Transport Workers Struggles

Boston area transit riders and workers imperiled by inadequate maintenance funding

By John Marion, 13 September 2017

The unelected Financial and Management Control Board has accelerated its plans for the privatization of public transportation, rather than providing safe transportation.

Why aren’t trains evacuating people from the path of Hurricane Irma?

By Jeff Lusanne, 9 September 2017

Hundreds of thousands need to flee the path of Hurricane Irma. Instead of fleets of trains carrying them away, residents are left to fend for themselves in their own cars on congested roads.

Boston area transit privatization plan goes forward amid allegations of corruption/mismanagement

By John Marion, 2 September 2017

Lack of rational planning combined with out-and-out corruption are the main contributing factors to the crisis of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority serving greater Boston.

CSX worker in Tennessee seriously injured due to cutbacks

Railroads push cost-cutting and contract concessions

By Jeff Lusanne, 25 August 2017

Railroads continue to push for concessions three years after contracts for 145,000 workers expired, while implementing cost-cutting changes to please Wall Street.

CSX railroad closes and downgrades major facilities

By Jeff Lusanne, 10 August 2017

Workers at yards across the CSX system have been pushed aggressively to speed up work, risking injury, under the threat of yards being downgraded or closed.

CSX railroad workers denounce Wall Street plundering

By Jeff Lusanne, 4 August 2017

As the CEO blames employees for the failure of his policies, CSX workers have denounced years of eroding working conditions.

New strikes in the UK against Driver Only Operated trains

By Thomas Scripps, 15 July 2017

Recent talks have enabled Southern, Northern and Merseyrail management to escalate strikebreaking plans and impose regimes of intimidation.

Chicago Transit Authority train operators vote to strike

By Jeff Lusanne, 12 July 2017

In a preliminary poll of train operators, 98 percent voted to strike the against the Chicago Transit Authority after 18 months without a new contract.

The way forward for West Coast port truck drivers

By Dan Conway and Jerry White, 4 July 2017

The Teamsters union shut down the strike, the 15th such walkout over the last four years, without resolving any of the critical issues demanded by the drivers.

Truck drivers strike at Los Angeles-Long Beach ports

By our reporters, 21 June 2017

Port truck drivers are fighting to be classified as full-time employees, not “independent contractors” without guaranteed wages, health benefits or job protections.

New York agency details crisis of subway signal system

By Alan Whyte and A. Woodson, 20 June 2017

In a city that is home for 82 billionaires, the subways are still using a signal system with technology that dates back to 1904, posing significant dangers.

New York mayor rejects discount transit fares plan for poor residents

By Isaac Finn, 19 June 2017

New York Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio declined last week to fund a $50 million pilot program to provide half-priced fares for poor New Yorkers, as part of the fiscal 2018 budget.

Sydney bus drivers strike against privatisation

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 May 2017

The transport union has appealed to the government for “consultation,” underscoring its willingness to collaborate with privatisation.

Washington, D.C. public transit authority proposes major offensive against workers

By Harvey Simpkins, 1 May 2017

Employees in the national capital’s transit system are being threatened with millions of dollars in wage and benefit cuts.

Irish unions scuttle Bus Eireann strike

By Dermot Quinn, 19 April 2017

Strike action by transport workers against Bus Eireann’s cost-cutting measures has been foiled by the unions twice since February.

Indian bus workers strike against privatisation

By Arun Kumar, 19 April 2017

The Haryana bus stoppage underscored the intensifying class tensions across the state and India as a whole.

Southern GTR train drivers in UK vote down union sell-out again

Build new organisations of struggle to unify rail workers

By Michael Barnes, 6 April 2017

Rail workers must break the stranglehold of the unions by creating their own rank-and-file organisations of struggle.

Irish bus workers defy unions and continue strike

By Dermot Quinn, 5 April 2017

To the consternation of the unions and political establishment, Bus Eireann workers set up pickets at city bus depots and trains last Friday.

For a unified struggle of drivers and conductors

Vote “no” to the ASLEF sell-out deal at UK’s Southern GTR rail!

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 22 March 2017

Another “no” vote in opposition to the ASLEF/Southern deal would represent a powerful blow against the plans by the train companies and government to impose DOO.

