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Workers Strike in US and Europe

USA and Europe —

Workers in the US and Europe have been going on strike. They’ve stopped doing their jobs in order to try and make their work situations better. Here’s a look at strikes in the US, France, and Germany.

Teachers in Oklahoma have just ended a nine day walkout. During a walkout, people leave their jobs to protest something they don’t agree with. Many of the teachers marched 110 miles from Tulsa to Oklahoma City over the last week to show how hard they are willing to work for their students.

They want better pay for teachers and other people who work in schools. They also want the state to spend more money on education. Over the last ten years, Oklahoma has cut the money for schools by about 28%. Some schools in Oklahoma are only open four days a week because they don’t have enough money to stay open for five days.

An Oklahoma reporter posted this message on Twitter:

The state of Oklahoma does not have a lot of money right now. They offered the teachers raises and more money for schools, but not as much as the teachers wanted. At first, the teachers said no, but now they have agreed.

Teachers in West Virginia recently won better pay after a walkout. Teachers in Kentucky and Arizona are also thinking about walkouts.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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There are two different strikes going on in France now – one group works with trains, the other works with airplanes.

Workers at the French train company owned by the government, SNCF, want better pay. But the SNCF railway workers are also protesting to protect their jobs.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he wants to change the way French railways are run. He wants to see if private companies can do the same job more cheaply than the government. He also wants to make it easier to fire people. Railway workers are afraid they’ll lose their jobs.

80% of France's high speed trains didn't run on Monday because of the strike.
80% of France’s high speed trains didn’t run on Monday because of the strike.
(Source: Donautalbahner, from Wikimedia Commons.)

About 80% of France’s high speed trains did not run on Monday as a result of the strike. SNCF says the strike has cost it about $123 million so far. The SNCF workers have planned a total of 18 two-day walkouts, which will happen before July.

Screen shot of the SNCF ticket sales website showing strike date
Screen shot of the SNCF ticket sales website showing strike dates.

Workers at the airline Air France are also striking for better pay. Air France workers have not had a raise in seven years. The workers have held strikes on several different days since February. The strike caused Air France to cancel over 25% of its flights on Tuesday and Wednesday. The airline says it has already lost around $123 million because of the strikes. More strikes are planned for next week.

Paris, France

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Government workers are also striking in Germany. Tens of thousands of people who work at hospitals, day care centers, and garbage dumps walked off their jobs on Tuesday and Wednesday. Many buses and trains did not run because their drivers were on strike.

Germany’s largest airline, Lufthansa, had to cancel over 800 flights on Tuesday. The people who work for Lufthansa were not on strike, but other airport workers, like security guards and firefighters were.

Lufthansa had to cancel over 800 flights on Tuesday because of the strike.
Lufthansa had to cancel over 800 flights on Tuesday because of the strike.
(Source: Uli Elch, from Wikimedia Commons.)

The German government says that the workers are asking for too much money. But the workers point out that the government has plenty of money now. Frank Bsirske, the leader of one of the striking groups said, “when, if not now, would it be the time for wage [pay] increases?”

Munich, Germany

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