Health & Safety at Work
By Tom Carter and Shuvu Batta, 10 June 2020
“There are people that have been gone for weeks, and people who have been gone who never came back.”
By Jacob Crosse, 10 June 2020
Working with United Steelworkers Local 1301, Bridgestone has continued production despite rising infections among workers and the surrounding community.
By Jessica Goldstein, 10 June 2020
Three new cases of coronavirus were confirmed among workers at General Motors’ assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, in recent days.
By our correspondents, 10 June 2020
India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have all recorded dramatic increases in COVID-19 infections and deaths over the past week.
By Roger Jordan, 10 June 2020
The Liberal government is spearheading a homicidal back-to-work drive that prioritizes big business profit over workers’ lives.
By Tania Kent, 10 June 2020
The temporary retreat is a credit to the millions of parents and educators who opposed the government and acted in defiance of the trade unions.
By Bryan Dyne, 9 June 2020
More than 400,000 men, women and children have lost their lives from COVID-19 and the lives of countless millions more remain in danger as the number of cases continues to grow.
By Paul Lee, 9 June 2020
Workers have faced threats of disciplinary action such as “wilful delay of the mail,” which can lead to instant dismissal.
By Robert Stevens, 9 June 2020
Since imposing a lockdown on March 23, Johnson and government ministers have proclaimed keeping the “R” rate below 1 as the precondition for ending the lockdown. But ending the lockdown continues.
By Janet Browning, 5 June 2020
Kenney’s callous remark is part of his government’s reckless back-to-work policy, and underscores the broad support within Canada’s ruling elite for a criminal “herd immunity” strategy.
By Tania Kent, 5 June 2020
In response to a Zoom webinar held by the National Education Union on Wednesday—two days after the re-opening of schools—many educators on Facebook expressed hostility to the inaction of the union.
By Laura Tiernan, 5 June 2020
Unite has signed off on the Johnson government’s COVID-19 transport plan despite the serious and imminent danger it poses to drivers and the travelling public.
By Andy Thompson, 5 June 2020
Over the past several decades college sports has become a multibillion-dollar industry and has made athletics the center of revenue and funding plans in most major US universities.
By Katy Kinner, 4 June 2020
WSWS reporters spoke to nurses across the US who shared their anger and frustration over governmental and employer neglect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
By W. A. Sunil, 4 June 2020
While hospital workers across all grades and union affiliations participated in the protests the unions are seeking to head off a confrontation with the government.
By Joe Mount, 4 June 2020
Several call centre workers have lost their lives to COVID-19, with thousands in fear that their health and safety is being jeopardised.
By Kevin Reed, 3 June 2020
The announcement rescinds the stay-at-home order, along with a series of other restrictions even though most of the state remains in the “flattening” phase of the pandemic.
By Carl Bronski, 3 June 2020
The reckless back-to-work drive across Canada is already producing new outbreaks of the potentially deadly coronavirus.
By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 3 June 2020
The Socialist Equality Party opposes the profit-driven “back-to-work” campaign as the global COVID-19 pandemic worsens and fresh outbreaks appear across the country.
By Alex Johnson, 2 June 2020
Nurses protests are erupting under conditions where hospitals across the country are denying access to personal protective equipment in the pandemic and have already laid off thousands of health care workers.
By Christopher Davion, 2 June 2020
Meatpacking plants continue to be a major source of COVID-19 transmission in US Midwestern states.
By Omar Ali, 1 June 2020
More than 2,000 nurses in British Columbia have filed complaints about the lack of personal protective equipment.
By Shannon Jones, 30 May 2020
Several B Crew workers at Fiat Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit fell ill from unknown causes during work on Thursday.
By Ulrich Rippert, 30 May 2020
Workers highlight the lack of safety measures in public transit and factories.
Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 30 May 2020
The “phased” return of school children is a criminal policy that places children, teachers, families, and communities open to the risk of serious illness and death.
By Douglas Lyons and Nick Barrickman, 29 May 2020
Reporters at nearly a dozen local news stations in the US dutifully read from scripts prepared by Amazon while broadcasting public relations videos prepared and edited by the company.
By Ali Elhassan, 29 May 2020
The New York State Nurses Association is promoting the illusion that the political establishment responsible for jeopardizing the health of the population and frontline health care workers can be pressured into adopting socially responsible policies.
By Robert Stevens and Ben Trent, 29 May 2020
The outbreak reveals the enormous dangers to the health and lives of National Health Service workers.
