Transport workers

A week before the US Presidential election, USPS management pushes forward unprecedented attacks on mail-in balloting

By Shuvu Batta, 27 October 2020

With the US Presidential election one week away, the United States Postal Service, led by GOP mega-donor Louis DeJoy, has ramped up the drive to privatization and to place a cloud over mail-in balloting.

Study of New York City transit workers spotlights pandemic’s ongoing physical and emotional toll

By Daniel de Vries, 26 October 2020

The findings were dismissed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in an effort cover up the risk of a full-scale reopening of the city.

As COVID-19 claims the life of London bus driver Kofi Opoku, Unite mounts fake “safety campaign” to stem drivers’ anger

By Laura Tiernan, 13 October 2020

Unite is seizing on a second wave of COVID-19 to deepen its corporatist partnership with Transport for London and the bus companies.

Protest strikes in German public transit: Workers’ anger grows over unsafe working conditions

By Andy Niklaus and Christoph Vandreier, 12 October 2020

While the trade unions are limiting the public transit strikes to a set of minimum demands, anger amongst the workforce at the miserable level of wages and unsafe working conditions is growing.

Pennsylvania educators, bus drivers and school workers launch rank-and-file safety committee to put an end to in-person instruction

By Pennsylvania Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 10 October 2020

Educators across Pennsylvania have formed a new rank-and-file safety committee to mobilize the working class against the unsafe reopening of the commonwealth’s schools.

One-day nationwide strike against South African ANC government

By Jean Shaoul, 9 October 2020

The mass walkout is part of a broader wave of struggles by workers in recent months that have seen repeated actions by healthcare workers, municipal workers, bus drivers, teachers and workers in meat processing plants, steel works and warehouses.

US safety agency undermines federal oversight of COVID-19 workplace spread

By Shannon Jones, 7 October 2020

The workplace safety agency revised wording on its website to state that employers must only report a hospitalization if it occurs within 24 hours of exposure, a near impossibility that effectively abolishes any requirement that companies notify OSHA of severe cases.

Transit union shuts down job action by Detroit bus drivers

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2020

The memorandum of understanding signed by the Amalgamated Transit Union does nothing to seriously address the needs of drivers, let alone resolve the deplorable state of public transit in the most impoverished big city in America.

“As far as the rich are concerned everybody has got to get back to work and if someone dies, so be it.”

Detroit bus drivers stop work again over ongoing safety issues

By Kathleen Martin, 3 October 2020

On Friday morning, Detroit bus drivers staged a job action, citing safety concerns over exposure to COVID-19 and tensions related to the social crisis in the city.

For a London-wide strike to oppose the threat to life from COVID-19!

By the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 1 October 2020

We cannot allow a re-run of March, April and May when 33 colleagues died because of deliberate neglect by Transport for London, the bus companies and Unite.

Australia Post workers speak out against union-enforced COVID-19 dangers and cuts to conditions

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 1 October 2020

“What used to be a job you would gladly retire on has now become like a job for contractors forever chasing their tail to meet deadlines with piecemeal payments.”

New York yellow cab drivers block bridges to demand debt relief

By Shuvu Batta, 19 September 2020

Battered by crippling debt and collapsing demand for taxis, drivers staged a protest Thursday calling for relief from their enormous debt burden.

Washington D.C. transit system announces budget cuts and layoffs due to ridership drop off amid pandemic

By Harvey Simpkins, 18 September 2020

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has seen a nearly 90 percent ridership drop-off since the beginning of the pandemic.

Manchester Go North West bus drivers vote overwhelmingly to strike

By Dennis Moore and Robert Stevens, 17 September 2020

Workers in Manchester should emulate the move by London bus drivers at a number of garages, who this week set up the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee.

The political significance of the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee: “Change is coming in the working class”

By our reporters, 16 September 2020

The formation of the committee shows that bus workers are starting to draw a balance sheet from their experiences over the past six months and are ready to fight back.

