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Is the West Virginia teachers’ strike the future of American labor?


Amy Neal (AFT-WV in Cabell County)


(CNN) – As the West Virginia teachers’ strike enters its second week, there is a growing sense in progressive circles — and among organized labor activists — that what’s happening in the Mountain State could mark the beginning of a movement that transcends the current impasse.

To start, there are now reports that teachers in Oklahoma, where Facebook has emerged as an organizing hub, and other states are considering similar action. But more than the potential domino effect, it is the durability of the now eight-day-long “wildcat strike” that has implications beyond West Virginia’s borders.

With the Supreme Court, which last week heard arguments in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, possibly on deck to cripple public sector unions around the country in June by banning the collection of mandatory dues, labor groups — stripped of their traditional bargaining powers — are being pushed toward new and more aggressive forms of collective action.