Actor and writer strkers (Photo credit: shutterstock.com / Ringo Chiu)
American workers have had enough.
As inflation and the cost of living continue to set record highs, corporations are paying more attention to the bottom line and ways to get the most production for the least amount of money. Mix this age-old business practice with game-changing technology like artificial intelligence and you have a world where employers prefer to pay a one-time fee for a machine as opposed to a recurring salary for a human being.
Many reasons for the writers strike, and actors joining them on picket lines for first time in 63 years. The threat of an unregulated use of AI a big one where studios can scan & replicate performers to cut costs. Bryan Cranston here perfectly articulating why it’s a problem. pic.twitter.com/D9dJgGnrVb
— Omid Djalili (@omid9) August 30, 2023
Over Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta, as Dragon Con, a convention focusing on anime and cosplay culture came to town, Dunkin’, formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts, walked out and delivered a strike notice.
“It’s the beginning of Dragon Con,” one striker said. “It was already a busy morning. It’s going to get busier today. Dunkin’ Donuts is going to make a lot of money, they’re going to make hundreds of thousands of dollars today, and they don’t want to give us workers any type of raise or bonus for working this weekend. It’s just not fair to the workers. We’ve had enough. We’re walking out and letting them handle the rest of them.”
TODAY: @DunkinDonuts workers in Atlanta, GA walked off the job ON STRIKE. Workers are fed up with being overworked, underpaid, and receiving crumbs. We’re demanding a fair share of the profits we create.#OrganizetheSouth #UnionsforAll #SolidaritySeason pic.twitter.com/fcvFUVJc1R
— Union of Southern Service Workers (@RaiseUptheSouth) August 31, 2023
The announcement was posted by the Union of Southern Service Workers, the same organization Waffle House employees have gone on strike under in 2023. Some of the workers appeared at Atlanta’s “cop city” protests because the corporation helped fund the proposed project while workers still worked well below livable wages with less-than-ideal benefits.
Atlanta protestor Gerald Green speaks against ‘Cop City’ outside City Hall on June 5. (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)
Throughout the summer, UPS workers were on strike for more protection and better pay for all workers within the company. According to Forbes in an Aug. 26 report, the strike was averted as the Teamsters union reached a five-year deal with UPS. The new contract includes wage increases and new protections for employees working in high temperatures.
Over the holiday weekend, America and Southwest Airlines’ workers have chosen to strike. The union has yet to reach a new contract with the company’s pilots or flight attendants. For American, it’s the flight attendants and for Southwest, it’s the pilots. Both groups have voted “overwhelmingly” in favor of a strike on Aug. 31.
“It feels like we’ve gone so far backward that we have to fight just to have the 40-hour work week back,” United Aerospace Workers president Shawn Fain said. “Why is that? So another a—— can make enough money to shoot himself to the moon?”
Shawn Fain, president of @UAW, is changing what it means to be a fighting union.
Speaking to thousands of autoworkers, he said: “Billionaires, in my opinion, don’t have a right to exist.” pic.twitter.com/ZhFls8oKHP
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) September 1, 2023
In addition to the historic synchronized strike for Hollywood actors and writers, the first in over 50 years, journalists are also on strike. Workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have been on strike since October 2022. Philadelphia Inquirer workers have reached a three-year agreement with the company on Sept. 1, while workers for Gannett’s USA Today Network, walked out in large numbers in June.
We just filed a discrimination grievance against The Philadelphia Inquirer.
One of our Black members is paid less than a less-experienced white colleague who is performing the same job. We’ve tried for months to get the company to correct this. The Inquirer has refused to do so.
— The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia (@PhillyNewsGuild) February 17, 2022
Rental property increases have finally slowed down after reaching record highs in 2022, according to multiple financial reports. Food prices have also continued to rise, but are increasing at a slower rate in 2023 than how they were rising in 2022, according to NerdWallet. Food prices rose 4.9 percent between July 2022 and July 2023, according to the consumer price index.
Source: Rolling Out