SAG-AFTRA members walk the picket line outside of Netflix and Warner Bros

All Strikes/Labor Protests Happening This Labor Day

Labor Day is a day of celebration and remembrance, not only for the workers, organizers, and activists of the past but also for those of the present. We here at The Mary Sue stand in solidarity with workers seeking safe working conditions, fair pay, and dignified treatment. Here’s a breakdown of all the ongoing strikes in the US.

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Writers Guild of America (WGA) & Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) VS. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)

Both WGA East and WGA West, as well as SAG-AFTRA, will be observing the holiday weekend, and therefore will abstain from picketing. However, they will still take part in Labor Day celebrations, with WGA East and SAG joining the Philly Labor Day Parade at Penn’s Landing.  This observation will extend until Wednesday, September 6th, in which striking will resume on all sides.

The WGA began striking on May 2, 2023, with SAG-AFTRA following a month later on July 13, 2023. Here’s a link to ways you can support the writers and actors.

Other California Strikes

The WGA and SAG–AFTRA aren’t the only California strikes to keep on your radar.

City workers in Los Angeles went on one-day walkout on August 29th as a demonstration against unfair labor practices and bad-faith negotiations with the city. It is unknown whether there will be a full strike at this point.

Hotel workers are also striking against the Hotel Association of Los Angeles at many Los Angeles Hotels; the strike began on July 20, 2023, over stagnant pay despite the rising cost of living. Unfortunately, a lot of the online coverage of the event has mostly revolved around how the protesting has interrupted weddings or other hotel events, and demonstrators have faced arrest by police.

Technicians at the Mercedes Benz of San Diego walked off the job and began picketing all the way back in June of 2022, with the strike now having gone for over 400 days. The site brought on workers to replace the striking workers and threatened to call the police when the workers came on-site to secure their personal tools.

Performers at Medieval Times have also been on strike since February of this year, with their focus being on safe working conditions, appropriate living wages, and a respectful work environment.

Oregon

Employees at the famous Powell’s Bookstore will begin striking on Labor Day, organized under the International Warehouse and Longshore Union Local 5. They have attempted to raise their wages to a livable wage since 1999, to no avail, in addition to seeking proper healthcare. After eight attempts at bargaining, the workers have had enough and will be picketing outside the bookstore beginning September 4. 

New Jersey

There are two major strikes ongoing in New Jersey.

Nearly 2000 nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, are on strike over staffing issues. The nurses went on strike in early August and are now in danger of having their healthcare coverage cut off.

Members of United Auto Workers (UAW) went on strike over their employer Ford’s changes to healthcare coverage in early June. Charles Wowkanech, president of New Jersey AFL-CIO, stated that “The company, whose profits soared into the billions during the pandemic is now demanding that the “essential” workers, who kept the company working and profitable … enroll in a different healthcare plan that has an unaffordable deductible” with less coverage than they are currently receiving.

Missouri

Former and current workers at Shangri-La Dispensaries in Missouri went on strike after some workers were allegedly fired over their attempt to unionize. There are reportedly seven court cases against Shangri-La on the National Labor Relations Board. The strike began on May 16, 2023, and there have been minimal updates since.

Tennessee

It’s important to remember that small businesses can also mistreat their unionized workers. After unionizing via secret ballot, the workers at Three Brothers Coffee in Nashville still “had little success negotiating with ownership”, who was paying them $9 an hour plus tips. The six workers are now on strike and have been since the middle of June. They were still striking as of July 21.

Other Strikes

I wasn’t able to find much info on the following strikes but according to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the following strikes are ongoing:

New Jersey: SMG Exposition Services – ASM Global: Secaucus, NJ, strike started on June 30, 2021

Kentucky: Next Level Relief – Reserve Officers Training Corps: Fort Knox, strike started on July 3, 2023

Michigan: Swissport USA – Detroit Metro Airport – Detroit, MI, strike started on April 1, 2022

Kansas: Tyson Fresh Meats – Holcomb, KS, strike started on July 11, 2022

Iowa: Thombert Inc / United Auto Workers (UAW), strike started on August 1, 2023

(featured image: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)


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Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.
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Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).