Today, the 99 Percenters across the pond are out in force, with nearly 2 million public sector employees in the United Kingdom going on strike to protest austerity policies that would slash public worker pensions and raise the retirement age. Sixty percent of schools are closed and 6,000 out of 30,000 non-urgent operations of the National Health Service have been canceled. Not since 1979 has Britain seen such an enormous strike. Watch Sky News’s report about the strike and the resulting marches:
While the British 99 Percent can utilize this large-scale public sector strike to pressure their government, this option is all but unavailable to Americans. According to United States Code: Title 5,7311, federal employees are not allowed to strike against their government. Meanwhile, the anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act makes it so that “a general strike in support of other workers is illegal.” This network of anti-labor laws has made it very difficult for 99 Percenters in Americans to utilize organized labor to fight for more rights in modern history, and is one reason why reforming labor laws is so important for American democracy.