From the time of the W. VA. teachers’ strike, Oaklandsocialist has been raising the possibility of a strike wave. That was because wages were lagging but unemployment was pretty low, and both for some years. Now, it’s more than in the offing; it’s here, and for the first time in decades. That, in itself, is important enough. But now it seems that the Steelworkers might be going out on strike. That has double importance. Triple actually.
Part of it is just as part of the strike wave itself.
Second is the fact that many of the steelworkers were at the base of Trump’s blue collar support. It’s a virtual certainty that he won’t support the strikers (assuming they do go out). That will have a huge impact on those of them who supported him.
Third is the fact of the traditional role of the industrial sector of the working class. Historically, it’s been that sector that has most clearly carried the traditions of the class struggle. But in the US for decades now, their role has been reversed. Due to the wave of runaway shops and plant closings, the industrial workers (e.g. auto workers) have in many ways been at the tail end of the labor movement. Could a strike of steelworkers start to reverse this and vault them to its head? What impact would that have as far as starting to develop a true working class party?