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Jan 16, 19

Striking Teachers Push Back Against Scabs in Los Angeles

Today was the second day of the Los Angeles teacher strike, as tens of thousands of teachers, who have not struck in 30 years, continued to strike against over crowded classrooms, low wages, and lack of access to adequate resources. On Monday, close to 50,000 people took to the streets of the city, shutting down traffic and marching on the school board office.

As Splinter wrote:

The strike comes amidst a decade-long influx of charter schools in Los Angeles and historic underfunding that have left the students, 90 percent of whom are non-white, without librarians or nurses and forced teachers to flee to higher-paying jobs in nearby districts. According to the local CBS station, the strike was called after 21 months of failed negotiations between UTLA and the district.

Teachers on social media were also quick to point out that the district had money to hire scabs to break the strike, but refuses to meet their demands.

According to Splinter:

In preparation for the strike, the school hired 400 substitutes and convinced 2,000 administrators to be scabs and fill in for striking teachers.

As boingboing wrote:

[The school administration has raised] $3 millionto pay “teachers, campus aides, special education assistants, nurses and teachers aides” sourced through at least five temp agencies.

The 400 will be joined by 2,000 non-teachers-union LAUSD employees with teaching credentials who do not currently teach (these employees may end up sympathy striking instead). 4,400 more scabs are lined up and ready to go if the strike continues.

The scabs will be paid steep premiums for crossing the picket line: for example, union K-12 substitute teachers make $190/day, while the scabs who replace them will make $227-$315/day.

Striking teachers haven’t been taking this attempt to break the strike lying down though, as seen in various video released on Tuesday, teachers have been successful in blocking scabs from coming onto school grounds.

This activity: keeping scabs from coming to work to break the strike, is going to be critical if the strike is to succeed, and another reason why those looking to support the strike must also join the pickets in solidarity.

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