● How many strikes are there in the U.S.?
According to BLS data, strikes increased significantly in 2018 and 2019—after a long decline—before returning to historic lows in 2020. But we cannot know for certain how accurate a picture this is, since the BLS excludes a sizable amount of strike activity by only capturing big strikes. Even the ongoing strike by the Massachusetts Nurses Association at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester—owned by Tenet Healthcare, one of the country’s largest for-profit hospital chains—is left out of the BLS data, because the strike involves just 800 nurses.
Researchers from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations have created the ILR Labor Action Tracker to fill this gap.
● Workers at Darigold milk processing plants in Washington State voted to authorize a strike with their contract on the brink of expiration.
● More than 50 Cambridge, Massachusetts, teachers are refusing to proctor the state’s high-stakes MCAS test:
Concerns about MCAS were clearly articulated in a letter to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on March 26. It concludes: “Ultimately, there is no valid purpose for administering MCAS this spring to our students that we are able to present to you – other than the administration of the test will fulfill a perfunctory compliance task that is disruptive and stealing our valuable time away from efforts toward a healthy return, recovery and acceleration of learning for all.”
The punchline is that the letter quoted was written by 18 urban school superintendents.
● When these workers unionized, their cafe was put up for sale—so they bought it.