Strikes have swept the nation this spring and summer. Between May 1 and mid-June, reports the Federal Mediation Service, there were 523 strikes involving 308,000 workers, the highest totals for this period in fifteen years. And these figures do not count the hundreds of smaller strikes or labor-management clashes involving public employees.
Take a look at just some of the outs.
*30,000 copper workers have struck five companies across the country.
*7,800 autoworkers struck a GM assembly plant in Ohio laying off an additional 1200 workers at an adjacent fabricating plant. 5700 GM workers are also out on strike in St. Louis as of July 16.
*In Baltimore, 4500 city employees including garbage collectors, prison guards, and 1200 out of the 2400-member police department, were out for a total of fifteen days.
*The first Amalgamated Clothing Workers strike in 53 years took place in June with 110,000 clothing workers nation-wide out on the picket line.
*A machinists strike grounded National Airlines on July 7th.
*By mid-May there were 113 strikes at construction sites across the country, involving 68,000 workers.
*ln the San Franciso Bay area, 1500 bus drivers and other transit workers struck on My 1, and a three week long nurses strike in June affected 43 area hospitals with over 4000 nurses out.
"We have 235 mediators and we have two strikes per mediator," said a spokesman for the Federal Mediation Service. "Our guys are being run ragged."