29 May 2020
The WSWS Teacher Newsletter has received this letter from a high school AP Biology teacher in the Bay Area, California for publication.
By Oscar Grenfell, 29 May 2020
The unions have committed to a sweeping pro-business overhaul of workplace conditions and industrial relations on the pretext of the pandemic.
By Shannon Jones, 29 May 2020
The almost daily exposure of new COVID-19 cases in auto plants has not slowed the rush to increase production by North American carmakers, who face enormous pressure from financial markets.
By Katy Kinner, 28 May 2020
Widespread employer and governmental neglect of basic safety protections are to blame for the massive increase in infection rates and deaths among health care workers.
By Bryan Dyne, 27 May 2020
There is increasing evidence that the actual fatalities caused by the pandemic are up to three times the numbers officially reported.
By Jerry White, 27 May 2020
Recent reports on the meatpacking, logistics and other industries document a systematic effort to conceal the number of COVID-19 cases in workplaces.
By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 27 May 2020
Cummings has emerged as the near universally despised embodiment of a hated and crisis-wracked government.
By Jordan Shilton, 27 May 2020
Sweden’s policy has been praised by reactionary political forces and the corporate media internationally to bolster their criminal back-to-work campaigns.
By Gabriel Lemos, 27 May 2020
Workers Party governments financed JBS’s transformation into a transnational, whose plants have become COVID-19 hotspots in both Brazil and the US.
By Andrea Lobo, 27 May 2020
The protests are part of an international wave of unrest among medical workers demanding personal protective equipment, medicines, respirators, testing and staffing.
By Owen Howell, 27 May 2020
The Indonesian government is blaming the sharp rise in confirmed cases on ordinary workers and peasants for not adhering to social distancing measures.
By Richard Dufour, 27 May 2020
Acknowledging that it is “taking a gamble” with workers’ lives, the Quebec government is intensifying its drive to “reopen” the economy.
By Ben Collyer, 27 May 2020
Figures released this week paint a horrific picture of the suffering and despair caused by the pandemic among the elderly and infirm.
By Tom Casey, 27 May 2020
While repatriation plans have been arranged for ship workers after significant delay, thousands still remain trapped on board.
Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 27 May 2020
The Socialist Equality Party (UK) opposes the reckless back-to-work campaign and the reopening of schools and non-essential workplaces as the pandemic continues to spread.
By Johannes Stern, 26 May 2020
After voting for the multi-billion-euro coronavirus bailout package in the federal parliament, the Left Party is now supporting the grand coalition’s reopening of the economy.
By Paul Lee, 26 May 2020
The threat to safety in the two offices are replicated in delivery and sorting offices all over the country and internationally.
By Will Morrow, 26 May 2020
Two weeks after the reopening of schools began in France, more than 70 schools have been forced to close as coronavirus cases have been found among students and teachers.
Maryland Democratic Party officials cite coronavirus crisis to impose sweeping budget cuts on workers
By Ray Coleman, 26 May 2020
Democratic Party officials in Montgomery County seized upon the COVID-19 crisis to impose austerity upon county employees, many of whom are working on the front lines of the pandemic.
“This is not a game that I want to play with my life”: US autoworkers denounce premature return to work
By our reporters, 26 May 2020
In the last week alone, cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at several auto plants in Detroit, Chicago, Kentucky, New York and Indiana.
By Carl Bronski, 26 May 2020
The premature back-to-work drive in Canada’s auto industry is being spearheaded by hard-right Ontario Premier Doug Ford, in concert with the automakers, the financial oligarchy and the union Unifor.
By Markus Salzmann, 25 May 2020
According to the public health body Robert Koch Institute, more than 20,000 workers in German hospitals, doctors’ practices, nursing homes and care services are now infected.
By Shannon Jones, 23 May 2020
As more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are discovered at auto plants, the drive to restart production is being exposed as a reckless course of action that will inevitably lead to the needless deaths of workers.
By Barry Mason, 23 May 2020
The three died in different sections of Cranswick Convenience Foods factory in Wombwell, Barnsley.
By Tomas Castanheira, 22 May 2020
Over the last 15 days, there have been dozens of protests and strikes by health care workers across Brazil, as more nurses are dying than anywhere else in the world.
UK Labour council, Community union reject appeal to close ASOS warehouse after confirmed COVID-19 cases
By Tony Robson, 22 May 2020
The defence of ASOS workers’ lives requires a fight against the veto that such corporations enjoy over workplace safety.
