Winter of Our Discontent

Nurses march in front of the Montefiore Medical Center on the second day of their strike, January 10, 2023. It was the biggest nurses’ strike in decades in New York City. (Selcuk Acar / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

January 9–12

Nurses in Manhattan and the Bronx walked off the job for three days in January to demand a contract that would assign more workers to each patient — the latest in a wave of nurses’ strikes over staffing ratios. The ratified agreement addresses understaffing and also increases nurses’ pay by 19% over the next three years.

  • Company: Mount Sinai Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Union: New York State Nurses Association
  • Strike length: 3 days
  • Workers: 7,000

January 7

Workers at an agricultural machinery company voted against a tentative four-year agreement, the first contract vote in their more than eight months on the picket line. Union members reportedly declined the contract due to its lack of improvement to health care coverage, failure to increase vacation days, and subinflationary wage increases.

  • Company: CNH Industrial
  • Union: UAW Local 807 and UAW Local 180
  • Strike length: 8 months
  • Workers: 1,000

December 1–present

Coal miners at Warrior Met reached the 20-month mark on the picket line in early December, having officially spent more than 1.5 years on strike since first walking off the job on April 1, 2021, seeking higher wages and the restoration of leave and health care benefits lost to cost-saving measures in 2016.

  • Company: Warrior Met Coal
  • Union: United Mine Workers of America
  • Strike length: Ongoing
  • Workers: 500

November 28–December 22

In December, 20 workers at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram won the only union contract at a Texas newspaper. The contract includes a higher wage floor, more generous leave policies, and other concessions — though employees remain rankled by other aspects of the contract, like the fact that workers who give birth via C-section will receive longer leave times than those who give birth vaginally.

  • Company: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Union: NewsGuild-CWA
  • Strike length: 24 days
  • Workers: 20

November 20

Nurses in California narrowly averted what would have been the biggest private sector nurse strike in history — planned for November 21–22 — after reaching a last-minute agreement that includes a 22.5% wage increase across four years and the addition of 2,000 nurses to combat chronic understaffing.

  • Company: Kaiser Permanente
  • Union: California Nurses Association
  • Strike length: 0 days
  • Workers: 21,000

November 16–December 10

Adjunct faculty at the New School in Manhattan reached an agreement after three contentious weeks on the picket line. The new contract raises pay across the board, with the biggest increases at Mannes Prep, a music conservatory, where adjuncts will receive a 31% wage increase in the contract’s first year.

  • Company: The New School
  • Union: ACT-UAW Local 7902
  • Strike length: 3 weeks
  • Workers: 1,600

November 14–December 23

The largest strike of the year came to an end after graduate students and academic workers across California agreed to a new contract that raises starting salaries by as much as $13,000, improves health care and childcare benefits, and offers additional financial support to workers in the most expensive regions of the state, among other provisions.

  • Company: University of California
  • Union: UAW Local 2865, UAW Local 5810, SRU-UAW
  • Strike length: 6 weeks
  • Workers: 48,000

October 6–present

A lockout at an Alabama paper mill stretched into its third month in January as negotiations regarding a new contract stalled. The lockout began in October, when workers refused to have their right to overtime purchased from them with a onetime $28,000 lump sum.

  • Company: WestRock
  • Union: United Steelworkers
  • Strike length: Ongoing
  • Workers: 500

November 10–Present

Workers at the publishing house HarperCollins, the only “Big Five” publisher with any unionized employees, embarked on a strike to demand a contract that will raise the starting salary from $45,000 to $50,000, address a lack of in-house diversity, and make the union a closed shop.

  • Company: HarperCollins
  • Union: UAW Local 2110
  • Strike length: Ongoing
  • Workers: 250