Not guilty verdict for Merseyrail guard Martin Zee deals blow to state witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 17 March 2017

Dragging Zee into court was a politically motivated move, taken as rail companies seek to impose Driver Only Operated trains.

Verdi union shuts down Berlin airport workers strike

By Gustav Kemper and Marianne Arens, 17 March 2017

The union stopped a strike by ground crew at the Berlin airports, despite the employer’s refusal to submit a new offer.

UK train conductors strike three rail companies

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2017

The strike by 2,000 conductors proves the willingness of transport workers to fight the destruction of their working conditions and livelihoods.

UK striking rail conductors explain: “This is about the public and their safety”

By our reporters, 14 March 2017

WSWS reporters spoke to striking rail conductors during Monday’s strikes.

UK rail conductors strike at three companies to defend jobs and safety conditions

By Robert Stevens, 13 March 2017

Claims by the government and rail companies that removing conductors and eventually drivers will have no impact on public safety have been proven false by several recent incidents.

Boston mass transit privatization scheme proceeds through bullying and tricks

By John Marion, 9 March 2017

The crisis of the MBTA caused by years of deferred maintenance and a massive February 2015 snow storm is being used to implement a prolonged assault on workers.

Sordid inter-union dispute over Toronto transit union’s dues-stream

By Carl Bronski, 25 February 2017

Both factions in the dispute pitting the ATU against its Toronto local president and Unifor have a long record of imposing concession contracts.

New York transit union pushes through concessions contract

By Alan Whyte, 20 February 2017

Less than one-third of those eligible to vote actually ratified the 28-month-long contract, which does nothing to improve wages, health and pension benefits and work conditions.

New York transit workers’ opposition builds against contract sellout

By Alan Whyte, 13 February 2017

With ratification ballots due back February 15, workers have expressed substantial opposition to the tentative deal pushed by the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

“The working class should defend immigrant rights”

New York transit workers denounce contract, Trump

By a WSWS reporting team, 13 February 2017

A WSWS reporting team interviewed transit workers and found a lot of hostility to the contract.

Germany: What does arbitration mean for the Hesse bus drivers strike?

By Marianne Arens, 28 January 2017

The bus drivers in Hesse carried out their strike with great determination because they viewed it as a principled struggle against intolerable living conditions.

New York raises transit fares as train and bus workers vote on concessions deal

By Alan Whyte, 27 January 2017

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation voted Wednesday to increase its fare and tolls about 4 percent.

“We should take a stand and reject this contract”

New York transit workers denounce sellout agreement

By a WSWS reporting team, 20 January 2017

New York transit workers will be voting on a tentative agreement that will continue the erosion of their living standards and working conditions.

Union reaches deal to block New York transit workers from recouping concessions

By Alan Whyte, 18 January 2017

Transport Workers Union Local 100 announced an agreement Monday that will do nothing to stop the erosion of living standards for 38,000 bus and subway workers in New York.

New York transit workers denounce sellout

By our reporting team, 18 January 2017

Transit workers spoke to the World Socialist Web Site after the Transport Workers Union announced a deal for a new four-year agreement covering 38,000 bus and subway workers employed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Dayton transit workers set to vote on sellout contract

By Shannon Jones, 17 January 2017

Published details of the agreement include a major attack on health care benefits and a derisory pay increase.

New York City transit workers and riders made to pay for system’s ballooning debt

By Philip Guelpa, 16 January 2017

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City’s buses and subways, is tens of billions of dollars in debt.

Union reaches deal, moves to end Dayton, Ohio transit strike

By Vernon Stevens, 12 January 2017

Transit workers, who have not had a raise since 2014, will be voting on the agreement, which undoubtedly contains major concession on pay and out-of-pocket health expenses.

Dayton, Ohio transit workers strike over wages, health care

By Shannon Jones, 10 January 2017

The walkout by 463 drivers and mechanics is the first by transit workers in Dayton in nearly 60 years.

As contract expiration nears, union moves to block fight by New York transit workers

By Alan Whyte, 9 January 2017

Transport Workers Union Local 100 officials have praised state Democrats who have overseen the attack on workers’ wages and pensions.

