Jonah Furman

Especially for professional workers, when your main strike issue is pay, attracting public support can be a challenge.

Savvy employers paint union members as spoiled. They like to point out that you’re already making more than many of your nonunion neighbors.

Yet when 1,800 nurses and technical staff struck for better wages July 12-13 at the state’s second-largest employer, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the people of Burlington came out in force to back them up.

Another big nurse strike this summer drew momentum from a surprising source—a hard-fought internal union election that ended in a toss-up between two factions.

At Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, 2,400 nurses and other professionals walked off the job July 23. After enduring a 10-year freeze on starting pay, they want a raise to help attract more nurses.

You’ve read about the teacher strikes in West Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado… but what about Puerto Rico? Fighting to keep the island’s public schools open in the wake of Hurricane Maria, teachers there are boycotting standardized tests and even teaming up with parents to occupy their schools.

Seventy five thousand teachers and allies in red shirts flooded the streets of Phoenix as Arizona educators launched a statewide walkout on April 26 for increased school funding and raises for all school employees.