Rebecca Kolins Givan, an associate professor in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, is available for interviews about the ongoing GM strike and the broader context of recent strikes by nurses, teachers, hotel workers, and others.

“We are witnessing a dramatic shift in the American labor movement. For a long time, workers took concessions on the chin because they were too scared to go on strike. Today, the opposite is true. Workers are more scared of getting a bad contract than walking off the job.

“GM workers are pushing both their employer and their union to reach an agreement that provides fairness on the job. Their willingness to remain on the picket lines for more than a week, surviving on meager strike pay and despite GM callously canceling their health insurance, shows that they will not accept a contract if it doesn’t meet their demands.

“This is truly a remarkable moment in our nation’s labor history. Nurses went on strike Friday at Tenet Health Care in three states and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers have authorized a strike that would include 80,000 workers if a deal is not reached by October 14.

“More than 40,000 grocery workers in Southern California were ready to strike earlier this month before they reached an agreement with Vons, Ralphs, and Albertsons. We saw large strikes by Verizon workers in August and Stop & Shop workers in April. And last year, thousands of Marriott hotel workers stayed on the picket lines for more than six weeks until they won a strong contract.

“This flexing of worker muscle really began in the public sector, when teachers in West Virginia and several other states and large cities walked off the job last year to protest stagnant wages and rising health insurance costs.

“The bottom line? Strikes are increasing, strike threats are credible, and workers will be more likely to strike in the future.” 

Contact: To schedule an interview with Givan, please contact Steve Flamisch at 848.252.9011 (cell) or [email protected].

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