“The working class needs better health care, wages, and retirement.”

New York transit workers discuss issues in contract battle

By a WSWS reporting team, 9 January 2017

Transit workers who came to the mass membership meeting spoke to the WSWS about their most pressing concerns.

Chicago transit workers protest concession demands

By Jeff Lusanne and Kristina Betinis, 28 December 2016

Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA officials are pressing ahead for even deeper concessions, knowing the ATU has buckled under recently in Boston, Detroit and Philadelphia.

Washington DC Metro officials punish half of transit system’s inspection team for safety lapses

By Harvey Simpkins and Nick Barrickman, 22 December 2016

The ultimate responsibility for Metro’s state of disrepair lies with years of underfunding of the transit system.

Boston public transit union agrees to open contract and impose wage cuts

By John Marion, 22 December 2016

In the face of threats from MBTA management that jobs will be privatized, Boston Carmen’s Local 589 has agreed to wage cuts in the middle of the contract period.

Anger and opposition expressed over New York transit agency’s proposed fare hikes

By Alan Whyte, 12 December 2016

In a public hearing held Thursday night in Manhattan, one of eight, workers and students expressed their anger and hostility to the New York transit agency’s proposed fare hikes.

Significant opposition as Philadelphia transit workers ratify contract

By Alan Whyte, 21 November 2016

After shutting down a six-day strike to boost the vote for Hillary Clinton, the Transport Workers Union imposed a concessions deal on Philadelphia transit workers.

Philadelphia transit workers must reject sellout deal

By Alan Whyte, 17 November 2016

Nearly 5,000 Philadelphia transit workers are voting on a sellout deal this Friday, after the union shut down their six-day strike on the eve of Election Day.

Injunction threat in Philadelphia transit strike

By a WSWS reporting team, 5 November 2016

As the walkout by 4,700 Philadelphia transit workers entered its fourth day the media and Democratic politicians stepped up their attacks on the strikers.

Officials threaten court action against Philadelphia transit strikers

By Alan Whyte, 2 November 2016

Transit workers are in a battle against the attack on health benefits, which is being spearheaded by the Obama administration.

Philadelphia transit workers go on strike

By Alan Whyte, 1 November 2016

The nearly 5,000 transit workers are seeking improvements in pensions and resisting management demands for increased health care costs.

Massachusetts: Consulting firm hired to begin privatization of transit system

By John Marion, 21 October 2016

The speed and secrecy of the privatization drive should stand as a warning to workers.

Philadelphia transit workers vote to strike

By Alan Whyte, 19 October 2016

Nearly 6,000 bus, subway and trolley operators, cashiers and mechanics have voted to stop work if a new labor agreement is not reached by October 31.

UK: Weymouth and Bridport bus drivers escalate strike action

By Ajanta Silva, 3 August 2016

The Weymouth bus drivers’ dispute demonstrates that whenever the union bureaucracy are forced to call industrial action, they ensure that it remains isolated.

San Diego transit workers in third day of walkout over pay and benefits

By Norisa Diaz, 27 May 2016

The MTS strike follows industrial action by 1,700 San Diego AT&T telecommunications workers.

New York Verizon strikers seek to break isolation of struggle

By our reporters, 6 May 2016

There is a growing mood of frustration among striking workers with the toothless protests and publicity stunts organized by the CWA and other unions.

Two New Jersey Transit unions reject contract agreement

By Alan Whyte, 5 May 2016

A spokesperson for NJ Transit reported that while a slim majority voted down the deal in the two unions, the majority of workers in the other 14 unions ratified it.

In run-up to labour law protest, French rail workers stage one-day strike

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 28 April 2016

The trade unions, seeking to block the entry of workers into struggle against the labour law reform, organised no meetings or protests on the strike day.

Court issues restraining order after New Mexico school bus drivers vote to strike

By D. Lencho, 5 April 2016

The drivers will be forced to continue working for 10 days, after which they face the possibility of a permanent restraining order.

Boston-area mass transit: Fare increases, service reductions and attacks on pensions

By John Marion, 22 March 2016

The governor-appointed board votes to increase fares, end late-night service, and prepares attacks on MBTA workers’ pensions behind the scenes.

