Transport workers struggles

Thousands of delivery workers strike across Brazil and other Latin American countries

By Brunna Machado and Letícia Silva, 4 July 2020

Thousands of delivery workers engaged in a strike on Wednesday to demand better working conditions in more than 10 Brazilian capitals, as well as in cities in Argentina and Mexico.

Letter from a New York City transit worker on miscarriages and pregnancy on the job

By our reporters, 3 July 2020

A New York City transit worker has written in to the WSWS describing the atrocious conditions faced by pregnant workers at the facilities run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

New York City transit worker suffers miscarriage on the job

By Sam Dalton, 1 July 2020

Transit workers are outraged at the Transit Authority and the union after a conductor who was six-months pregnant lost a baby when she was forced to return to track switching.

Reopening of New York City threatens a new surge in transit worker deaths

By Sam Dalton and Daniel de Vries, 8 June 2020

Transit workers fear that 130 deaths in their ranks is just the beginning

Uber lays off 6,700 white-collar workers as it continues restructuring

By Shuvu Batta, 23 May 2020

Uber has slashed jobs for its white-collar workers while it restructures its business in response to its fall in share values and drop in ride requests.

UK police question suspect in spitting incident that led to rail worker’s death

By Michael Barnes, 19 May 2020

Belly Mujinga’s death produced a horrified reaction among rail workers and an outpouring of sympathy in the working class, but the deranged character of the attack also solicited an outpouring of crocodile tears from those who are ultimately responsible for creating the conditions that led to her death.

Petition demanding pandemic hazard pay for UPS workers gains 300,000 signatures

By Erik Schreiber and Kayla Costa, 19 May 2020

The response to the petition demonstrates workers’ willingness to fight, but its appeal to the Teamsters union is a dead end. A genuine struggle for safety requires the formation of independent rank-and-file committees.

Little Rock, Arkansas transit workers laid off amidst COVID fears

By Cordell Gascoigne, 18 May 2020

Due to heavy absenteeism over concerns of coronavirus infection, Rock Region Metro has announced service cuts and the layoff of 23 drivers.

UK government ties Transport for London bailout to “back to work” drive

By Jean Shaoul, 16 May 2020

TfL, which runs the London Underground, bus and rail services, faced bankruptcy, threatening the Johnson government’s efforts to restore corporate profits.

33 London bus drivers killed by COVID-19: “We are expendable like diesel”

By Laura Tiernan, 13 May 2020

Workers fear infections will soar following Sunday night’s “phased exit” announced by the Johnson government

14,000 New York City school bus workers face furlough as city imposes cuts

By Philip Guelpa, 12 May 2020

With New York schools closed through the end of the semester, school bus workers are being furloughed without pay or medical insurance as the city begins slashing its education budget.

Australian rail union imposes sell out agreement after 51-49 percent split vote

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 May 2020

Many outraged rail workers have quit the RTBU in protest over the bureaucracy’s imposition of far reaching concessions on behalf of Metro Trains.

Pseudo-left groups block fight by London bus drivers against COVID-19

By Laura Tiernan, 7 May 2020

The pseudo-left are seeking to prevent workers from making a break with Labour and the unions and turning to a socialist perspective.

“The company is not disclosing any information about sickness and deaths”

UPS workers in New York and New Jersey speak out on the COVID-19 pandemic

By our reporters, 7 May 2020

UPS drivers and sorters are working without proper PPE and health benefits, while management and the Teamsters union are concealing information about the spread of the virus, which has killed at least two workers.

Communication Workers Union folds 48 hours after Royal Mail threatens 20,000 jobs

By Thomas Scripps, 2 May 2020

Having initially warned of strike action against the ending of Saturday deliveries, the CWU organised a shameless retreat.

Despite over 100 transit worker deaths, New York Governor Cuomo and MTA push for unsafe return to work

By Sam Dalton, 30 April 2020

As Cuomo begins his push for a return to work and deflects blame to the city’s homeless population, the governor’s office and the MTA renew criminal efforts to convince workers they will return to safe working conditions.

