Labor Weather Report
A glance at how some workers and their unions are faring in the class struggle.
Lois Danks
volume 38
issue 3
June 2017

May 2017 — Autoworkers fight for contract. Seventy percent of Volkswagen-Chattanooga workers in Tennessee voted to join United Auto Workers over a year ago. Yet the automaker still defies U.S. government orders to negotiate a contract. Unionists from seven other countries visited to show support for Local 42’s anger at unsafe working conditions, constant shift changes, and excess overtime.

May 2017 — General strike in Brazil. Union workers and social justice activists across Brazil hit the streets on April 28 for 24 hours, closing schools, businesses, roads and airports, and clashing with police — the largest general strike in twenty years. They fought the government’s pension cuts and sweeping labor law changes that end the eight-hour day, allow any job to be outsourced, and raise the retirement age.

May 2017 — Coca-Cola workers win. After 36 short-term “warning” strikes at Coca-Cola sites across Germany, the Beverage and Catering Industry Union won a 2.2 percent pay increase and a training allowance for almost 8,000 workers. The union plans to further press the fight against the company’s planned layoff of 450, a shift to flexible work schedules, and increased productivity standards.

More labor stories in this issue:

Time for unity: Labor defense critical for immigrant workers

Pay equity: back-to-back wins for female athletes

A cruelly missed opportunity: Black and white workers after the Civil War