Global class struggle

Medical workers strike across Latin America over pandemic-related issues

Workers Struggles: the Americas

24 November 2020

Health care workers in Argentina, hospital workers in Chile along with medical staff in Uruguay and Paraguay have conducted strikes and protests over inadequate government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

999 SHAP statement on UAW and WSWS

24 November 2020

999 University of Sydney staff protest mass sackings

24 November 2020

999 UPDATE on Warren Truck death

24 November 2020

999 Remote learning in the US

24 November 2020

999 US transit cuts

24 November 2020

999 North Carolina pastor arrested for leading protest

24 November 2020

999 Australian university union blocks opposition to intensifying cuts to jobs and conditions

24 November 2020

Strikes and protests across Germany against regular school operations

By Gregor Link and Philipp Frisch, 24 November 2020

Faced with mass infections at schools and a cover-up by the federal and state governments, students throughout Germany are beginning to take the protection of their health and that of their families into their own hands.

999 Interview with teacher at Alabama juvenile detention center

24 November 2020

As demands for work stoppage grow, UAW officials tell Sterling Heights Assembly workers: “Don’t read the WSWS”

By Shannon Jones, 23 November 2020

In the face of growing demands by Fiat Chrysler workers to halt production at the Sterling Height Assembly Plant to stop the spread of COVID-19, local United Auto Workers officials are lashing out at the World Socialist Web Site and rank-and-file workers who have turned to the WSWS to expose the deadly conditions at the suburban Detroit auto factory.

Australia: Union shuts down nurses’ strike at Sydney’s Blacktown Hospital

By Clare Bruderlin, 23 November 2020

Nurses and midwives walked out because of the deaths of five babies at the hospital in under two years, ongoing staffing shortages and concerns about patient safety.

With COVID-19 spreading through auto plants, workers report death at FCA Warren Truck Assembly Plant

By George Kirby, 23 November 2020

The death, if confirmed, is the outcome of a massive outbreak in the plant, reported by several workers to the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter. According to one worker, eight teams with six to eight workers each have been sent home due to the virus since September 28.

Backed by the union, Mercedes plans to close its oldest factory in Berlin

By Ludwig Weller, 23 November 2020

For many decades, every corporate decision affecting the workforce made at Marienfelde and all other Mercedes factories has been discussed beforehand with the works councils, which then develop strategies for their implementation.

Brazilian state of Amapá on brink of social explosion after 18-day blackout

By Tomas Castanheira, 21 November 2020

The lack of electricity, water and other basic services led to a wave of more than 100 protests in the state.

Chaotic move to online learning designed to facilitate reopening of New York City schools

By Alberto Escalera, 21 November 2020

The withholding of resources necessary for remote learning is a calculated policy meant to pressure working class parents to acquiesce to the growing calls for a return to in-person classes.

Explosion at Faurecia Gladstone auto parts plant in Indiana injures three

By Tim Rivers, 21 November 2020

A forklift driver injured in the blast was airlifted to a burn unit at a hospital in Indianapolis, 40 miles north.

“All workers need to come together”

Montgomery, Alabama educators hold protest at State Capitol to demand school closures

By Emma Arceneaux, 21 November 2020

One of the worst-hit cities in Alabama, Montgomery has had 11,903 cases and 232 deaths since the pandemic began.

Frontline nurse at UK’s Royal Bournemouth Hospital speaks out as COVID-19 cases surge

21 November 2020

The following letter was sent to the WSWS from a frontline nurse at the UK’s Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Former UAW VP Joe Ashton gets wrist-slap prison term as workers confront rampant COVID-19 in auto plants

By Shannon Jones, 21 November 2020

Ashton, who pocketed $250,000 in kickbacks, is being sent to a country club prison with a seven-month delay for COVID-19 while workers are forced to confront the exploding pandemic every day in the factories.

