In San Francisco, Tenants Use Labor Tactics to Challenge Their Landlords

Auto workers in Detroit. Actors and screenwriters in Hollywood. Teachers in Portland, Ore.

During a wave of labor unrest over the past year in which more than 500,000 American workers went on strike, a small group of San Franciscans has brought a similar vein of activism to a different arena: their homes.

Tenants in 65 San Francisco households have been on a rent strike, some for nearly eight months, withholding their monthly payments over a host of issues they say have made their living conditions difficult .

A handful of rent strikes have occurred before in New York City and Los Angeles. But activists, with renewed fervor, are now trying to organize tenants around the nation, saying that corporations, rather than mom-and-pop landlords, are increasingly buying up apartments and not taking care of the units.

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