By Don McIntosh
The national AFL-CIO is calling it “Striketober.” Over 100,000 workers in multiple industries are on the verge of striking, and the mood is very resolute. They’re not kidding around.
Two issues in particular are common to most of the disputes. One, too many workers are being made to work exhausting amounts of overtime. What ever happened to the 40-hour work week? And two, too many employers think they can offer skimpy raises that would leave workers losing ground to inflation, even though the employers are flush with funds.
- Kellogg’s 1,400 members of the Bakers union BCTGM in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, tired of 16-hour days and 7-day weeks, began a nationwide strike Oct. 5.
- Kaiser Permanente In the San Francisco Bay Area, 700 stationary engineers with Operating Engineers Local 39 have been on strike since Sept. 18 after rejecting an unacceptable wage offer.
- John Deere 10,000 members of United Auto Workers in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas rejected a contract that cuts overtime pay, increases health premiums, and ends pensions for new hires … at a company that gave its CEO a raise of over 100% last year. They walked out and began striking Oct. 13.
- Film and television production 60,000 IATSE members are ready to shut down film and television production nationwide on Oct. 18 if the employer group refuses to take steps to address chronic and severe overwork and end a system of lower pay at online streaming productions for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple+ and others.
- Kaiser Permanente 38,000 health care workers in Oregon, California, Hawaii and Georgia have expired contracts as of Oct. 1, and strikes have been authorized at unions representing over 34,000 of them. They could strike any time after 10 days notice, if Kaiser doesn’t back down from a proposal to cut pay for new hires and offer paltry annual raises of just 1% at a time of renewed inflation.