The labor force in the United States experienced an uptick in worker strikes and related activities in 2019. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the number of large strikes rose from 16 to 23, and the number of overall work stoppages increased from 279 to 424. The industries that saw the greatest number of strikes were food and accommodations and education. Fast-food workers affiliated with the Fight for $15 campaign accounted for 135,000 strike days. Education workers accounted for an additional 2.5 million strike days. The primary motivators for workers going on strike included better pay, improved health and safety, and more staffing.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments for a case that could reduce workers’ ability to strike. The decision is expected later this year. It remains to be seen how the outcome of this case would affect the strike activities of workers in the United States.