By Sahid Fawaz
The first five months of 2018 has seen multiples more workers on strike than all of last year.
"From teachers walking out of classrooms in several states to hospital workers manning picket lines in California, a surge in strikes is happening in 2018. As many major work stoppages had taken place by the end of March as occurred during all of last year . . .
Strikes idled 25,000 workers last year, the second-lowest annual count since 1947 . . .
But the first three months of 2018 have seen revived activity on the labor front, and the second quarter is suiting up to be active as well, as workers strike over issues including pay, benefits -- and in the case of some educators -- distress over lack of funds for equipment and supplies.
Nearly 37,000 workers were involved in two large strikes in February, while January had the 1,800 Charter employees idle. In all, seven large work stoppages occurred in the first quarter.
In March, 42,000 workers participated in four strikes, including the continuing year-long walkout at Charter and 1,400 Frontier Communications (FTR) workers in West Virginia and Virginia, according to government data. In addition, 35,000 elementary and middle school teachers in West Virginia and another 3,800 in New Jersey walked off the job in March.
The trend persisted in May, with about 53,000 hospital workers hitting the picket lines on Monday at the University of California. Nurses will strike in support on Tuesday and Wednesday. The union members are reportedly seeking pay hikes of 6 percent and a freeze on health care premiums, and they've rejected a 3 percent wage increase offer."
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