News & Commentary

October 11, 2023

Jacqueline Rayfield

Jacqueline Rayfield is a student at Harvard Law School.

In today’s News and Commentary, the Big Three Automakers continue to lay off striking workers, SEIU nursing home workers strike in Michigan, and commentators wonder: what is making this recent wave of strikes so successful?

Since the UAW began their strike at Big Three automakers four weeks ago, the three employers have laid off over 5,000 workers. Automakers claim that they are forced to lay off these workers because their jobs are tied to struck factories. However, talks continue between automakers and the UAW. UAW President Shawn Fain said Friday that negotiations are heading in the right direction.

Three Detroit nursing homes representing nearly 250 SEIU workers went on strike Tuesday for higher wages and benefits. Striking workers gathered at the Four Seasons Nursing home and were joined by U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib. “For you to walk out demand better it takes courage and you are inspiring some many other people to take that step. You do deserve better. You all take care of the most vulnerable among us,” Tlaib said speaking to striking workers.

Amid a wave of aggressive and successful strikes and union action, including those by the Writer’s Guild and United Parcel Services, commentators wonder, what has made this recent string of labor action so successful? And what has led management to underestimate unions’ resolve? Experts point to post-covid shift in workers mentality, strong new union leadership, and public opinion on big business, which is at its lowest point in decades.

Enjoy OnLabor’s fresh takes on the day’s labor news, right in your inbox.