Labor Notes #471

Strikes are won by workers—often with a little help from their friends.

During their two-week strike, West Virginia’s salaried classroom teachers still got paid, because superintendents closed schools. The days missed were treated like snow days to be made up later. But workers paid by the hour or day—such as substitute teachers, teaching aides, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers—weren’t getting paychecks. Few had much savings to fall back on.

Thirty thousand educators and supporters descended on Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 16 for a protest that was unprecedented in its size and breadth.

Every year around this time, the union sponsors a lobby day. In the past teachers would take a personal day, come to the capitol, and make an appointment with their legislators. The North Carolina Association of Educators would give members a packet with talking points on pre-determined priorities.

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