New Jersey Transit contract includes major concessions in health care costs

By Philip Guelpa, 17 March 2016

Unions representing 4,200 New Jersey Transit workers have agreed to sweeping concessions.

New Jersey Transit strike deadline approaches

By Sandy English, 12 March 2016

Some 4,200 rail workers at New Jersey Transit, the third-largest bus, rail and light rail transit system in the US, are set to strike on Sunday over wages and health care contributions.

Boston: MBTA seeks to pit transit riders against workers as infrastructure crumbles

By John Marion, 1 March 2016

The MBTA is seeking to offload the continuing deferred maintenance crisis caused by years of underfunding onto the backs of the working class.

Massachusetts: MBTA proposes steep public transit fare hikes

By John Marion, 19 January 2016

Proposed fare increases, to be effective July 1, are part of a growing attack on the basic social right to safe and affordable public transportation.

Massachusetts: New attacks on public transportation and transit workers

By John Marion, 4 January 2016

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority workers and riders are being pitted against each other by the release of data about employees’ earnings.

Boston “ghost train” incident exposes decay of public infrastructure

By John Marion, 15 December 2015

While human error was responsible for the incident, the old and decrepit equipment of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority played a significant role.

New York City workers back autoworkers’ contract fight

By our reporters, 3 November 2015

Transit and telecommunication workers in New York spoke to the WSWS about the common issues facing workers in different industries.

New subway station in New York cannot hide the growing crisis of public transit and housing

By Mark Witkowski and Sandy English, 22 September 2015

New York City’s first new subway station in a quarter of a century is a gift to wealthy realtors.

Massachusetts governor begins privatization of public transportation

By John Marion, 11 September 2015

Using last winter’s systemic breakdown of the MBTA as a pretext, Governor Baker is moving to privatize as many as 30 of the system’s 170 bus routes.

Australia: Melbourne tram drivers strike over wages and conditions

By our correspondents, 29 August 2015

Despite denunciations by the Victorian state Labor government, metropolitan train drivers have voted for a similar stoppage next Friday.

Melbourne transport workers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 15 August 2015

After almost unanimous votes for industrial action, the union is seeking to cobble together a sellout deal with the state Labor government.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

7 July 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature

German train drivers’ union agrees to strike ban effective until 2020

By Dietmar Henning, 4 July 2015

Hidden within a new agreement with Deutsche Bahn, the GDL has agreed to a “binding arbitration settlement”—in effect, a strike ban—for the life of the contract.

French riot police attack striking ferry seamen and migrants in Calais

By Alex Lantier, 25 June 2015

The social eruption in Calais has also fed growing tensions between the UK and France over the refugee crisis in the city.

UK rail unions call off national strike for second time

By Michael Barnes, 3 June 2015

The union sought to justify its action by pointing to a minor pay increase, which will be more than paid for by a cost-cutting drive being worked out behind the backs of workers.

German train drivers’ union calls off strike and agrees to arbitration

By Ulrich Rippert, 22 May 2015

The strike was called off Thursday, the day before the Bundestag takes up the contentious “contract unity” bill, which would essentially ban strikes by smaller unions in an industry.

German train drivers launch new strikes

By Dietmar Henning, 21 May 2015

After a six-day walkout earlier this month, German train drivers resumed strikes on freight lines and passenger lines.

UK rail workers vote for national strike

By Michael Barnes, 19 May 2015

The one-day stoppage has the potential to become a focal point for opposition within the working class.

SEP in Germany participates in panel discussion on train drivers strike

By our correspondents, 11 May 2015

Ulrich Rippert, national secretary of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit, participated in a panel discussion with a leader of the GDL union on the issues facing train drivers.

Video: “It’s about the defense of the right to strike”

Train drivers demonstrate in Berlin

By Julian Fischer and Hiram Lee, 9 May 2015

Several hundred striking train drivers and conductors demonstrated in front of the main train station in Berlin on Wednesday.

Port truck drivers walk out again in southern California

By Marc Wells, 29 April 2015

Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike Monday over wage theft and to be reclassified as employees, not “independent contractors.”

