Striketober: What You Can Do Now

All over the country, tens of thousands of workers in multiple industries and occupations, tired of being underpaid and overworked for decades, are standing up to their bosses. They are demanding higher wages and a fair share of the super profits that corporations and the ultrawealthy have made during the pandemic. Workers, union and nonunion alike, are fighting for themselves, their families, and their communities. Their fight is our fight. DSA stands with all striking workers who are demanding fair wages, dignity, and respect!

This past Thursday, 10,000 UAW members at John Deere went on strike in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, and Georgia after overwhelmingly rejecting a tentative contract. They are fighting for an end to their two-tier pension system and better pay, as their company is expected to rake in a staggering $5.9 billion this year. This is only the latest example of strike fever spreading across the US working class. 60,000 “below the line” but essential workers in IATSE were scheduled to strike on October 18th, with the potential to bring the entertainment industry to a grand stop. While there’s a tentative contract agreement on the table for IATSE workers to vote on, the strike wave continues with over 20,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and California voting to authorize a strike. Workers, represented by the Bakery Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), are on strike against Kellogg’s. There have been one-day strikes as well: airport workers in Phoenix with UNITE HERE, 2000 telecom workers in California, 400 whiskey-makers in Kentucky, 200 bus drivers in Nevada, and recently settled 2,000 carpenters in Washington. In Massachusetts, the St. Vincent’s strike of MNA nurses has gone on since March: the longest strike in the history of the state. And at least 1,100 Warrior Met coal mine workers in Alabama have been on strike for over 6 months.

DSA stands in solidarity and shoulder-to-shoulder with all striking workers and calls on the ENTIRE labor movement to CLOSE RANKS in their support. We know that years of hard work and organizing, from rank and file to staff to leadership, went into these strikes, and that they didn’t spring out of nowhere. We also recognize that working class power could increase dramatically if more workers organized and union density grew. Organizing the unorganized is one of the most important tasks to build power for and with the multiracial working class. Securing passage of the PRO Act to enable workers to exercise their right to organize without their bosses’ intimidation and retaliation can no longer be postponed.

Our Labor Commission has prepared a guide to strike support that can be used by chapters as they hit the picket lines. And we encourage members to donate to the UAWD strike fund if your chapter is not near a strike location.

The time to stand up and fight for justice for all workers is NOW! At this moment, we must take a side: the workers or the bosses. Join us.