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Program Information
 Building Bridges 
 
 Weekly Program
 
 Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg  
 See Notes.
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West.Virginia Teachers Defy State Law & Union To Stage Successful Wildcat Strike, Are Oklahoma and Arizona Next?
with
Erica Newsome, English teacher, Chapmanville H.S., Logan County, W. Virginia
Teresa Danks, third-grade teacher, Grimes Elementary School, Tulsa, Okla.
Derek Harris , middle school band teacher, Tucson Unified District, Arizona

Rank and file teachers in West Virginia mobilized throughout the state and shutting down the schools in support of pay raises for some of the poorest paid teachers in the U.S. They converged on and occupied the state capital building to demand a living wage and forced the state government to improve their meager pay and freeze proposed Increases in their health care premiums " and all the state workers gained from the settlement forced by the courageous wildcat strikers.
While the teachers unions had tried through now familiar lobbying and by
mobilization to fight for better wages
and benefits their methods proved not successful, stirring the rank & file to adopt a more militant approach. The workers organized and struck on their own initiative rekindling the states long
and militant history of workers struggles.

Then within days of the W. Virginia strike, certainly inspired by their sisters and brothers teachers there, teachers in Oklahoma which borders W. Virginia
announced their intention to walk off
the job in order to win higher pay. And, in
Arizona teachers turned their campuses into a sea of red last Wed. demanding better pay. Inside the Facebook group that organized the #RedForEd campaign, a full-throttle conversation of what to do next is underway.

Workers have been under brutal attack and unionization has been in decline for over 40 years. The employer offensive against unions has included all-out war
against militant action & especially strikes. Yet it has only been in the periods of struggle and strikes for the private sector in the 1930s and late 40s and the public sector in the 1960s that unions have grown and workers prospered. Now the West Virginia workers are sparking workers across the land to embrace their rekindled militacy.
produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
please notify us if you plan to broadcast this program - knash@igc.org

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