Workers at Dublin Bus rebel at lack of personal protective equipment

By Dermot Byrne, 27 April 2020

One Irish driver explained: “There is a general feeling the union doesn’t act in the interests of the bus workers.”

Detroit bus drivers and riders exposed to COVID-19

By Stephen Fuller, 27 April 2020

One-quarter of the residents of the Motor City cannot afford a car and many are forced to ride public buses, which have become a conduit for the spread of deadly disease.

London bus drivers say: “Give public transport workers protection or shut it down”

By Miles Driver and Laura Tiernan, 24 April 2020

Drivers told the WSWS about the unsafe working conditions being enforced by the Johnson government, private bus operators, Transport for London and London Labour Party Mayor Sadiq Khan, in collaboration with the unions.

New York City transit workers must form rank-and-file committees to save their lives!

By Daniel de Vries, 24 April 2020

As officials move towards reopening the economy, four New York City transit workers a day are dying.

Twenty-nine London transport workers dead from COVID-19, as anger rises over unsafe working conditions

By Laura Tiernan, 23 April 2020

More than six weeks after the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic, London bus drivers say they are being treated as an “expendable commodity.”

Canada: Fired for criticizing lack of PPE, Edmonton bus driver speaks out

“I got no action to support me from the union”

By Janet Browning, 23 April 2020

Kelly Green, an Edmonton Transit Service bus driver, has been fired for demanding personal protective equipment to safeguard transit workers and passengers from COVID-19.

Walkouts by Canadian transit workers protest lack of COVID-19 protections

By Carl Bronski, 20 April 2020

After walkouts by transit workers in Toronto and Montreal, rank-and-file workers in Edmonton are planning a work stoppage and circulating a petition.

Truck drivers, logistics workers face high risk from COVID-19 exposure

By Steve Filips, 20 April 2020

Essential workers such as long-haul drivers and freight service workers face a high risk of infection due to increased workloads and lack of basic safety protections.

As transit worker deaths continue rising, MTA promises families $500,000 in blood money

By Sam Dalton, 17 April 2020

On Tuesday, the MTA’s official COVID-19 death toll stood at 59. At least 2,269 transit workers have tested positive for the virus.

Munich tram drivers speak out on dangerous conditions during coronavirus pandemic

By our reporters, 16 April 2020

Reports from two tram drivers illustrate the irresponsible actions of the MVG management putting workers at increased risk of infection and death.

Transit agencies and governments continue to expose workers and riders to coronavirus pandemic internationally

By Sam Dalton, 14 April 2020

Transit workers are both dying from and increasingly rebelling against the withholding of adequate safety measures by the transit agencies and state officials.

UPS Worldport employee in Louisville, Kentucky dies from COVID-19

By Steve Filips, 10 April 2020

Relatives said the 55-year-old worker, Roml Ellis, had been infected with COVID-19, although UPS management has refused to confirm the cause of death citing “privacy.”

Mounting opposition among German health care, industrial workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 4 April 2020

The German government has implemented a bailout program for major companies and banks, but health care and industrial workers are forced to work under catastrophic conditions.

Australia: Melbourne rail union promotes sellout industrial agreement

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 April 2020

The union bureaucracy cynically invoked the COVID-19 pandemic to justify the proposed deal.

Ten New York City transit workers die of COVID-19

By Sam Dalton, 2 April 2020

More New York City transit workers are sick and dying as work continues without protective equipment.

Coronavirus death toll extends to New York transit workers

By Daniel de Vries, 28 March 2020

The two deaths Thursday are the direct result of the criminally negligent response by the MTA in collaboration with the union.

Nearly two dozen New York City transit workers test positive for COVID-19

By Sam Dalton, 21 March 2020

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has responded by continuing to ignore basic health precautions, risking the lives of workers, their families and the general public.

Rideshare drivers speak out on working conditions during coronavirus pandemic

By Shuvu Batta, 21 March 2020

“I can’t stop driving for even a day because I can’t afford my bills. It’s a form of slave labor.”

