Oakland teachers hold second wildcat “sickout,” call for statewide strike with Los Angeles teachers


Oakland teachers hold second wildcat “sickout,” call for statewide strike with Los Angeles teachers

Jonathan Burleigh

19 January 2019

In a demonstration of independent initiative and defiance of the state-sponsored contract negotiations process, hundreds of Oakland teachers conducted a one-day wildcat “sickout,” Friday. The majority of teachers at nine schools called in sick and picketed outside Oakland Technical High School, where students and community members joined them in solidarity.

The crowd of over 500 people marched two miles down Broadway Avenue and rallied outside Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) headquarters downtown, demanding full funding for education, a raise in teachers’ pay and the halting of all school closures.

Part of the rally in Oakland

The sickout is part of the growing international upsurge of the working class in 2019. It takes place as over 30,000 teachers are striking in Los Angeles, over 70,000 Mexican “maquiladora” workers are engaged in a wildcat strike in open defiance of their union, a general strike of 700,000 public sector workers is shaking Tunisia, and as the “Yellow Vest” protesters in France prepare for their tenth week of confrontations with the French police and state apparatus.

These struggles are a continuation and deepening of the militant struggles that took place in 2018, including the statewide wildcat strikes by teachers in West Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma and other states in the US.

In almost every major struggle of the working class in the recent period, workers have organized themselves independently of the trade unions, which have served to repress the class struggle globally for decades. Oakland teachers have been working without a contract since July 2017 and have begun to take independent…

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