Global class struggle

Management seeks to impose gag order on US postal workers

By Shuvu Batta, 5 September 2020

A leaked memo reveals new guidelines imposed by US Postal Service management to suppress information about internal conditions at post offices.

Unions enforce takeover of Virgin Australia by private equity firm

By Martin Scott, 5 September 2020

The deal offers workers no guarantees but promises to further enshrine the unions’ role as enforcers of management dictates.

West Bengal administrative workers strike; Maharashtra nurses hold state-wide protests; private sector nurses strike in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 September 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

The global campaign to reopen schools and the international strategy of the working class

By Evan Blake, 4 September 2020

In a growing number of countries around the world, the drive to reopen schools has become the focal point of the class struggle.

GE Appliances workers in Louisville, Kentucky vote overwhelmingly to strike

By Zac Thorton, 3 September 2020

The company, which has remained highly profitable throughout the pandemic, is demanding the elimination of pensions and the maintenance of the two-tier wage system.

Teachers union and Democrats agree to resume in-person learning in New York City schools

By Jerry White, 2 September 2020

The deal that delays the opening by a week is aimed at countering the growing demands by teachers in the city and around the country for a nationwide work stoppage.

Second call-in meeting of the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee attracts large audience across the US

By Renae Cassimeda, 2 September 2020

Educators and workers from New York, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and many other states, as well as Britain, Germany, and South Korea participated in the meeting.

Hundreds at University of Iowa stage sickout as COVID-19 cases skyrocket

By E. Cohen and Andy Thompson, 2 September 2020

The number of new daily cases at the school—home to more than 30,000 students—has remained in triple digits but the university continues to hold 25 percent of classes face to face.

Canadian Detroit Big Three autoworkers give strong strike mandate for upcoming contract fight

By Carl Bronski, 2 September 2020

Autoworkers are ready to wage a militant struggle in defence of jobs, wages, and working conditions, but they will need to break organizationally and politically from Unifor.

Australian “assembly” of university workers seeks to head off rebellion against NTEU

By our correspondents, 2 September 2020

The online event was an attempt to divert the growing rank and file disgust over the union’s role in volunteering unprecedented sacrifices of jobs, pay and conditions.

Trotsky’s Last Year

Part Five

By David North, 2 September 2020

An appraisal, on the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination, of the work of the great theoretician and strategist of World Socialist Revolution during the final year of his life.

GM workers in Silao, Mexico, report eighth death from COVID-19, as corporation fires vulnerable workers

By Andrea Lobo, 31 August 2020

GM and the corporate-controlled Confederation of Mexican Workers have refused to provide workers with any information about COVID-19 cases in the plant.

COVID-19 outbreaks continue unabated at US schools, putting millions at risk

By Renae Cassimeda, 29 August 2020

The past week has seen a deepening of the disastrous crisis surrounding the reopening of schools, with significant outbreaks occurring in schools across the country.

“They should shut everything down again until they get the virus under control”

Mississippi bus drivers walk out as schools push ahead with unsafe reopenings

By Emma Arceneaux, 29 August 2020

Deplorable working conditions and an immediate reduction of hours and pay impelled 45 percent of school bus drivers in Columbus, Mississippi to walk out on Monday.

Students, teachers, parents and nursery staff in Germany oppose school reopenings

By Gregor Link, 29 August 2020

As the country’s various state governments rush ahead with the policy of opening schools, growing numbers are expressing their opposition to the move.

Attend the UK online education forum Saturday September 5, 2pm

Form independent rank-and-file safety committees of teachers, educators, parents and students! For a general strike against the reopening of schools!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 29 August 2020

The reopening of schools is based solely on utilising the education system as a childminding service to force parents into unsafe workplaces.

Government agency minutes reveal at least 40 active COVID-19 outbreaks at UK food processing plants

By Robert Stevens, 29 August 2020

The information is not available in the news section of the Food Standards Agency’s website or its social media accounts.

Tate UK strikers: “COVID-19 is being used to inflict a jobs massacre”

By Paul Mitchell, 29 August 2020

Strikers warn that the pandemic is being used to enforce unprecedented job cuts and further privatise the arts and culture sector.

Volkswagen to slash 35 percent of Brazilian workforce as jobs bloodbath hits auto industry

By Miguel Andrade, 29 August 2020

Twenty-eight thousand jobs have been wiped out since 2013, when the unions began pushing for systematic contract suspensions and bailouts for automakers in Brazil.

