West Virginia teachers have shown that despite the failure of politicians to protect the rights of working people to organize, working people standing together are unstoppable. Striking teachers have shown that no court case or legislation can stop the power of solidarity and the willingness to stand up for justice.
West Virginia is among the handful of “right to work-for less” states, a fate that may soon be shared by California after the Supreme Court rules on Janus v AFSCME.
West Virginia’s anti-worker laws didn’t stop nearly 2,000 teachers from striking for two weeks and flexing their collective power. Filling the state capitol and closing schools in 55 counties, the teachers were joined by their students, parents, and other public workers to demand politicians prioritize investing in public education instead of tax breaks for corporations.
Today the teachers announced that they will return to work tomorrow after the governor signed an agreement that provides 5% raises to not just teachers but also other state workers. We could all learn a lesson in solidarity and the power of sticking together from our sisters and brothers in West Virginia.