21 November 2020

CFPE online meeting: The global fight for educator and student safety in the COVID-19 pandemic

By The CFPE (Australia), 21 November 2020

The Committee for Public Education (CFPE) invites educators, students and working people in Australia and internationally to participate in an online meeting on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools, college, universities and other educational institutions.

India: Karnataka college staff strike over unpaid salaries; Tamil Nadu tea plantation workers protest; Australian supermarket warehouse workers locked out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

21 November 2020

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

San Diego schools continue to reopen as California surpasses 1 million COVID-19 cases

By Renae Cassimeda, 21 November 2020

San Diego teachers are speaking out in opposition to school districts keeping schools open as cases skyrocket throughout the county.

21 November 2020

New York region transportation agency prepares draconian cuts to service and transit jobs

By Alan Whyte and Daniel de Vries, 21 November 2020

The nation’s largest transit agency released its 2021 budget, proposing more than 9,000 layoffs and service cuts that would leave the transit network unrecognizable.

German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp destroys another 5,000 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 20 November 2020

The IG Metall union has already agreed to a cut of 6,000 jobs, meaning that some 11,000 workers now face the scrap heap.

Greek and Italian public sector workers to walk out in nationwide stoppages; Portuguese educators plan strike action; unrest continues in Nigeria as oil workers’ strike call met with oil price hike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 November 2020

Following school occupations for Covid safety measures, Greek public sector workers plan stoppage. As hospitals approach full capacity, date named for nationwide public sector strike in Greece

“They want to silence me for telling the truth.”

Montgomery, Alabama teachers report on hostile and unsafe working conditions

By Emma Arceneaux, 20 November 2020

The WSWS spoke to three Montgomery teachers about the conditions they face, the spread of the virus in the schools, and the role of the unions in enforcing school openings.

As COVID-19 surges, the New York Times demands that schools remain open

By Andre Damon, 20 November 2020

In a series of news articles, editorials, and op-eds, the Times has waged a campaign to oppose the closure of schools to stop the spread of the pandemic.

The gruesome outcome of “herd immunity”

Managers at Tyson pork plant took bets on how many workers would contract COVID-19

By Tom Hall, 20 November 2020

Nationwide, at least 50,000 meatpacking workers have been infected since the start of the pandemic and at least 253 have died, according to the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

Oppose Sri Lankan government’s repressive essential services order against port workers fighting COVID-19

By The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 20 November 2020

The Rajapakse government’s assault on the democratic rights of port workers is a warning to the entire working class.

“There has to be a complete shutdown, that is the only way to get things under control”

Support builds among autoworkers for emergency action as pandemic spreads throughout factories

By Shannon Jones, 20 November 2020

Autoworkers are speaking out with increasing outrage over the efforts of the auto companies and the United Auto Workers union to continue production at all costs.

No justice for families 10 years after New Zealand’s Pike River mine disaster

By Tom Peters, 20 November 2020

Despite the Labour government’s promises to investigate the explosion which killed 29 men, no one from Pike River Coal has been held accountable for blatantly unsafe practices that put profit ahead of lives.

UPS worker dies of injuries at Louisville Worldport facility as holiday package crush begins

By Steve Filips, 20 November 2020

David Platt, 28, a mechanic working for UPS, was killed Wednesday at the Centennial hub sorting facility.

Toyota workers in India continue strike, defy state back-to-work order

By Shibu Vavara and Arun Kumar, 20 November 2020

Behind the state government’s strikebreaking order is the broader aim of the ruling class to make India a cheap-labor alternative to China.

999 Interactive map shows workplace outbreaks in Illinois

20 November 2020

999 San Diego educators

19 November 2020

Whitmer keeps Michigan K-8 schools and factories open despite record COVID-19 surge

By Zac Corrigan, 19 November 2020

New restrictions on public gatherings exclude K-8 in-person education as well as all factories and workplaces, all major vectors for the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

Thai protests for democratic reforms continue despite violent police attack

By Peter Symonds, 19 November 2020

Thousands of protesters gathered on Tuesday outside the national assembly building in a bid to influence legislators who were discussing motions on constitutional change.