Thousands of workers strike at Indian arms factories; Indonesian police attack paper mill workers; South Korean doctors continue strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 August 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Former UAW President Dennis Williams charged with embezzlement

By Shannon Jones, 28 August 2020

The indictment of Williams follows the conviction of former UAW President Gary Jones for stealing over $1 million from the union treasury for his own personal use.

Full transparency on COVID-19! Hands off Florida educators! Close schools now!

By Duval County Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 28 August 2020

The Florida Department of Health issued a mandate Tuesday censoring COVID-19 data within Duval public schools while state officials threatened the jobs of educators who oppose the deadly school openings.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 August 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute http://www.wsws.org/wsws/dd-formmailer/dd-formmailer.php to this regular feature.

After receiving $5.8 billion through the CARES Act

American Airlines announces 19,000 to be laid off starting October 1

By Jacob Crosse, 26 August 2020

As temporary layoffs become permanent, airline executives and their stockholders, with the invaluable assistance of the trade unions, are consigning thousands to destitution.

New York City preparing to lay off 400 EMS workers in advance of looming second wave of pandemic

By Ali Elhassan, 26 August 2020

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, is preparing to place the burden of the pandemic-triggered budgetary crisis on workers, including frontline health care workers.

Bath shipyard workers return to work after 63-day strike

By Shannon Jones, 25 August 2020

The International Association of Machinists reported 87 percent of workers voted to accept a new three-year contract containing a minimal wage increase that permits management to keep scab subcontractors hired during the strike.

NTEU appeals for negotiations after Australia’s Macquarie University announces massive job cuts

By a correspondent, 25 August 2020

The trade union has signalled its willingness to enforce sweeping job destruction, in line with its role an industrial police force of management.

“They are killing people to save money”

Fiat Chrysler, UAW conspire to keep workers on the job after exposure to coronavirus

By Shannon Jones, 22 August 2020

In order to cut costs and boost profits, management and the UAW are seeking to eliminate the limited and inadequate safety protocols put in place in May.

European countries force children back to school amid resurgence of COVID-19

By Alejandro López, 22 August 2020

The drive to reopen schools after the summer break continues unabated throughout Europe as the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across the continent.

Nearly 300 workers infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Northampton sandwich factory

By Paul Bond, 22 August 2020

Northampton, already on a coronavirus watchlist, has the highest rate of new cases in England and could be subjected to a local lockdown.

Spanish unions agree to shut down Barcelona Nissan plants

By Alice Summers, 22 August 2020

The deal adds a further year to the ticking time-bomb of mass firings, postponing the approximately 25,000 job losses from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021.

Cornell residential advisors hold one-day strike over coronavirus safety as school reopens

By James Mullan, 22 August 2020

The strike action was spontaneously organized in response to the university’s reckless reopening plans that left RAs with larger workloads than in pre-pandemic semesters.

Wayne State University administration announces pay freezes and layoffs

By Valery Tsekov, 22 August 2020

The Wayne State University administration is using the crisis to push through long sought after “cost-cutting” attacks on workers and students.

Australian union cancels Sydney bus drivers’ strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 August 2020

The calling off of the stoppage is in line with the role played by the unions throughout the pandemic, in seeking to suppress all working-class opposition.

German Socialist Equality Party campaign against reopening schools finds significant response

By our reporters, 22 August 2020

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei’s call to build action committees to prepare a general strike in Germany against the reopening of schools has been shared hundreds of times on social media and found thousands of readers.

CUPE union shuts down 12-day strike at Port of Montreal

By Laurent Lafrance, 22 August 2020

Yesterday’s truce agreement marks the final stage in the union’s efforts to end the strike as quickly as possible and betray the legitimate demands of the rank and file.

Pakistani university workers oppose job cuts; Offshore gas platform workers strike in Western Australia; New Zealand health workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 August 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Millions of Indian workers strike to protest attacks by Modi government amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 August 2020

Millions of workers have joined strikes and protests opposing the government’s attacks on their wages and working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

21 August 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

The UAW at the Democratic National Convention: Gangsters and warmongers lock arms

By Tom Hall, 20 August 2020

The prominent role of the United Auto Workers at the convention underscores the reliance of the Democratic Party on the gangster-ridden unions to suppress the resistance of the working class to wage and job cutting and the homicidal back-to-work campaign.

Rank-and-file safety committees at Fiat Chrysler and Ford support campaign to defend victimized parts worker

By the Autoworker Rank-and-File Safety Committee Network, 19 August 2020

Newly-formed committees at Fiat Chrysler, Ford and Faurecia plants issued statements supporting James Grady, who was set up by the IBEW union and management and fired in mid-May from the Faurecia Gladstone plant in Columbus, Indiana.

