The Strike: U.S. labor’s long-lost weapon

Every February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its annual report on the number of work stoppages — strikes or lockouts — involving more than 1,000 workers. Since the annual report began in the late 1940s, the annual incidence of major work stoppages has declined over 95 percent. Last year, there were 15 major work stoppages, involving 99,000 workers.

The largest was the 33-day strike at Verizon’s East Coast landline operations by 36,500 members of Communications Workers of America and IBEW.

The second largest was a one-day strike by 27,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union at City of Chicago Public Schools.

Three other stoppages lasted just one or two days, including a walkout by 1,500 teachers at Detroit Public Schools and a walkout by 1,000 members of International Longshoremen’s Association at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The year’s longest strike was at Allina Health in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where 4,800 members of Minnesota Nurses Association (National Nurses United) stayed off the job for 38 days.

Nurses also struck at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center for six days.

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