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The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf


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Victoria Gillard
Victoria Gillard
Humor Editor & Social Media

Union strikes across country affect some TuHS workers

Art by Lea Olivares Raudes

Amidst the suffering of American employees, labor strikes have risen as a powerful tactic to empower their usually oppressed voices. Many agree now is the time for impact, action and change in these overlooked and overworked communities. Since the beginning of 2023, multiple strikes have gained attention from the media, the people, and the companies they are opposing. There has been progress made in the United Auto Workers (UAW), Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA unions. 

Since the beginning of their decision to strike, the UAW is on its seventh week of protesting and picketing against the car manufacturing companies GM, Ford and Celantis, primarily in the states of Michigan and Illinois. The union’s hope is to receive a wage increase, retirement health care and job security amid the manufacturers’ transition into producing electric vehicles. As of press time, the union chief believes they are far from creating any sort of agreement. Shawn Fain, UAW president, is now recruiting around 7,000 workers to go on strike to support their claims amid ongoing contract negotiations. 

On the contrary, a recent success accomplished by the WGA was meeting at the bargaining table with notable representation from Bob Eiger, CEO of Disney Ted Serendos, Netflix Co-CEO, Donna Langley, Universal Pictures Chairman, and David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros Discovery. This two-day meeting led to a finalized resolution with the Hollywood media, which then led to the finalization of the strike. Union leadership of the WGA announced after daily meetings with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), that they had decided on a tentative agreement. 

This deal – which will last until May 2026 if the contract is ratified – includes a 5 percent minimum pay increase with minor increases in 2024 and 2025. It also entails that AI will not create or rewrite any literary material and will not be considered a dependent source of material. The writers refused to be replaced by AI, as well as the SAG, but the SAG’s demands in this subject are rather different. The screen actors want regulations for self-taped auditions and qualified specialists and hairdressers for performers of color. 

These unions’ hard work has had an impact globally. Though it may be behind the scenes, their work has had a substantial impact on Tualatin. Regal 18, a theater located in the Bridgeport Mall, is directly related to the corporations whose workers are striking. There have been countless movie premieres postponed or even left to be determined, as well as a plummet in profit. 

TuHS grad Emma McGuire, an employee of Regal 18, has witnessed the results of these strikes firsthand.

“The amount of hours that we can make as a local business is determined by corporate,” McGuire said. “They can tell us that you made this much money this weekend or you have this many tickets sold this weekend, and this affects our business’s form of payment.  So the less hours we get and the less movies we have showing directly impacts the amount of hours our bosses can even give us to work and the amount of money we can make.” 

McGuire has experienced the struggle with consistent pay and hours, which reflects just how much these strikes have affected her work environment and Regal as a hub for entertainment and as a business. 

Teachers within our community have had similar struggles. Although they are not currently on strike, they have their own systems that help filter their complaints in an efficient and effective manner. Tualatin High School teachers Dustin O’Donnell, Jessica Porter and Jennifer Woebke are TuHS representatives for this union that advocates for the voices of licensed staff in the district.O’Donnell shared his perspective on the value of the union. 

“I think that teaching can be a very difficult profession. There might be more pressure put upon [teachers by] themselves or from outside themselves. People might not always have a clear understanding of their rights in this position,” O’Donnell said. “I enjoy hearing people out about their complaints and making them feel heard and supported. This is a good thing. I like being there for colleagues in any way that I can. The reason that they would come to me is because of a problem or need for support, rather than a simple question.” All in all, these ongoing strikes serve as a testament to the influence and impact that labor groups hold in our society. They are a strong reminder of how unified voices may have a gut-punching effect and influence on people worldwide. 

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Lea Olivares Raudes, Staff Writer & Graphics Team

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