Germany’s IG Metall trade union preparing to enforce jobs massacre and deep wage cuts

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 19 August 2020

Big business and the trade unions are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to secure the upper hand in the global trade war by imposing savage attacks on workers.

As Bath shipyard workers poised to vote, machinists union, management and White House praise sellout deal

By Shannon Jones, 18 August 2020

After more than nine weeks on strike against Bath Iron Works, the International Association of Machinists is recommending a sellout deal that will retain scab subcontractors hired during the walkout while abandoning victimized workers.

Hawaii schools to reopen August 17 as opposition grows

By Renae Cassimeda, 15 August 2020

In a fight for their lives and those of thousands of students, educators and parents oppose the new reopening plan that has students and teachers reporting to school sites for in-person instruction for one week prior to full distance learning.

Brazilian teachers report 36 COVID-infected schools after one week of classes in Manaus

By Tomas Castanheira, 15 August 2020

Virtually all Brazilian states and capitals have ongoing plans to reproduce the homicidal model of school reopenings in Manaus.

Workers denounce cover-up and intimidation around COVID-19 infections at Fiat Chrysler Belvidere plant

By Kristina Betinis, 15 August 2020

Belvidere workers continue to speak out against management and UAW concealing information and shaming workers for stating concerns as Boone and Winnebago counties launch investigation into the spread of disease at the plant.

UAW announces COVID outbreak at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville with 32 new cases

By Steve Filips, 15 August 2020

There were 32 new COVID-19 cases reported last week at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.

The Democrats and Republicans: Two wolves hunting the United States Postal Service

By Shuvu Batta, 15 August 2020

While they posture as defenders of postal workers, the Democrats have played a critical role in the privatization of the USPS and the decay of American democracy.

Report highlights super-exploited conditions of Australia’s casual university staff

By John Harris, 15 August 2020

Agreements imposed by the trade unions have led to soaring casualisation, underpayment and unpaid work, now worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prepare a nationwide general strike to stop the deadly reopening of schools!

Form independent rank-and-file safety committees of educators, parents and students!

By the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 15 August 2020

We are launching the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee to unite all those opposed to the unsafe reopening of schools and provide the necessary leadership to prepare for a nationwide general strike to halt the reopening of schools.

For a general strike against the reopening of German schools!

By Statement of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 15 August 2020

By demanding a return to face-to-face teaching amid rising coronavirus infection rates, German state governments of all stripes are putting the health and lives of countless teachers, students and parents at risk.

Indian social health workers hold two-day national strike; South Korean hospital doctors walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 August 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Wisconsin immigrant meat packing workers fired in retaliation for protesting over unsafe working conditions

By Rafael Azul, 14 August 2020

After employing the workers for years, management suddenly informed the targeted workers that they were not authorized to work in the US.

“Our lives don't matter to Ford”: Tragic COVID-19 death of young contract worker covered up by management and the UAW

By Shannon Jones, 14 August 2020

The death of a young worker at the Ford Van Dyke transmission plant from COVID-19 is the inevitable outcome of the brutal profit drive of the car companies, aided by the United Auto Workers.

Iranian sugar workers’ dispute continues; health workers continue strike in Zimbabwe; doctors continue month-long strike in Nigerian state

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

14 August 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Growing wave of protests across the US against school openings

By Evan Blake, 13 August 2020

Across the US, thousands of teachers, education workers, parents and students are mobilizing to oppose the unsafe reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diversions, posturing as school board votes to reopen school in small-town Massachusetts

By Joseph Mario, 13 August 2020

Scituate, a small coastal town south of Boston, is one example of broader situation in the state, where Governor Baker has pushed for schools to fully reopen in the fall.

“This is a modern-day sweatshop”

Amazon workers speak out against inadequate safety measures

By our reporters, 13 August 2020

As the company makes money hand over fist from the pandemic's boost to online retail sales, hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers labor for long hours in unsafe conditions at Amazon's fulfillment centers.

Washington, DC transit system faces massive budget shortfall as it resumes near pre-pandemic service levels

By Harvey Simpkins, 13 August 2020

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is currently losing $2.5 million in revenue each weekday because of a 90 percent drop in ridership on its bus and rail lines.

“They are treating us all like pawns—we are the ones who suffer”

Health care workers rally across UK against unsafe conditions

By our reporters, 11 August 2020

Thousands of health workers took part in demonstrations and rallies across the UK demanding a pay rise and adequate protection from COVID-19.