London bus drivers launch rank-and-file safety committee to fight renewed threat from COVID-19

By the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 16 September 2020

“We are not cattle and will not be sacrificed to protect the profits of the corporations and banks who have made a financial killing during the pandemic,” states the resolution passed by the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee.

London bus drivers resolve to fight for Assange’s freedom

By the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 16 September 2020

The first action of the newly formed London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee was to pass a resolution calling for the defence of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Mauritian cruise ship crews strike to demand repatriation

By Tom Casey, 12 September 2020

Mediterranean Shipping Company crews have been stranded on three ships near Santos port, Brazil since the industry’s COVID-19 shutdown in late March.

Brazilian postal workers wage bitter strike against wage cuts, privatization

By Gabriel Lemos, 7 September 2020

The state-owned postal service’s criminal negligence amid the COVID-19 pandemic has led to thousands of workers contracting the deadly virus and 120 reported deaths.

Alarm bells as London bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

By Laura Tiernan, 7 September 2020

Neither Metroline nor Unite has issued any statement to alert more than 500 drivers at Cricklewood about the reappearance of COVID-19.

Management seeks to impose gag order on US postal workers

By Shuvu Batta, 5 September 2020

A leaked memo reveals new guidelines imposed by US Postal Service management to suppress information about internal conditions at post offices.

New York City transit workers and the COVID-19 pandemic: A timeline of criminal inaction and union betrayal

By Daniel de Vries and Sam Dalton, 2 September 2020

As transit workers face the dual threat of a second wave of coronavirus and budget disaster, the lessons must be drawn from the death of 146 colleagues.

New York transit agency threatens draconian cuts and fare hikes

By Alan Whyte, 31 August 2020

The MTA is considering reducing New York City bus and subway service by 40 percent as well as cutting commuter railroads service by 50 percent.

Australian union cancels Sydney bus drivers’ strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 August 2020

The calling off of the stoppage is in line with the role played by the unions throughout the pandemic, in seeking to suppress all working-class opposition.

CUPE union shuts down 12-day strike at Port of Montreal

By Laurent Lafrance, 22 August 2020

Yesterday’s truce agreement marks the final stage in the union’s efforts to end the strike as quickly as possible and betray the legitimate demands of the rank and file.

London bus drivers deliver massive strike vote over “COVID pay,” health and safety

By Miles Driver, 18 August 2020

The ballots show the willingness of drivers to fight but Unite’s “consultative” ballot campaign is a fraud.

The Democrats and Republicans: Two wolves hunting the United States Postal Service

By Shuvu Batta, 15 August 2020

While they posture as defenders of postal workers, the Democrats have played a critical role in the privatization of the USPS and the decay of American democracy.

Washington, DC transit system faces massive budget shortfall as it resumes near pre-pandemic service levels

By Harvey Simpkins, 13 August 2020

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is currently losing $2.5 million in revenue each weekday because of a 90 percent drop in ridership on its bus and rail lines.

“This is war, and we have to fight”

USPS workers speak out against privatization drive

By our reporters, 8 August 2020

Opposition is growing among postal workers to the increasingly unbearable work regime and the ongoing efforts to privatize the postal service.

Reject whitewash report into London bus driver coronavirus deaths! For rank-and-file health and safety committees!

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 8 August 2020

There is nothing remotely “independent” about University College London’s review into bus driver deaths.

Lufthansa, backed by unions, expands job cuts

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 August 2020

In stepping up its attacks on airline workers, Lufthansa collaborates closely with its three unions—UFO, Cockpit and Verdi.

Transport for London coronavirus bailout prepares tube privatisation

By Paul Bond, 6 August 2020

The bailout, only half the sum requested, spearheads an assault on TfL’s workforce, in stark contrast to the generous packages offered to the privatised passenger rail franchises.

