United Steelworkers Local 5114 voted to reject an arbitration proposal, continuing its one-year strike at Hecla Mining Co. in Mullan, Idaho. The strike began in March 2017, after the company proposed changes in procedures and responsibilities for job assignments, which the union claims will place miners’ lives in danger. The company states that, for now, it will continue to rely on its salary workforce for limited production and development.
Approximately 200 workers at Gradall Industries Inc. in New Philadelphia, Ohio, represented by IAM Local 1285, went on strike after rejecting the company’s final contract offer. The union claims the company’s last proposal, which includes wage increases, was not sufficient in light of proposed increases in employees’ health insurance costs.
For the first time in 20 years, Jersey City’s public school teachers in a 29,000-student district went on strike, demanding lower health care costs. The contract between the Jersey City Education Association, which represents 4,000 teachers and school employees, and the Jersey City Board of Education expired last September.
1,400 technicians and call center workers at Frontier Communications in West Virginia and Ashburn, Va. ended a three-week strike and returned to work on March 28. The strike began over the Communications Workers of America’s concerns about Frontier’s use of contractors and the company’s alleged failure to improve its West Virginia network. The strike was one of the largest work stoppages in the United States so far this year, second only to the teachers’ strike in West Virginia.
Graduate students and teaching assistants at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ended their strike after an all-night bargaining session between the Graduate Employees’ Organization and the university. Union members had been without a contract since August and on strike since February 26. The parties reached a five-year agreement, providing for a 4.5 percent wage increase in the first year, two percent wage increases in the second and third years, and more generous health benefits. Significantly, the agreement further secures students’ tuition waivers, so long as they remain in good academic standing and progress toward graduation.