“They spout in the news ‘thank you to health care heroes’ but what thanks do we get?”

US nurses’ poll shows appalling working conditions in the pandemic

By Julian James, 11 August 2020

The NNU study shows that only 24 percent of nurses think their employer is providing a safe workplace.

As US cruise industry delays operations until November, thousands of seafarers remain stranded

By Tom Casey, 11 August 2020

Some 12,000 seafarers remain stranded in US waters five months after the shutdown of the cruise line industry due to coronavirus.

Dominican public defenders in three-day strike; workers at DSI Tunneling in Louisville, Kentucky, walk out

Workers Struggles: The Americas

11 August 2020

Dominican public defenders have completed a three-day strike over delays in salary payment while over 2,000 workers who build customized tunneling equipment in Kentucky have been out since August 4.

Australian Kmart warehouse workers in Melbourne strike over COVID-19 safety

By Paul Bartizan, 10 August 2020

Warehouses, like meatworks and nursing homes, have become dangerous places for workers in this pandemic.

Clashes in Beirut as ruling elite exploits anger over blast

By Jean Shaoul, 10 August 2020

The latest demonstrations over Tuesday’s deadly port explosion were marked by the presence of the Christian and Sunni parties and ex-generals.

New York Governor Cuomo sanctions statewide reopening of schools

By Evan Blake, 8 August 2020

Cuomo’s mandate provides crucial political support for the Trump administration’s drive to reopen schools irrespective of the cost to human life.

No masks, crowded hallways

Georgia highschoolers use social media to expose disastrous conditions as schools reopen

By Genevieve Leigh, 8 August 2020

Two students from Georgia’s North Paulding High School were suspended after photos of hallways packed with crowds of unmasked students went viral on social media.

Texas attorney general orders in-person education as state cases top 500,000

By Tony Jackson, 8 August 2020

The attorney general and governor of Texas are endangering the lives of teachers and students with a patently unscientific back-to-school pandemic plan.

“It’s a recipe for disaster”

Autoworkers denounce bipartisan drive to reopen schools

By Tim Rivers, 8 August 2020

Opposition is growing among autoworkers and other workers to the back-to-school campaign, which is threatening the health of teachers, students and their families.

German schools reopen despite increase in coronavirus infections

By Marianne Arens, 8 August 2020

In order to ensure the capitalists can turn a profit, all established parties, from the Christian Social Union to the Left Party, are pushing for a return to regular in-person teaching.

UK: For a general strike against the reopening of schools

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 August 2020

The SEP calls for the development of an interconnected network of rank-and-file committees to prepare for a general strike against the opening of schools and the murderous policy of the ruling class.

GM Spring Hill workers speak out against unsafe conditions amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Zac Thorton, 8 August 2020

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter has received comments from a number of workers at the Tennessee plant.

Ex-UAW regional director forced to resign amid harassment investigation

By Jessica Goldstein, 8 August 2020

Region 2-B Director Richard Rankin presided over major attacks on workers, including the closure of the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant in 2019.

“This is war, and we have to fight”

USPS workers speak out against privatization drive

By our reporters, 8 August 2020

Opposition is growing among postal workers to the increasingly unbearable work regime and the ongoing efforts to privatize the postal service.

Reject whitewash report into London bus driver coronavirus deaths! For rank-and-file health and safety committees!

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 8 August 2020

There is nothing remotely “independent” about University College London’s review into bus driver deaths.

Lufthansa, backed by unions, expands job cuts

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 August 2020

In stepping up its attacks on airline workers, Lufthansa collaborates closely with its three unions—UFO, Cockpit and Verdi.

Union prepares sellout of Renault strike in Brazil

By Tomas Castanheira, 8 August 2020

The movement that involved thousands of workers and their families is under threat of being shutdown with an agreement that validates the destruction of 747 jobs.

Australia: Woolworths lifts lockout as union pushes through sell-out deal

By Terry Cook, 8 August 2020

The United Workers Union has brokered a sell-out deal that maintains the exploitative conditions and low-pay regime at Woolworths’ Wyong distribution centre.

Indian railway and Sri Lankan port workers oppose privatisation; Australian supermarket warehouse employees stop work over COVID-19 infection

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

8 August 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Britain’s National Health Service workers demand pay rise amid COVID-19 crisis

By Rory Woods, 7 August 2020

Hundreds of health workers demonstrated in London last week and dozens of protests are scheduled in cities across the country this Saturday, organised by Facebook groups.