Talks between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union will end in job losses

By a socialist postal worker, 31 July 2020

To take forward the struggle in defence of postal workers’ health and to oppose the onslaught on jobs and pay demands the formation of rank-and-file committees.

New York City transit officials prepare to slash jobs and wages

By Daniel de Vries, 25 July 2020

Faced with a financial crisis that threatens its survival, the MTA is planning devastating cuts to jobs and service.

“People will not know what they lost until it is gone”

Workers voice opposition to privatization of US Postal Service

By Kayla Costa and Shuvu Batta, 25 July 2020

Postal workers have responded with outrage to leaked memos from USPS management which reveal plans for the accelerated privatization of the Postal Service.

London bus drivers launch crowdfund appeal for family of murdered French bus driver: “Help the family of Philippe Monguillot!”

By Laura Tiernan, 25 July 2020

London drivers launched the crowdfund for Monguillot’s family two weeks ago and are appealing for support.

“They have put the needs of the 1 percent over the importance of human life”

NASSCO shipyard worker dies from COVID-19 in San Diego

By Linda Rios, 23 July 2020

Concerns about the lack of safety measures at the shipyard began to surface in late March, when a worker tested positive for COVID-19.

US Postal Service takes major step toward privatization

By Shuvu Batta, 22 July 2020

USPS outlined steps toward privatization in a memo announcing that mail deliveries would be delayed, and another directive prohibiting overtime and promising “more to come.”

New delivery workers demonstration in Brazil exposes unions and their allies

By Miguel Andrade, 18 July 2020

After a massive continent-wide strike on July 1, delivery workers in Brazil are being told to place their fate in the hands of the unions and Congress.

Thousands of delivery workers strike across Brazil and other Latin American countries

By Brunna Machado and Letícia Silva, 4 July 2020

Thousands of delivery workers engaged in a strike on Wednesday to demand better working conditions in more than 10 Brazilian capitals, as well as in cities in Argentina and Mexico.

Letter from a New York City transit worker on miscarriages and pregnancy on the job

By our reporters, 3 July 2020

A New York City transit worker has written in to the WSWS describing the atrocious conditions faced by pregnant workers at the facilities run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

New York City transit worker suffers miscarriage on the job

By Sam Dalton, 1 July 2020

Transit workers are outraged at the Transit Authority and the union after a conductor who was six-months pregnant lost a baby when she was forced to return to track switching.

Reopening of New York City threatens a new surge in transit worker deaths

By Sam Dalton and Daniel de Vries, 8 June 2020

Transit workers fear that 130 deaths in their ranks is just the beginning

Uber lays off 6,700 white-collar workers as it continues restructuring

By Shuvu Batta, 23 May 2020

Uber has slashed jobs for its white-collar workers while it restructures its business in response to its fall in share values and drop in ride requests.

UK police question suspect in spitting incident that led to rail worker’s death

By Michael Barnes, 19 May 2020

Belly Mujinga’s death produced a horrified reaction among rail workers and an outpouring of sympathy in the working class, but the deranged character of the attack also solicited an outpouring of crocodile tears from those who are ultimately responsible for creating the conditions that led to her death.

Petition demanding pandemic hazard pay for UPS workers gains 300,000 signatures

By Erik Schreiber and Kayla Costa, 19 May 2020

The response to the petition demonstrates workers’ willingness to fight, but its appeal to the Teamsters union is a dead end. A genuine struggle for safety requires the formation of independent rank-and-file committees.

Little Rock, Arkansas transit workers laid off amidst COVID fears

By Cordell Gascoigne, 18 May 2020

Due to heavy absenteeism over concerns of coronavirus infection, Rock Region Metro has announced service cuts and the layoff of 23 drivers.

UK government ties Transport for London bailout to “back to work” drive

By Jean Shaoul, 16 May 2020

TfL, which runs the London Underground, bus and rail services, faced bankruptcy, threatening the Johnson government’s efforts to restore corporate profits.