New York City educators and parents must take control over online learning! Schools must stay closed until the pandemic is contained!

By New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 19 November 2020

Our committee warns that the closure of schools is a temporary maneuver and we call on educators, parents and students to demand no resumption of in-person learning until a proven vaccine has been verified and distributed free of charge.

Over 800 nurses strike Philadelphia area hospital for improved staffing

By Samuel Davidson, 19 November 2020

The strike by nurses at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania is the latest to demand safe staffing levels during the pandemic.

Tens of thousands pay homage to youth slain by police as Peru swears in third president in a week

By Cesar Uco, 19 November 2020

Thousands of youth held vigils Monday evening in Peru’s major cities in memory of the two young students killed by the Peruvian National Police (PNP).

Growing support among workers for shutdown of nonessential production as US death toll tops 250,000

By Jerry White, 19 November 2020

Anger among workers is boiling over as corporations keep operating even though COVID-19 infections are spreading uncontrollably throughout factories and other workplaces.

Faurecia auto parts workers join calls for national shutdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives

By Tim Rivers, 18 November 2020

Workers at the Faurecia plant in Saline, Michigan, southwest of Detroit, contacted the World Socialist Web Site over the weekend to expose the way in which their company suppresses information about the spread of disease.

Situation critical as COVID-19 spreads through US auto plants

By Shannon Jones, 18 November 2020

Workers are daily reporting the spread of COVID-19 cases in auto plants, with an apparent major outbreak now reported at the Ford Avon Lake, Ohio facility.

Socialist Party’s Moe Manir expels London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee leader from Facebook group

By By Laura Tiernan, 18 November 2020

The Socialist Party promotes the dangerous illusion that mass pressure from below can transform the unions into fighting organisations. But in every country the trade unions respond to mass pressure from workers by deepening their collusion with the companies and the state, and by stamping out any semblance of democracy.

German unions offer Lufthansa up to 50 percent compensation reduction

By Ulrich Rippert, 18 November 2020

According to their own statements, the unons are offering the Lufthansa board of directors a 1.2 billion euro cut in the income of union members.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee demands schools and campuses close to halt the spread of the pandemic

By Our reporter, 18 November 2020

“Lessons have to be drawn, any orientation to the labour and trade union bureaucracy will be a death trap,” said teacher and meeting moderator Tania Kent.

Biden recruits unions to keep workplaces open as pandemic surges

By Jerry White, 18 November 2020

Biden held an online discussion Monday with top executives from GM, Microsoft and other corporations, along with the leaders of the AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers and other unions.

25 years since the massive strike wave in France

French workers in revolt

By David Walsh, 18 November 2020

In December 1995, David Walsh traveled to Europe as part of an international team of reporters to provide on-the-spot coverage of the massive strike wave in France. We are re-posting the series of articles today.

Homicide investigation under way after weeks of police negligence in the death of black Louisiana teen

By Aaron Murch, 18 November 2020

Quawan Charles, 15, was found dead in a field days after police ignored his family’s please to report him missing.

End the coverup of the outbreak at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant! Stop nonessential production with full pay for workers to contain the pandemic!

By The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 18 November 2020

All non-essential production must stop to contain the current outbreak, which is on pace to be even worse than in the spring.

One-day strike called by Buenos Aires doctors, Chilean health care workers stage protests

Workers Struggles: The Americas

17 November 2020

Doctors in Buenos Aires are set to strike November 17 over an insufficient pay offer while health care workers in Chile struck November 12 and 13 demanding upgrades to the system.

Australian governments impose wage freezes on public sector workers

By Mike Head, 17 November 2020

Coalition and Labor governments alike are exploiting the pandemic to deepen a decades-long attack on working class pay and conditions.

German federal government demands faster destruction of Lufthansa jobs

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 November 2020

Lufthansa is to be made more competitive in relation to other European airlines and prepared for a worldwide trade war.

