Beyond Twinkies: Why More Workers Are Striking

November 21, 2012 – In The News

Analysts believe that employees are resorting to strike because they feel they’ve had enough when it comes to issues over pay, hour and benefits.

“Many American workers are questioning the concept of upward mobility and whether they can move up financially,” said Jim Matthews, a partner at Fox Rothschild and co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment practice. “So, they’re saying that ‘if we are back in the working class then we are going to be a more active working class.’”

Striking Hostess workers admitted that the walkout could push the company into liquidation – and the loss of some 18,500 jobs. But an employee who walked out at a Hostess plant in Seattle, Washington told reporters last week that “we know we will probably lose our jobs, but if we accept these concessions, standards for bakers and other workers will keep going down. We are taking it on the chin for workers all over.”

That kind of unity is creating a new wave of worker activity according to Matthews.

“If workers feel they have the same contact as others in their industry, they may feel like there’s less of a race to the bottom, said Matthews who said he usually deals on the management side of labor issues. “And workers are saying to companies, ‘why do we have to take cuts when other parts of your business, like suppliers are not. Why is it on our backs?’”