More than 100,000 packets are on the lines, and tens of thousands of people could join them by the end of October, possibly touching a wave of strikes not seen in the United States since the 1970s.
Unrest in industries, including agriculture and film production, threatens to further weaken a devastated economy.
Paul Clarke, a professor of labor studies at Penn State University, said the strikes would have an impact. “When employers raise wages, they raise prices so that they can recoup what they are paying in higher wage costs, so we’ll see some of that.”
More than 10,000 workers of Dairy & Co., an agricultural equipment manufacturer, went on strike on Thursday. They included 1,400 Kellogg workers, more than 2,000 nurses and other hospital workers in Buffalo, New York, 700 nurses in Massachusetts and about 160 caregivers in Connecticut.
Around 24,000 nurses and other healthcare workers in Caesar Permanente have called for a strike this week, and 60,000 workers in the entertainment industry have threatened to strike if their union, television and film studios, If you do not agree with the contract will leave on Monday.
More than 12,000 Seattle area carpenters returned to work this week after a three-week strike that halted construction in the Northwest Pacific.
The decline in union membership in recent years has led to a reduction in the number of stops. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1,000 workers were involved in just eight strikes in 2020, the lowest number since 1947.
Since 2010, there have been more than 20 such strikes in 2019 alone. According to the bureau, from 1980 to 2000, there were fewer than 30 major strikes in 1997 alone.
The unions attributed the strike to military problems, including low wages, overtime, poor working conditions and safety concerns.
“Right now, the stars are in favor of unions,” Mr Clarke said. “Both of them have low unemployment, and you have a very friendly administration in Washington that supports the unions. Everything is in order for the unions to take advantage of the situation at the moment.”
Mr. Biden He has described himself as a sincere friend of the laborer.
On of that First day at the office, They Signed an executive order creating union jobs. of that Administration’s top priority in March, They Made a video in support of the Amazon Workers Union right. They. Has said of that $ 4.7 trillion spending package as a way to create high-paying union jobs.
When asked about the strike wave, White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie doubled in support of the president’s wages.
“The president and vice president often say it is the most supportive union administration in history, and they will continue to govern with that in mind,” he said.
“They both feel it. [that] The full support of unions, the ability of workers to organize, if they wish, collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental rights.
“In healthy economies, employees must compete for workers, and we are seeing that,” Ms. Psaki said. “As unemployment declines, we’re moving into a market where workers have more bargaining power. Ultimately, that’s a good thing.”
Rejecting the notion that strikes could derail the economy, he said he had not heard from the White House economic team.
Still, strikes are affecting the economy.
Since Kellogg’s workers went on strike two weeks ago, the grain maker’s stock has fallen 6.5 percent. Dairy & Company’s stock fell 7% on Thursday when its workers hit the packet line.
Consumers will likely feel the pinch as companies raise the prices of grain and other products to cover higher labor costs.
Inflation has remained at its highest level in over a decade, and epidemics have led to labor and material shortages in the economy.
The Biden administration has argued that inflation is a temporary effect on the recovery of epidemics, but the Labor Department’s report downplays that claim.
Mark Max, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an anti-union conservative group, said inflation was a factor in the unrest. He noted that workers wanted higher wages to cover rising costs.
“When a mother goes to the store and sees a box of grain that costs 5 5, she will demand more wages,” he said. “Rising inflation is something that is very high in the market.”
If the strikes increase the prices of commodities such as grain and agricultural commodities, then sir Biden There will be a tough economic environment to visit. National surveys and focus groups have found that many Americans are worried about inflation and rising spending.
“These costs are coming to market,” Mr Max said. “This creates a very difficult political position: risking the wrath of union officials or threatening potential voters.”
Biden administration officials have also ruled out the political implications of inflation.
Ms Psaki said on Wednesday that the time frame for the inflation figures did not match real-world perceptions.
“We all understand that Americans are not seeing a cost comparison from this year to two years ago. They are seeing a price comparison from their checkboxes eight months ago or 12 months ago. And although “In fact, if you look at two years ago, things could be comparable. People don’t see things that way,” he said.
Also Wednesday, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein retweeted a Harvard professor approving the reduction of inflation as a “high-class” issue.
“Most of the economic problems we are facing (inflation, supply chains, etc.) are upper class problems. If the unemployment rate were still 10 percent, we would not have it.
Despite the impact on rising prices, analysts are skeptical of Mr. Biden Will be involved in labor disputes.
The president would not want to risk going bad. of that Relationships with trade unions by working other than being a supporter of striking workers
Said John Shelton, a labor historian at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Biden Possibly will not encourage workers or criticize employers.
“I think there is a political danger in joining.” They Said. “It’s not uncommon for a president to get involved. I expect, sir Biden Usually keep a close eye on it while pointing it out. They Supports workers. ”