Boeing announces 7,000 additional layoffs

By Steve Filips, 17 November 2020

Boeing intends to make these cuts despite receiving $17 billion in federal bailout money earlier in the year.

Unifor sells out militant Newfoundland Dominion grocery strike

By Carl Bronski, 17 November 2020

Unifor softened up the strikers by isolating their struggle against Canada’s largest retailer; then begged the Weston-owned Loblaws to present workers essentially the same offer they voted down 12 weeks earlier.

Student strikers in the Philippines demand government action on COVID-19 and typhoon devastation

By John Malvar, 17 November 2020

A student petition declared that the “The national government must act now” to address the devastation caused by the pandemic and massive typhoons, “or step down from their positions. No compromises.”

Utah teachers stage wildcat sickout to demand COVID-19 testing, online instruction as cases soar

By Kayla Costa and David Fitzgerald, 17 November 2020

Teachers in Utah conducted a sickout strike opposed by the union to demand an end to in-person instruction as the pandemic spreads uncontrolled.

Peruvian government falls after two killed in anti-impeachment protests

By Cesar Uco and Bill Van Auken, 16 November 2020

Mass outrage over the deadly repression of protests triggered by the coup-like impeachment of President Vizcarra has forced the resignation of his successor.

Texas educators demand fully online learning to save lives

By Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 16 November 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic tears across Texas, teachers, education workers and parents call for a broad struggle to protect their lives and those of students.

As US COVID-19 cases top 11 million, Biden aides reject new lockdown to save lives

By Patrick Martin, 16 November 2020

The United States is entering the winter season with coronavirus numbers hitting records in 45 states.

Toledo Coca-Cola workers continue strike over unsafe conditions and rising health care costs

By Katy Kinner, 16 November 2020

While the union wants to limit the strike to a set of minimal and vague demands, anger is growing among workers over low wages, unsafe conditions amidst the pandemic and rising health care costs.

Auto parts company ordered to pay $1.5 million following death of Alabama worker

By Aaron Murch, 16 November 2020

Ajin, a Korean parts manufacturer, was ordered to pay over a million dollars in fines and settlements after a 20-year-old contract worker was killed after safety procedures were blatantly ignored.

Union opposes worker’s call for a fight against pro-business Australia Post restructure

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 16 November 2020

At a meeting in Sydney, a union official shot down a worker’s demand for a political and industrial struggle against the pro-business restructure of the postal service that is creating intolerable conditions and clears the way for privatisation.

Australia: Obstetricians at Sydney’s Blacktown Hospital threaten to resign amid the deaths of four babies in 18 months

By Clare Bruderlin, 16 November 2020

Doctors take a stand as understaffing crisis highlights the fragility of the public health system even without a COVID-19 resurgence.

Closure of Louisiana’s Shell Convent Refinery will impact 1,100 jobs and create economic hardship

By James Langley, 16 November 2020

The refinery is being closed as part of a corporate-wide restructuring triggered by falling oil demand due to the pandemic.

The Crisis Elections: 1860 & 2020

15 November 2020

An online meeting with historians James Oakes, Richard Carwardine and Tom Mackaman. Moderated by WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North.

“We’ve got to take matters into our own hands”

Victimized “Teachers Against Dying” Facebook group founder discusses the struggle facing educators

By Evan Blake, 15 November 2020

Michael Hull, the founder of the Facebook group “Teachers Against Dying,” recently spoke with the WSWS about the conditions facing educators and the growing opposition to in-person learning amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

999 Interactive map shows workplace outbreaks in Illinois

14 November 2020

US health care workers demand strike action to address understaffing, low pay as pandemic crisis deepens

By Alex Johnson, 14 November 2020

Mass resistance among nurses and other health care workers against the criminal policies of hospital conglomerates and governments is erupting across the United States.

Record breaking surge of the pandemic pushing US health care workers to the edge

By Benjamin Mateus, 14 November 2020

The mounting surge in new infections is placing immense strain on health care workers and the health systems as they scramble to manage a rapidly growing number of new admissions to hospitals across the nation.

