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Will Striking Teachers Spark a Labor Revolution?

Will Striking Teachers Spark a Labor Revolution?

Ryan Cooper

We're in the midst of a brushfire outbreak of labor militancy not seen in decades.

First came a statewide teachers' strike in West Virginia. When the teachers union leadership negotiated a weak compromise (which was tabled by the GOP-held state Senate anyway), the rank-and-file rebelled and started a wildcat (that is, not approved by leadership) strike that is still going. The strike has forced the closure of public schools in the state's 55 counties, leaving more than 275,000 students without classes to attend.

West Virginia is 93% white. Solidarity, the old-fashioned way.

In other states with, you know, actual minority groups, bringing labor together to collectively demand justice is a thing of the past. Now it’s all about identity politics.

Divided. ✓
Conquered. ✓

It won’t get into the mainstream. If it does the story will characterize teachers as lazy and entitled.

The media always does that to organized labor with the lone exception of Lech Wałęsa’s Solidarity and only because it opposed the communist the control of Poland.

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And a large amount of the low-paid workers are in small business and part-time . These groups are difficult to organize. For these groups, a minimum wage effort works better.

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I have seen the striking teachers story on PBS and BBC news.

I congratulate PBS and the BBC. See, I would never be certain because the mainstream media has betrayed my trust to such an extent than I am boycotting all of it, including NPR and PBS. I have not decided on the BBC. Join me in my boycott.