What the West Virginia Victory Means for Labor

(Tyler Evert/AP)

Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk filed a dispatch for the Guardian examining what the victory in West Virginia means for the labor movement:

The strike is also likely to have a positive effect on the morale of teachers in other states who are fighting cuts driven by legislators’ unpopular austerity plans.

Last week, teachers in nearby Pittsburgh, which shares a media market with much of West Virginia, voted to strike within 96 hours unless their demands were met. Administrators in Pittsburgh conceded to the union and within two days signed a new contract that met most of the teachers’ demands.

In Oklahoma, teachers earning even less than their West Virginia colleagues announced that they have been in communication as they plan a similar statewide walkout.

A recent survey by the Oklahoma Education Association of its 10,000 members found that 80% of them supported a strike.

“A school closure is a last resort, but we are preparing for such an event in case the legislature refuses to show bold leadership and act,” the Oklahoma Education Association president, Alicia Priest, told the Oklahoman.

To read the full dispatch, go to the Guardian.


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing over 1,800 stories from 46 states, Elk was the only American reporter in the room with Lula on the morning of the election & traveled with him to the Oval Office. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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