Drivers shut down Detroit bus system with sick-out over health and safety concerns during coronavirus outbreak

By Kevin Reed, 20 March 2020

Bus drivers took matters into their own hands in Detroit on Tuesday morning and shut down the city’s public transportation system to demand sanitary conditions.

Financial board demands new cuts, privatizations in Boston transit system

By Andrew Timon, 12 February 2020

The FMCB is proceeding with further budget cuts, privatizations and fixation on capital delivery, all of which have been found to be the main factors behind abhorrent safety in nearly all sectors of the MBTA’s operations.

Tram drivers’ strike and protest in Melbourne, Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 January 2020

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has done everything within its power to isolate the workers and subordinate them to both the state Labor government and the antidemocratic Fair Work industrial regime.

Mass abstention as union pushes through New York City transit contract

By Alan Whyte, 16 January 2020

The vast majority of New York City transit workers boycotted a vote on a concessions contact backed by the Transport Workers Union.

As the Transport Workers Union attempts to push through major concessions

New York City transit workers speak out about workplace dangers and attacks on health care

By Daniel de Vries, 30 December 2019

While the TWU has tried to hide the extent of the concessions, the reality is that the agreement contains $44 million in health care and other givebacks.

DC Transit Authority and union approve public workers’ contract, isolating striking private transit workers

By Nick Barrickman, 27 December 2019

Despite the contract’s promise to end privatization at the transit authority, it does nothing to end the attacks on metro workers.

At what human cost?

Amazon Logistics set to surpass delivery volume of FedEx, UPS by 2022

By Kayla Costa, 21 December 2019

The advanced techniques of workplace exploitation along with low wages and breakneck conditions that have made Amazon notorious are being set as the standard for the entire logistics industry.

Amalgamated Transit Union forces 130 striking Northern Virginia Transit Workers back to work without an agreement

By Harvey Simpkins, 20 December 2019

The 130 Transdev workers have been sent back to work after two months on the picket line without any agreement on key outstanding issues including wages, vacations, sick leave or retirement.

Australia: Melbourne train and tram workers isolated by trade unions

By Patrick O’Connor and Steve Strietberg, 19 December 2019

The union has organised nothing but token industrial action, while keeping workers in the dark and subordinating them to draconian Fair Work industrial laws.

Vote “No” on the TWU sellout contract!

Form rank-and-file committees to defend New York City transit workers!

By WSWS Transit Worker Newsletter, 18 December 2019

To defend jobs and living standards, transit workers must build new organizations of struggle to oppose the gang-up of the MTA, the Cuomo administration and the TWU.

“The union bosses tell us they are fighting for us while they sell us out”

New York City transit workers denounce union-backed tentative agreement

By Alan Whyte, 12 December 2019

The newly published Memorandum of Agreement between the TWU and the MTA seeks to incorporate the union into management, increase the transit agency’s exploitation of workers and financially reward the union bureaucracy.

Holiday shipping season begins with deaths of two UPS workers at California airport

By Steve Filips, 12 December 2019

As the holiday shipping season began, two young UPS workers were killed late last month when the cargo tugging vehicle they were riding overturned at the Ontario International Airport in California.

Union moves to end Washington DC-area transit strike, agrees to cost-cutting deal

By Nick Barrickman, 11 December 2019

The Amalgamated Transit Union’s deal with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority leaves open the possibility of low pay and attacks working conditions.

New York transit union offers massive concessions to block strike

By Alan Whyte and Daniel de Vries, 9 December 2019

The tentative agreement agreed by the union seeks to stifle any movement by New York’s subway and bus workers against the demands of the Democratic Party for major cuts.

Northern Virginia transit worker strike spreads as 600 Fairfax Connector workers join 130 Metrobus workers on strike against Transdev

By Harvey Simpkins, 7 December 2019

The ATU is seeking to limit the Fairfax Connector strike as much as possible, stating that the strike is over “unfair labor practices” and “bad faith bargaining” committed by the Company. It has offered no official demands.

UK: South West Rail workers begin month-long strike to defend jobs and conditions.

