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Fifty-five strong

Teachers in West Virginia are protesting for better wages for all fifty-five countries

Brandon Majors, Staff Writer

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Possibly the most significant worker strike in the United States has finally ended in West Virginia. As teachers crowded the streets with signs, they started chanting about how they want an increase in pay and health care benefits. The state has never had anything this big happen in several years. It was not just one school to protesting, but just about every school in the entire state.

Teachers were soon joined by students that were willing to stand up to help out their fellow educators in receiving better wages. The state, never being overruled like this before, had come to a conclusion to raise the teachers’ and other public workers’ wages by five percent. The teachers accepted this offer from the state legislature and stopped the illegal protests. This movement has started so much craze that now, people from all over are starting to provide support to the country’s weakened labor movement, and are talking about it. Since the word is getting out, now there are similar strikes happening across the country to do the same thing.

The state of West Virginia has a very strict policy preventing something like this from occurring under any circumstances. The state mainly doesn’t allow this because they do not want schools to be shut down from strikes. Because of this strike, schools were shut down every Wednesday for the protest. Although tons of students were involved in helping the teachers protest, it could/will effect them greatly. By missing so many days, the state had to act fast on the issue or else the students would not be able to graduate on time.

Striking for better wages and health care benefits did not just come out of the blue for the people of West Virginia, but it rather took two months to form. When they decided to finally strike, they had worked out tons of possibilities that helped them in being so successful.

Within the last few strikes that the teachers have tried in West Virginia, 47/55 counties have been included. After this past strike, teachers had marched with signs stating “55 Strong,” on them to try to get all of the countries involved.

However, one of the worst parts in all of this strike is that it did not involve the school cafeteria workers. The cafeteria workers will not receive any of the benefits that the teachers are receiving.

Trying to weaken the teacher’s hand and make it seem like they weren’t as powerful, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice had traveled the state trying to convince schools to reopen. They knew his plan and refused leaving them with the power which lead to them to win the fight with strikes.

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