illegal to strike, like public school districts, when workers call out en masse instead of officially declaring a strike.

While no drivers have been interviewed by local media, one school support staff member explained the conditions and demands of the striking bus drivers to local news outlet Wink News: “They want compensation to reflect the hard work that they do. They get up at 3:30 in the morning, they’re not finished until seven some nights. They want respect.”

North Carolina School Bus Drivers Strike for Better Pay

Dozens of school bus drivers for Wake County Schools in North Carolina are currently holding a sick-out to demand higher wages and better working conditions. Over 200 bus drivers called out sick last Friday and this Monday as part of the action. In response Tuesday night the local school board approved a $1,250 bonus for all employees in the district. Despite this concession, dozens of bus drivers continued to call out sick this week and promised to strike until they received a substantial wage increase.

As one driver told local monopoly news outlet WRAL: “The board needs to understand that we are not playing [around]. We are after to get our raise, and we are not going to stop until we get it.”

32,000 Kaiser Permanente Healthcare Workers Plan Strike for November 15

Thousands of nurses, pharmacists, mental health professionals, hospital support staff who work for Kaiser Permanente in Georgia and Hawaii voted to authorize a strike this past week as contract negotiations stagnate between workers and ownership. The healthcare workers biggest grievance is over the two-tiered wage system Kaiser seeks to implement in the latest contract. The proposed wage system means that starting in 2023 new hires would make between 26 percent and 39 percent less than current employees. Workers are also demanding a 3% annual raise while Kaiser is currently only offering 1%.

Source: @uniteherehawaii/Twitter

A huge crowd of Kaiser healthcare workers in Pasadena also rallied this past weekend to voice their grievance with the new contract and demand higher wages. Based on the current strike authorization, almost 32,000 workers are planning to strike on November 15 to demand higher wages and an end to Kaiser’s proposed two-tier wage system. The announcement of the strike date came on November 4 after weeks of delaying and unclear communication by union leadership.

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