By Robert Stevens, 4 December 2019

The strike is the longest called by the RMT union in a bitter four-year fight by rail workers to stop DOO and is the longest rail strike in British history.

Job actions by New York City transit workers

By Alan Whyte, 27 November 2019

The union organized the slowdown because it fears it will be unable to impose the demands of the Democratic Party-run transit agency without provoking a rebellion by workers.

Teamsters shut down CN Rail strike, praise Canada’s big business Liberal government

By Keith Jones, 27 November 2019

Everything suggests the union abandoned all, or at least most, of the CN Rail workers’ key demands in their rush to shut down the strike and avert a confrontation with the federal Liberal government.

West Midland Trains workers escalate fight against strike-breaking operation

By Michael Barnes, 23 November 2019

The WMT strike is the latest in an almost four-year battle by workers at the UK’s private rail franchises to forge a unified struggle between drivers and conductors.

As corporate Canada calls for strike-breaking legislation

CN Rail workers continue fight against onerous working conditions

By Carl Bronski, 22 November 2019

Demands have been made from all quarters of the corporate elite for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to quickly bring in back-to-work legislation criminalizing the four-day-old strike.

Washington, DC area transit workers call for expansion of fight as strike enters fourth week

By Nick Barrickman, 20 November 2019

Bus drivers opposing privatizations and poverty pay must defy the Amalgamated Transit Union’s effort to divide and weaken their struggle.

Australia: All Sydney bus services to be privatised within two years

By Martin Scott, 9 November 2019

Thousands of drivers and other workers face an uncertain future as the state government continues the sell-off of public transport.

“Teachers, autoworkers, everybody in this country, should go on strike”

New York City bus and subway workers speak out against concession demands

By a WSWS reporting team, 6 November 2019

The Metropolitan Transit Authority wants to introduce part-timers, outsource work to cheap-labor contractors and reduce overtime pay as it funnels more money to the Wall Street banks and wealthy bondholders.

India: Growing support for 48,000 Telangana workers fired for striking

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 2 November 2019

The Telangana transport workers courageously defied the state Chief Minister’s ultimatum that they immediately end their strike or be deemed “self-dismissed.”

New York City transit workers and the fight for social equality

By Allen Whyte and Daniel de Vries, 30 October 2019

Working without a contract since May, transit workers are facing unprecedented attacks on working conditions being demanded by Wall Street.

New York City transit authority adds 500 police officers

By Philip Guelpa, 11 October 2019

Amidst crumbling infrastructure, deteriorating service, and repeated fare increases, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is hiring 500 new police officers to patrol the New York City transit system.

Sri Lankan railway unions end strike, after “promises” from President Sirisena

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 9 October 2019

Sirisena’s assurances are worthless but always seized on by the union bureaucracy to shut down industrial action and impose a sell-out.

New York City transit workers exposed to toxic asbestos for decades

By Philip Guelpa, 5 October 2019

Dangerous, antiquated conditions at the East New York bus depot are only one symptom of the severely deteriorated condition of the city’s transit system.

Workers protest closure of Wrightbus in Northern Ireland

By our reporters, 3 October 2019

Hundreds have been thrown out of work following the collapse of manufacturer Wrightbus last month.

French transit workers strike against attack on pensions

By Will Morrow, 14 September 2019

The trade unions are seeking to prevent any struggle against Macron’s attack through a series of isolated one-day actions over the next month.

Defending pensions against Macron requires an international political strategy

By Alex Lantier, 14 September 2019

The way forward to defend pensions and oppose the well-advanced drive towards fascistic police state rule is to turn to the international working class.

Boston transit system limps along as MBTA carries out disruptive repairs

By Andrew Timon, 14 September 2019

After five train derailments so far this year—and an astounding 43 from 2014 to 2018—along with mass delays and commuter outrage over fare hikes, the MBTA is in crisis mode.

New York transit agency seeks casualization of its workforce

By Alan Whyte, 4 September 2019

Management’s demands are nothing less than a declaration of war and an attempt to institute slave-labor conditions.