33 London bus drivers killed by COVID-19: “We are expendable like diesel”

By Laura Tiernan, 13 May 2020

Workers fear infections will soar following Sunday night’s “phased exit” announced by the Johnson government

14,000 New York City school bus workers face furlough as city imposes cuts

By Philip Guelpa, 12 May 2020

With New York schools closed through the end of the semester, school bus workers are being furloughed without pay or medical insurance as the city begins slashing its education budget.

Australian rail union imposes sell out agreement after 51-49 percent split vote

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 May 2020

Many outraged rail workers have quit the RTBU in protest over the bureaucracy’s imposition of far reaching concessions on behalf of Metro Trains.

Pseudo-left groups block fight by London bus drivers against COVID-19

By Laura Tiernan, 7 May 2020

The pseudo-left are seeking to prevent workers from making a break with Labour and the unions and turning to a socialist perspective.

“The company is not disclosing any information about sickness and deaths”

UPS workers in New York and New Jersey speak out on the COVID-19 pandemic

By our reporters, 7 May 2020

UPS drivers and sorters are working without proper PPE and health benefits, while management and the Teamsters union are concealing information about the spread of the virus, which has killed at least two workers.

Communication Workers Union folds 48 hours after Royal Mail threatens 20,000 jobs

By Thomas Scripps, 2 May 2020

Having initially warned of strike action against the ending of Saturday deliveries, the CWU organised a shameless retreat.

Despite over 100 transit worker deaths, New York Governor Cuomo and MTA push for unsafe return to work

By Sam Dalton, 30 April 2020

As Cuomo begins his push for a return to work and deflects blame to the city’s homeless population, the governor’s office and the MTA renew criminal efforts to convince workers they will return to safe working conditions.

Workers at Dublin Bus rebel at lack of personal protective equipment

By Dermot Byrne, 27 April 2020

One Irish driver explained: “There is a general feeling the union doesn’t act in the interests of the bus workers.”

Detroit bus drivers and riders exposed to COVID-19

By Stephen Fuller, 27 April 2020

One-quarter of the residents of the Motor City cannot afford a car and many are forced to ride public buses, which have become a conduit for the spread of deadly disease.

London bus drivers say: “Give public transport workers protection or shut it down”

By Miles Driver and Laura Tiernan, 24 April 2020

Drivers told the WSWS about the unsafe working conditions being enforced by the Johnson government, private bus operators, Transport for London and London Labour Party Mayor Sadiq Khan, in collaboration with the unions.

New York City transit workers must form rank-and-file committees to save their lives!

By Daniel de Vries, 24 April 2020

As officials move towards reopening the economy, four New York City transit workers a day are dying.

Twenty-nine London transport workers dead from COVID-19, as anger rises over unsafe working conditions

By Laura Tiernan, 23 April 2020

More than six weeks after the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic, London bus drivers say they are being treated as an “expendable commodity.”

Canada: Fired for criticizing lack of PPE, Edmonton bus driver speaks out

“I got no action to support me from the union”

By Janet Browning, 23 April 2020

Kelly Green, an Edmonton Transit Service bus driver, has been fired for demanding personal protective equipment to safeguard transit workers and passengers from COVID-19.

Walkouts by Canadian transit workers protest lack of COVID-19 protections

By Carl Bronski, 20 April 2020

After walkouts by transit workers in Toronto and Montreal, rank-and-file workers in Edmonton are planning a work stoppage and circulating a petition.

Truck drivers, logistics workers face high risk from COVID-19 exposure

By Steve Filips, 20 April 2020

Essential workers such as long-haul drivers and freight service workers face a high risk of infection due to increased workloads and lack of basic safety protections.

999 Detroit bus drivers and coronavirus

20 April 2020

As transit worker deaths continue rising, MTA promises families $500,000 in blood money

By Sam Dalton, 17 April 2020

On Tuesday, the MTA’s official COVID-19 death toll stood at 59. At least 2,269 transit workers have tested positive for the virus.

