Workdays Lost to Strikes at Highest in 23 Years

Labor Department counts 4.1 million days of missed work last month alone
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2023 2:09 PM CDT
Workdays Lost to Strikes at Highest in 23 Years
Picketers participate in a rally outside Paramount Pictures Studio on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Los Angeles. The film and television industries remain paralyzed by Hollywood's dual actors and screenwriters strikes.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Last week's decision by the United Auto Workers to launch a strike isn't exactly an outlier. The Wall Street Journal reports that the US logged 4.1 million missed days of work because of labor strikes last month alone—the highest such monthly figure since August 2000. The stat comes from the Labor Department. The other big strike at the moment, of course, is the one going on in Hollywood. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Writers Guild of America have more than 171,000 combined members.

For context, David Leonhardt of the New York Times notes that the recent uptick in labor strikes is far from unprecedented—roughly 10% of the workforce went on strike at some point in the 12 months after the end of World War II. What's more, the American public seems to be on board with unions, reports Insider. It cites a Gallup poll from August showing that 67% of Americans approved of labor unions. (More labor strike stories.)

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