Faculty at University of Akron reject sellout contract

By Isaac Finn, 7 August 2020

On August 5, faculty at the University of Akron voted down an offer that included layoffs of 96 full-time professors, pay cuts and increased health care premiums.

US retail bankruptcies and closures pile up amid pandemic

By Trévon Austin, 7 August 2020

Two new bankruptcy filings on Sunday—Tailored Brands and Le Tote—bring the total number to 43 this year.

Maltese doctors’ action against spread of COVID-19; Iranian oil workers continue strikes; Zimbabwe doctors’ and nurses’ stoppage spreads.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 August 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Mounting opposition by teachers against drive to reopen schools

By Benjamin Mateus, 6 August 2020

Evidence is growing that the reopening of schools will lead to a massive resurgence of the pandemic, with deadly consequences for teachers and students.

Altered CDC guidelines provide unscientific basis for reopening schools

By Mitch Marcus, 6 August 2020

The CDC guidelines were adjusted in mid-July to suit the demands of the Trump administration that schools reopen, as part the broader campaign to reopen the economy.

Transport for London coronavirus bailout prepares tube privatisation

By Paul Bond, 6 August 2020

The bailout, only half the sum requested, spearheads an assault on TfL’s workforce, in stark contrast to the generous packages offered to the privatised passenger rail franchises.

Resuming college football driven by financial interests

By Andy Thompson, 6 August 2020

In order to protect billions in revenue, US universities are resorting to threats and cover-ups to keep their plans to play football in the fall on track.

NTEU enforces deep pay and job cuts at Australian universities

By Mike Head, 6 August 2020

In the latest outrage, the union is urging Adelaide University staff members to take wage cuts of up to 15 percent and still accept the elimination of 200 jobs.

US teachers defy threats to cut funding for schools that delay in-person learning

By Phyllis Steele, 5 August 2020

Republican-controlled legislatures in several states are moving to cut funding and outsource the jobs of teachers if schools do not open with full in-person learning.

New York educators oppose city and state school reopening plans

By Sandy English, 5 August 2020

Teachers in New York are determined to prevent the unsafe reopening of schools by the Democratic mayor and governor.

UK teachers’ pay award: A shoddy deal for all

By Tom Pearce, 5 August 2020

The offer is divisive and paltry. It will not be funded nationally by the Johnson government, but out of school budgets which are chronically under-funded.

A monstrous betrayal of nearly 10-month struggle

United Steelworkers shuts down strike by Asarco copper miners

By Samuel Davidson, 5 August 2020

In a monstrous betrayal, the union has closed down picket lines and ordered striking miners to accept any job offered by the company or risk losing their unemployment benefits and any recall rights.

For a nationwide general strike to halt the drive to reopen schools!

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party, 5 August 2020

Mass opposition by teachers to the criminal policies of the ruling class will galvanize support among all workers in the United States and throughout the world.

Migrant farmworkers in Spain protest amid COVID-19 surge

By Alice Summers, 4 August 2020

Low-paid agricultural workers are seen as an entirely dispensable workforce, forced to work back-breaking days in appalling conditions.

Britain’s jobs massacre continues

By Margot Miller, 4 August 2020

Many have no jobs to go back to, with young people especially hard hit in hospitality and retail.

New COVID-19 infections take hold in first week of attempted cruise industry restart

By Tom Casey, 4 August 2020

Among the first ship operators to resume sailings, Norwegian-owned Hurtigruten suspended operation of two ships this weekend after 36 passenger and five crew tested positive for coronavirus.

Montreal dockworkers escalate strike action against speed-up, victimization

By Carl Bronski, 4 August 2020

The Maritime Employers Association is insisting on a threefold increase in the pace of work during weekend shifts.

Workers’ opposition grows to Netanyahu government over pandemic and social crisis in Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 3 August 2020

The reopening of schools has met with fierce opposition from teachers, while public service workers’ strikes over low pay and COVID-19-related issues have grown.

At least 20 percent of US meatpackers may have contracted coronavirus

By Cordell Gascoigne, 3 August 2020

Over 50,000 food and agricultural workers have contracted COVID-19 in the United States, according to numbers compiled by the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN).

Ford Dearborn Truck Plant workers launch rank-and-file safety committee to save lives amid COVID-19 pandemic

By the Ford Dearborn Truck Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 1 August 2020

The committee has appealed to its 5,000 co-workers, who build F-150 pickup trucks, to prepare joint action to fight the coronavirus and save lives.