”We want to be back, but not at the costs of people’s lives”
By our reporters, 22 May 2020
The WSWS spoke with teachers this week about their opposition to the Johnson government’s reopening of schools.
“We need our jobs, but our lives and health are more important”
By Jessica Goldstein and Jerry White, 21 May 2020
New infections have emerged at Ford plants in Dearborn, Michigan and Chicago and also at supplier plant, just days after the reopening of the North American auto industry.
“They can more than afford to let us keep it permanently”
By Douglas Lyons, 21 May 2020
Amazon has terminated its unpaid sick time policy and will roll back the $2 per hour pay raise it implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, despite the rising number of infections.
Education unions and Labour councils ready back-door imposition of Johnson government’s “back to school” plan
By Laura Tiernan, 21 May 2020
The decision to send nursery aged children—including babies and toddlers—and primary-aged students as young as 4, 5 and 6 back into schools was taken solely by Johnson and his cabinet of deranged Thatcherites.
By Shannon Jones, 20 May 2020
The Trump administration is spearheading a campaign to force a return to work, eliminating all pretense of combatting the spread of the coronavirus.
By Bryan Dyne, 20 May 2020
There is evidence that the Florida government, and possibly others, are censoring the data needed to accurately study the development of the pandemic.
By Ulas Atesci, 20 May 2020
Unsafe and even deadly conditions during the pandemic are an international issue facing workers of every country.
By Chris Marsden and Thomas Scripps, 20 May 2020
The reopening of schools and non-essential workplaces must be opposed until they are made safe.
20 May 2020
Sarah, who works in a primary school in south Yorkshire, wrote to the WSWS about the Johnson government’s plans to reopen UK schools from June 1.
By Eric London, 19 May 2020
In Northern Baja California, 432 of the 519 people who have officially died from the virus in the state were maquiladora workers.
By Jerry White, 19 May 2020
Tens of thousands of workers returned to factories across the US Monday in a major test of the Trump administration’s plans to restart the flow of corporate profits even as the death toll of the pandemic continues to rise.
By Benjamin Mateus and Clara Weiss, 19 May 2020
Health care workers throughout the US have been furloughed as health care systems are facing economic devastation caused by the pandemic. A second surge in economically hard-hit areas will confront an equally devasted health care infrastructure.
By Michael Barnes, 19 May 2020
Belly Mujinga’s death produced a horrified reaction among rail workers and an outpouring of sympathy in the working class, but the deranged character of the attack also solicited an outpouring of crocodile tears from those who are ultimately responsible for creating the conditions that led to her death.
Amid failure by corporations and governments to repatriate employees
By Tom Casey, 19 May 2020
Crew members on board the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s (RCCL) Majesty of the Seas staged a protest Friday on the upper deck of the ship, demanding answers from the captain as to when they would be sent home.
By Erik Schreiber and Kayla Costa, 19 May 2020
The response to the petition demonstrates workers’ willingness to fight, but its appeal to the Teamsters union is a dead end. A genuine struggle for safety requires the formation of independent rank-and-file committees.
By Peter Ross, 19 May 2020
The warehouse explosion spread the fire to adjacent buildings but was contained in about an hour by some 230 responders.
“There will be a human cost from this. Everyone knows that.”
By Shannon Jones, 16 May 2020
As the Detroit-based auto companies prepare to restart their North American factories, opposition is growing among workers to a deadly return to work.
By Cordell Gascoigne, 16 May 2020
The walkouts at the Mississippi pillow factory are part of a wave of wildcat strikes and other job actions across the United States and internationally by workers demanding protection from COVID-19.
By David Fitzgerald and Kayla Costa, 16 May 2020
Located in the county with the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state, the agricultural workers are demanding companies provide adequate personal protective equipment, hazard pay and safe working conditions.
By Marianne Arens, 16 May 2020
German slaughterhouses have become coronavirus hotspots, with hundreds of workers, most of them sub-contracted from Eastern Europe, infected with the virus.
By Tania Kent and Harvey Thompson, 16 May 2020
The closure of schools is a key measure recommended by medical experts internationally to reduce the infection and death rate from the coronavirus.
By Robert Stevens, 16 May 2020
There are 23,956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland and 1,518 deaths—one of the highest death ratios in the world. In Northern Ireland, 4,317 people have tested positive, with 469 deaths.
By Andre Damon, 16 May 2020
Proponents of “herd immunity” argue that measures to contain COVID-19 should be abandoned, allowing the disease to infect billions of people and kill countless millions.