Australia: Train workers’ union calls off Melbourne strike

By David Cohen, 23 August 2019

Confronted by yet another sell-out, workers need to take their fight out of the hands of the RTBU bureaucracy, forming rank and file committees.

New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority approves plan to cut 2,700 jobs

By Isaac Finn, 9 August 2019

On July 24, the transportation authority board approved the “MTA Transformation Plan,” which includes the possible layoff of 2,700 workers and the use of contractors to replace retiring workers.

Australia: Melbourne rail workers vote for strike action

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 August 2019

While privatisation has provided new and lucrative profit opportunities for corporate operators, it has proven a disaster for rail workers and commuters.

Teamsters union boss with close ties to Chicago Democrats pleads guilty to extortion

By Jessica Goldstein, 5 August 2019

The agreement by John Coli Sr. to work with federal investigators could have wide-reaching consequences for the Democratic Party machine in Illinois and Chicago.

Public transport workers’ meeting Thursday to demand WikiLeaks founder’s freedom

London bus drivers show support for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 30 July 2019

Many London bus drivers, drawn from every corner of the world, including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, have first-hand experience of the US war crimes and government corruption exposed by WikiLeaks since 2006.

Bus drivers in Massachusetts strike over wages and healthcare

By Elliott Vernon, 6 July 2019

Bus drivers are seeking wage increases consistent with the cost of living in Martha’s Vineyard as well as improvements in safety, disciplinary procedures and healthcare.

Sri Lankan railway unions cave in to government’s strike ban

By Saman Gunadasa, 1 July 2019

The RTUA’s betrayal has once again demonstrated that workers cannot defend their democratic rights and fight for jobs and decent working conditions through the trade unions.

Police and military crack down on spontaneous taxi strike in Matamoros, Mexico

By Eric London, 25 May 2019

Hundreds of taxi drivers blocked the international border crossing and several major thoroughfares in response to government efforts to decommission cabs.

“They spit on our solidarity”

Lyft cuts drivers’ rates in weeks following global rideshare strike

By Kayla Costa, 24 May 2019

Since rideshare drivers participated in a global one-day strike on May 8 to oppose the billion-dollar market frenzy for Uber’s IPO, Lyft drivers have reported compensation cuts of up to 27 percent.

As New York City transit contract expires, governor launches vindictive attack on workers

By Daniel de Vries and Alan Whyte, 18 May 2019

The union is keeping 40,000 workers on the job while governor Cuomo whips up hysteria over allegedly fraudulent overtime.

“They depend on us for their wealth and power”

Uber and Lyft drivers in Chicago, New York and California speak out against exploitation of gig economy workers

By our reporters, 10 May 2019

Drivers across the United States spoke out against the classification of Uber drivers as independent contractors as Uber heads into an Initial Public Offering worth billions of dollars.

Uber drivers to participate in global strike

By Leslie Murtagh and Jesse Thomas, 8 May 2019

Thousands of Uber and other ride-sharing drivers around the world will strike on Wednesday to protest low wages and the spread of casualized labor.

“The Teamsters is a company-controlled union”

UPS national contract imposed after supplemental fights

By George Marlowe, 1 May 2019

Following the ratification of a contentious Detroit supplemental agreement, the Teamsters union has imposed its sellout national contract on more than 250,000 UPS workers.

Teamsters working with YRC trucking companies to impose concessions contract

By Steve Filips, 9 April 2019

A tentative agreement has been announced between the company and the union while workers are being kept in the dark in order to forestall opposition to what is undoubtedly another sellout deal.

Hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers strike in Los Angeles

By Dan Conway, 27 March 2019

The strike was triggered by Uber’s recent announcement to cut drivers’ per-mile compensation in Los Angeles and part of nearby Orange County by 25 percent.

Canada: Train derailment kills three, exposes terrible working conditions

By Penny Smith, 16 March 2019

CP Rail is lobbying Transport Canada to abandon a new rule it introduced following last month’s derailment, calling it too "time-consuming."

Boston: Unanimous opposition to MBTA fare hike at public hearing

By John Marion and Kate Randall, 2 March 2019

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is planning to impose fare increases averaging 6.3 percent on its bus, subway and commuter rail riders effective July 1.

