This is the first national UAW strike since 2007, and was authorized Sunday morning in Detroit during a UAW meeting of regional leaders. The UAW said it is asking for more affordable health care, fair wages, and profit sharing, and could not reach an agreement with GM. "We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most," UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement. "Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families, and the communities where we work and live."
GM said it offered better health benefits and to create more than 5,400 new jobs, adding, "We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business." Contract talks will start back up again Monday morning, UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said. Catherine Garcia
Thousands of teachers rallied Tuesday at Oklahoma's state Capitol for the second day of a walkout, demanding increased salaries and state funding for schools.
Teachers want an additional $150 million in school funding, after a 16 percent pay increase from legislators last week failed to meet their full demands. Oklahoma teachers have an average salary of around $42,460, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows, putting them in 48th place in average U.S. classroom teacher salary. Lawmakers say that they won't budge because they've already granted an additional $50 million in school funding.
The stalemate is poised to continue after the Oklahoma House adjourned Tuesday without taking up Senate-approved revenue-raising measures. One representative vowed not to vote on any more funding efforts because of the strike. "I'm not voting for another stinking measure when they're acting the way they're acting," said Rep. Kevin McDugle (R) in a since-deleted Facebook Live video, reports Tulsa World. "Go ahead, be pissed at me if you want to."
Many schools in Oklahoma are closed this week, leaving hundreds of thousands of students on break until teachers and lawmakers resolve the demands. Some teachers have pledged to keep striking until they get a full $10,000 raise. "If it takes all school year, we've gotta be prepared to do it," teacher Holliebe Collins told USA Today.
Teachers in Kentucky and Arizona have also held walkouts, citing outdated textbooks and broken equipment in classrooms. In West Virginia last month, teachers went on strike for nine days, a battle that eventually ended with the educators receiving a 5 percent raise.
Demanding an increase in pay and funding for schools, thousands of teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma spent Monday on strike, with many attending demonstrations in front of their state capitols.
So many teachers were participating that every public school in Kentucky was closed, as were most in Oklahoma. At the Oklahoma protest, National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia told NBC News that teachers are fed up with having to use outdated textbooks and making kids sit at broken desks "This wasn't caused by a natural disaster," she said. "This is a man-made crisis."
Last month, the Oklahoma state legislature voted to increase taxes on cigarettes, fuel, and oil and gas production, with the money going to the first pay raise for teachers in a decade; on Monday, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said the state can't take away funding for other services to boost education. In Kentucky, the state legislature voted last week to move new teachers from pensions to 401(k)-style retirement plans. The protesters were inspired by teachers in West Virginia, who went on strike for nine days earlier this year and ended up receiving a 5 percent raise. Catherine Garcia
After working without a contract for almost a year, an estimated 17,000 AT&T technicians in California and Nevada went on strike Wednesday.
The workers are union members affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, District 9; they say AT&T is cutting their sick time and disability benefits, making them pay more for health care, and continually asking them to perform the duties of higher-paid employees, the Los Angeles Times reports; the technicians usually install and maintain the U-Verse television service but have been told to also work on the cables and hardware for landline phone services.
"We are hoping to reach an agreement settlement with the company," Sheila Bordeaux, a member of the CWA Local 9003 executive board, told the Times. "They are unilaterally and continually changing the job duties of our premise technicians to do a higher-wage job at a lower rate of pay." A spokesman for AT&T said the company is "union friendly" and "currently negotiating with the union in a good-faith effort to reach a fair labor agreement covering wireline employees" in California and Nevada. The strike does not affect the company's wireless division. Catherine Garcia