As Global coronavirus death toll tops 300,000
By Bryan Dyne, 15 May 2020
Dr. Rick Bright warned yesterday that the pandemic “has the potential to eclipse the devastation wrought by the 1918 influenza, which globally claimed over 50 million lives.”
“We are not going back to unsafe conditions”
After FCA Sterling Heights Assembly workers contract COVID-19, anger mounts over premature return to work
By Shannon Jones, 15 May 2020
Anxiety over a premature return to work has been heightened after reports that several workers in the Detroit area have already been sent home with suspected COVID-19 infections.
By Andrea Peters, 15 May 2020
There are now more coronavirus infections in Russia than anywhere else in the world, with the exception of the United States and Spain.
By Marianne Arens, 15 May 2020
With the general relaxation of the coronavirus measures, cases in schools, retirement homes, local transport, industry and the entire working population are inevitably on the rise again.
By Alberto Escalera, 15 May 2020
Businesses have been left to supervise themselves in all matters related to worker safety as the government’s regulatory agencies essentially wash their hands of the matter.
By Zachary Thorton, 15 May 2020
Kroger, Starbucks and other companies plan to end hazard-related bonuses, including pay increases and paid work leave, even as the number of new COVID-19 infections and deaths in the US continues to rise.
The 2003 SARS epidemic: How Canada’s elite squandered the chance to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic
By Omar Ali, 15 May 2020
Canada’s disastrous response to the pandemic is all the more criminal given the impact of SARS and the repeated government vows that the country’s health system would be well-prepared for any future novel virus.
By Cordell Gascoigne, 14 May 2020
Concern over a possible plantwide spread of the virus was mounting for days when a worker at the plant told supervisors that her husband—also employed at the factory—had tested positive for coronavirus.
By Tony Robson, 14 May 2020
The largest on-line fashion retailer in the UK has been allowed to keep its non-essential business open throughout the pandemic, including at its main warehouse and distribution centre in Barnsley, South Yorkshire
By our reporter, 14 May 2020
“It all looks good on the outside (one-way system, tents with thermo-cameras), but inside they care less and less every day.”
By Tom Casey, 14 May 2020
While companies have since begun to slowly enact measures to repatriate their remaining employees in accordance with governmental guidelines, the conditions facing those workers still stuck on board has grown untenable.
White House Coronavirus Task Force member warns of “really serious” consequences of premature reopening
By Bryan Dyne, 13 May 2020
The testimony was a devastating indictment of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and made clear that the back-to-work campaign risks countless lives.
By Miguel Andrade, 13 May 2020
Auto factories have already restarted production even as every region in the country is breaking daily records of cases and deaths.
By Laura Tiernan, 13 May 2020
Workers fear infections will soar following Sunday night’s “phased exit” announced by the Johnson government
By Shannon Jones, 13 May 2020
The reckless attempt to restart the North American auto industry is meeting with determined resistance by workers unwilling to risk their lives for corporate profits.
By Christopher Davion and Anthony Bertolt, 13 May 2020
On Wednesday May 6, at least 20 workers in West Columbia, South Carolina walked off the job at the House of Raeford Farms chicken processing plant.
By Brian Dixon and Kimie Saito, 13 May 2020
“We don’t know how many medical workers have died here because of COVID-19 because neither the hospital nor the union tells us.”
By Josh Varlin, 13 May 2020
Three regions within New York state are set to resume some economic activity May 15, under a plan that leaves significant room for a deadly second wave of the pandemic.
“The company and the union are trying to pacify us, but they don’t care about our lives”
By Jerry White, 12 May 2020
Auto parts suppliers reopened plants in Michigan and other states Monday as GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler prepare to recall nearly 200,000 autoworkers to their North American factories by May 18.
By Will Morrow, 12 May 2020
The mass return to work underway across Europe is in line with the criminal policy being pursued by the Trump administration in the United States.
By Stephen Fuller, 12 May 2020
Sal Hadwan, a nurse who participated in a job action along with five other co-workers at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit last month, was fired by the company in retaliation for speaking out against management policies.
By Douglas Lyons, 12 May 2020
Wolf, presented as a more rational leader than his Republican counterparts, is restarting the economy as the virus is still killing workers across the state in nursing homes, food-processing plants and warehouses.
By Bryan Dyne, 11 May 2020
In all three countries, the new coronavirus cases have come after the partial lifting of lockdown measures.