German train drivers strike for seventh time in a year

By Dietmar Henning, 24 April 2015

Deutsche Bahn management is delaying talks with German train drivers’ union (GDL) until the enforcement of a new law that will effectively outlaw strike action.

Massachusetts governor’s panel calls for attacks on transit workers, privatization

By John Marion, 15 April 2015

Despite an MBTA maintenance backlog of $6.7 billion, the governor’s panel blames worker absenteeism for the systemic breakdown during February’s snowstorms.

New York City transit faces fiscal crisis despite fare hikes

By Alan Whyte, 11 March 2015

Amid increased overcrowding and worsening service, both fares and tolls are set to increase an average of 4 percent later this month.

Citing government threats, Teamsters suppress Canadian Pacific rail strike

By Carl Bronski, 17 February 2015

The Teamsters union capitulated to the Conservative government’s threat of strikebreaking legislation and ordered an end to the strike little more than 36 hours after it began.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 January 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Chicago commuter rail agency approves a decade of fare hikes

By Jeff Lusanne, 24 November 2014

Metra’s board of directors has approved a plan to raise fares 68 percent over the next 10 years.

Ford uses automated phone messages to fire Chicago workers

By George Marlowe, 11 November 2014

Fearing angry opposition to layoffs, Ford sent out recorded robocalls to 100 temporary workers informing them that their services were no longer needed.

German GDL union shuts down train drivers’ strike

By our correspondents, 10 November 2014

The strike, which interrupted two-thirds of the country’s rail transport, was shut down even as the courts refused to grant Deustche Bahn a back-to-work order.

Portsmouth, Virginia school bus drivers stage sick out

By Ed Hightower, 6 November 2014

Drivers are angry over low wages and difficult working conditions, poorly maintained and dirty vehicles, and broken security and communications equipment.

German train drivers and pilots take strike action

By Dietmar Henning, 16 October 2014

The GDL and pilots’ union Cockpit are being deliberately provoked by Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa.

Laid off New York City school bus workers ignored by Mayor de Blasio

By Philip Guelpa, 14 October 2014

Hundreds of New York City school bus workers rallied at City Hall to demand the reinstatement of their jobs.

Germany: Union leader condemns train drivers’ strike

By Dietmar Henning, 11 September 2014

The new chairman of the German Trade Union Federation, Reiner Hoffmann, has sided with corporate management against the strikers.

New York transit workers discuss political lessons of Ferguson, Missouri

By our reporters, 27 August 2014

Subway workers are angered by the militarization of the police and the long history of brutality and abuse.

Long Island Railroad unions accept concessions

By Alan Whyte, 26 July 2014

The LIRR settlement is only the latest in a series of concessions contracts negotiated between public employee unions and New York’s Democratic-led state and city administrations.

South Korean auto workers hold first strike of the year

By Ben McGrath, 19 July 2014

Renault Samsung workers held a partial strike Monday demanding increased wages and other benefits.

New York transit agency demands concessions from Long Island Railroad workers

By Alan Whyte, 12 July 2014

The LIRR, the largest US commuter rail line, faces a July 20 strike deadline.

Unions, pseudo-lefts strangle strike against French rail privatisation

By Pierre Mabut and Alex Lantier, 1 July 2014

The unions and the pseudo-left parties only called the strikes in order to keep a struggle against the cuts from erupting outside of their control.

Workers speak out against privatization of French railways

By Anthony Torres, 19 June 2014

Approximately 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Paris on June 17 to protest the Socialist Party government’s planned privatization of the French railways.

Obama administration halts Philadelphia railway strike

By Sandy English, 16 June 2014

Obama’s presidential act of strike-breaking came less than one day after the workers walked off the job in a dispute over pay and benefits.

Teachers and transit workers ratify New York City contract deals

By Alan Whyte and Dan Brennan, 6 June 2014

The mood among teachers and transit workers is far from one of satisfaction.

RMT union sabotages London Underground strike

By Paul Bond, 8 May 2014

Just hours before the second 72-hour walkout was due to begin, the RMT union announced it had “suspended” the action against job losses on the London Underground.