“There’s been a blackout from the union”

Teamsters locals use anti-democratic loopholes and deceit to impose sellout agreements

By Erik Schreiber, 21 February 2019

Adding insult to injury following the imposition of the national UPS contract last year, the Teamsters union is using anti-democratic procedures to ram through local supplemental agreements by overriding the express will of the membership.

"Precision Scheduled Railroading” brings layoffs and cuts to US railroads

By Jeff Lusanne, 19 February 2019

The fraudulent concept of Precision Scheduled Railroading, which has the real goal of pumping railroad stock prices, has spread to most major US railroads, bringing layoffs and cuts.

Germany: Public transport strike paralyzes Berlin

By our reporters, 16 February 2019

For much of Friday, all subways and trams in the capital stood still and most buses remained in their depots.

“We are just another package that can be replaced”

FedEx, UPS workers outraged after Illinois truck driver dies on the job in extreme cold weather

By George Marlowe, 2 February 2019

William L. Murphy, a 69-year-old FedEx truck driver, is one of at least 23 people in the Midwest who have been killed by record cold temperatures this week.

Security personnel at German airports continue protest strikes

By K. Nesan and Marianne Arens, 12 January 2019

The work stoppages make clear the enormous anger of security staff and their willingness to fight.

RMT union cancels three strikes on London Underground

By Angela Austin, 24 December 2018

Underground rail workers have been involved in a series of disputes and strikes over worsening working conditions, staff shortages and victimisations.

UPS worker dies of heart attack; UPS Freight lays off part-timers over holidays

Workplace nightmare after Teamsters sellout

By Will Morrow, 22 December 2018

Peak season is the most profitable of the year and UPS earns billions in profits on the back of countless workers’ broken bones, ripped fingers and deaths.

Frente Amplio and Piñera government in Chile suppress 36-day dockworkers’ strike

By Andrea Lobo, 22 December 2018

The FA worked alongside its Morenoite satellites and the trade union to isolate the striking workers at a time of growing social unrest in Chile and across the world.

No to driver only operated services at West Midland Trains! For a national mobilisation of rail workers

By Michael Barnes, 24 November 2018

Drivers at West Midlands Trains are resisting a coordinated effort by the private train operator Abellio and rail unions to impose Driver Only trains in 2020.

Canada Post workers need socialist strategy to defy and defeat Liberals’ back-to-work law

By Roger Jordan, 24 November 2018

Working people across Canada must come to the defence of the 50,000 Canada Post workers whose struggle is now being criminalized by the Liberal government.

New Zealand rail union enforces another pro-company pay deal

By our correspondent, 10 November 2018

In 2016, the Labour Party-dominated Greater Wellington Regional Council privatised the region's commuter rail service, to save $NZ100 million over 15 years at the expense of jobs, wages and conditions.

Break the isolation of UPS Freight workers! Form rank-and-file committees to unite workers against the company!

By the WSWS UPS Workers Newsletter, 10 November 2018

If approved, the contract would create a new tier of lower-paid drivers, maintain poverty-level wages of part-time warehouse dockworkers, and continue the undermining of full-time positions.

Tube workers’ strike brings much of London to a halt

By Peter Austin, 9 November 2018

The tube strikes express the anger of workers after a decade of budget cuts, reductions in real wages, longer work weeks and an increase in working weekends as agreed by the unions.

As workers’ opposition grows to Teamsters contract, UPS Freight prepares for strike

By Will Morrow, 3 November 2018

Workers voted by more than 62 percent to reject the UPS Freight contract on October 5.

New Zealand: Bus union ends Wellington strike

By Tom Peters, 3 November 2018

The transport unions have sought to divide and demoralise workers and subordinate them to the Labour Party-led government.

Funeral to be held today for UPS worker Andy Schanding, killed on the job in Lexington, Kentucky

By Will Morrow, 27 October 2018

Andy, 43, leaves behind a loving family, including his wife of 21 years, Sarah Dixon Schanding, a son Elliot and daughter Emilee.