Munich tram drivers speak out on dangerous conditions during coronavirus pandemic

By our reporters, 16 April 2020

Reports from two tram drivers illustrate the irresponsible actions of the MVG management putting workers at increased risk of infection and death.

Transit agencies and governments continue to expose workers and riders to coronavirus pandemic internationally

By Sam Dalton, 14 April 2020

Transit workers are both dying from and increasingly rebelling against the withholding of adequate safety measures by the transit agencies and state officials.

UPS Worldport employee in Louisville, Kentucky dies from COVID-19

By Steve Filips, 10 April 2020

Relatives said the 55-year-old worker, Roml Ellis, had been infected with COVID-19, although UPS management has refused to confirm the cause of death citing “privacy.”

Mounting opposition among German health care, industrial workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 4 April 2020

The German government has implemented a bailout program for major companies and banks, but health care and industrial workers are forced to work under catastrophic conditions.

Australia: Melbourne rail union promotes sellout industrial agreement

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 April 2020

The union bureaucracy cynically invoked the COVID-19 pandemic to justify the proposed deal.

Ten New York City transit workers die of COVID-19

By Sam Dalton, 2 April 2020

More New York City transit workers are sick and dying as work continues without protective equipment.

Coronavirus death toll extends to New York transit workers

By Daniel de Vries, 28 March 2020

The two deaths Thursday are the direct result of the criminally negligent response by the MTA in collaboration with the union.

Nearly two dozen New York City transit workers test positive for COVID-19

By Sam Dalton, 21 March 2020

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has responded by continuing to ignore basic health precautions, risking the lives of workers, their families and the general public.

Rideshare drivers speak out on working conditions during coronavirus pandemic

By Shuvu Batta, 21 March 2020

“I can’t stop driving for even a day because I can’t afford my bills. It’s a form of slave labor.”

Drivers shut down Detroit bus system with sick-out over health and safety concerns during coronavirus outbreak

By Kevin Reed, 20 March 2020

Bus drivers took matters into their own hands in Detroit on Tuesday morning and shut down the city’s public transportation system to demand sanitary conditions.

999 Low participation in France transport strike

19 February 2020

Financial board demands new cuts, privatizations in Boston transit system

By Andrew Timon, 12 February 2020

The FMCB is proceeding with further budget cuts, privatizations and fixation on capital delivery, all of which have been found to be the main factors behind abhorrent safety in nearly all sectors of the MBTA’s operations.

Tram drivers’ strike and protest in Melbourne, Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 January 2020

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has done everything within its power to isolate the workers and subordinate them to both the state Labor government and the antidemocratic Fair Work industrial regime.

Mass abstention as union pushes through New York City transit contract

By Alan Whyte, 16 January 2020

The vast majority of New York City transit workers boycotted a vote on a concessions contact backed by the Transport Workers Union.

7 January 2020

As the Transport Workers Union attempts to push through major concessions

New York City transit workers speak out about workplace dangers and attacks on health care

By Daniel de Vries, 30 December 2019

While the TWU has tried to hide the extent of the concessions, the reality is that the agreement contains $44 million in health care and other givebacks.

DC Transit Authority and union approve public workers’ contract, isolating striking private transit workers

By Nick Barrickman, 27 December 2019

Despite the contract’s promise to end privatization at the transit authority, it does nothing to end the attacks on metro workers.

At what human cost?

Amazon Logistics set to surpass delivery volume of FedEx, UPS by 2022

By Kayla Costa, 21 December 2019

The advanced techniques of workplace exploitation along with low wages and breakneck conditions that have made Amazon notorious are being set as the standard for the entire logistics industry.

Amalgamated Transit Union forces 130 striking Northern Virginia Transit Workers back to work without an agreement

By Harvey Simpkins, 20 December 2019

The 130 Transdev workers have been sent back to work after two months on the picket line without any agreement on key outstanding issues including wages, vacations, sick leave or retirement.

Australia: Melbourne train and tram workers isolated by trade unions

By Patrick O’Connor and Steve Strietberg, 19 December 2019

The union has organised nothing but token industrial action, while keeping workers in the dark and subordinating them to draconian Fair Work industrial laws.

Vote “No” on the TWU sellout contract!

Form rank-and-file committees to defend New York City transit workers!

By WSWS Transit Worker Newsletter, 18 December 2019

To defend jobs and living standards, transit workers must build new organizations of struggle to oppose the gang-up of the MTA, the Cuomo administration and the TWU.

“The union bosses tell us they are fighting for us while they sell us out”

New York City transit workers denounce union-backed tentative agreement

By Alan Whyte, 12 December 2019

The newly published Memorandum of Agreement between the TWU and the MTA seeks to incorporate the union into management, increase the transit agency’s exploitation of workers and financially reward the union bureaucracy.

Holiday shipping season begins with deaths of two UPS workers at California airport

By Steve Filips, 12 December 2019

As the holiday shipping season began, two young UPS workers were killed late last month when the cargo tugging vehicle they were riding overturned at the Ontario International Airport in California.

Union moves to end Washington DC-area transit strike, agrees to cost-cutting deal

By Nick Barrickman, 11 December 2019

The Amalgamated Transit Union’s deal with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority leaves open the possibility of low pay and attacks working conditions.

100 Northern Virginia transit strike

9 December 2019

New York transit union offers massive concessions to block strike

By Alan Whyte and Daniel de Vries, 9 December 2019

The tentative agreement agreed by the union seeks to stifle any movement by New York’s subway and bus workers against the demands of the Democratic Party for major cuts.

Northern Virginia transit worker strike spreads as 600 Fairfax Connector workers join 130 Metrobus workers on strike against Transdev

By Harvey Simpkins, 7 December 2019

The ATU is seeking to limit the Fairfax Connector strike as much as possible, stating that the strike is over “unfair labor practices” and “bad faith bargaining” committed by the Company. It has offered no official demands.

999 MTA cuts deal to avoid strike

7 December 2019

UK: South West Rail workers begin month-long strike to defend jobs and conditions.

By Robert Stevens, 4 December 2019

The strike is the longest called by the RMT union in a bitter four-year fight by rail workers to stop DOO and is the longest rail strike in British history.

Job actions by New York City transit workers

By Alan Whyte, 27 November 2019

The union organized the slowdown because it fears it will be unable to impose the demands of the Democratic Party-run transit agency without provoking a rebellion by workers.

Teamsters shut down CN Rail strike, praise Canada’s big business Liberal government

By Keith Jones, 27 November 2019

Everything suggests the union abandoned all, or at least most, of the CN Rail workers’ key demands in their rush to shut down the strike and avert a confrontation with the federal Liberal government.

West Midland Trains workers escalate fight against strike-breaking operation

By Michael Barnes, 23 November 2019

The WMT strike is the latest in an almost four-year battle by workers at the UK’s private rail franchises to forge a unified struggle between drivers and conductors.

As corporate Canada calls for strike-breaking legislation

CN Rail workers continue fight against onerous working conditions

By Carl Bronski, 22 November 2019

Demands have been made from all quarters of the corporate elite for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to quickly bring in back-to-work legislation criminalizing the four-day-old strike.

Washington, DC area transit workers call for expansion of fight as strike enters fourth week

By Nick Barrickman, 20 November 2019

Bus drivers opposing privatizations and poverty pay must defy the Amalgamated Transit Union’s effort to divide and weaken their struggle.

Australia: All Sydney bus services to be privatised within two years

By Martin Scott, 9 November 2019

Thousands of drivers and other workers face an uncertain future as the state government continues the sell-off of public transport.