Auto parts worker crushed by massive manufacturing mold at plant north of Detroit

By Valery Tsekov, 14 November 2020

Forty-two year old worker David Spano died Tuesday after a massive manufacturing mold fell on him at Romeo RIM in suburban Detroit.

999 Closure of Shell Convent refinery

14 November 2020

Corporate damage control: Detroit News parrots management, UAW lies about COVID safety conditions at US auto plants

By Shannon Jones, 14 November 2020

The piece is a shameless attempt at damage control as the real situation, which is being documented by the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter, is spiraling out of control.

Strikes and protests develop across India, Pakistan and Indonesia, agreement disputes erupt in Australia and strikes break out in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

14 November 2020

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

Students at Manchester University occupy accommodation block as rent strike continues

By Henry Lee, 14 November 2020

Rising rents, as well as the fact that many students were made to pay in the previous academic year for accommodation they were leaving empty, have triggered a number of protests across the UK since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Workers’ lives are worth more than corporate profits!

Workers must stop production to contain coronavirus outbreak at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant!

By The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 14 November 2020

At least one worker, Mark Bianchi, is already dead, a relative confirmed recently on Facebook, and the United Auto Workers union has pulled virtually all of its shop stewards from the floor, pointing to an outbreak potentially without precedent in the US industry.

“COVID-19 is out of control at the Tipton plant”

Workers report dangerous outbreak at Fiat Chrysler transmission factory in Indiana

By Jerry White, 13 November 2020

Workers are reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 which is being covered up by FCA management and the United Auto Workers union.

999 New York schools and the pandemic

13 November 2020

Nurses in North Dakota pressured to work despite being infected with COVID-19

By Benjamin Mateus, 13 November 2020

Nurses in North Dakota infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic will be “allowed” to continue working rather than quarantine, regardless of the hazards posed for both patients and nurses.

999 Parts worker crushed to death

13 November 2020

Worker at Canadian senior care home describes COVID-19’s horrific impact in a system where “the profit motive is paramount”

By Louis Girard, 13 November 2020

The first wave of the pandemic last spring saw a catastrophic loss of life in Canada’s long-term care facilities. The second wave now underway threatens to exact a similar horrific toll, because Canada’s governments have done next to nothing to improve the situation.

999 Wrist slap fine four years after auto parts worker death

13 November 2020

National strike of South African community health workers; Nigerian doctors in Ondo state on indefinite strike; Zimbabwe’s teachers continue strike; UK engineers at Rolls Royce factory continue strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 November 2020

South African community health workers walk out to demand an end to contract labour; Nigerian doctors in Ondo state stoppage to demand payment of salaries; Zimbabwe teachers’ strike continues for living wage and safety at work—despite threats to stop salaries; UK engineers at Rolls Royce factory strike to defend jobs

Scottish National Party government to pardon arrested miners after 36 years

By Barry Mason, 13 November 2020

Central to the SNP’s pardon of the miners is an effort consign the strike and its lessons to the past forever, in favour of a “reconciliation” on all sides.

Flint, Michigan nurse dies from COVID-19

By Sheila Brehm, 12 November 2020

Santa Staples, an operating room nurse at McLaren Hospital who died Saturday, was much loved and respected by co-workers.

IYSSE meeting calls for a European-wide school strike against the policy of herd immunity

By our reporters, 12 November 2020

Speakers at Monday’s online meeting addressed the perspective of a continent-wide school walkout in the context of the growing resistance of the working class against their governments’ murderous policies.

North Dakota reaches 100 percent hospital capacity, tells health care workers to continue working if infected with COVID-19

By Alex Findijs, 12 November 2020

North Dakota is facing a critical health emergency, with hospitals at full capacity. The state’s herd immunity policy has resulted in a crisis so dire that infected health care workers are being told to continue working to avoid staff shortages

Australia: Growing opposition to planned school closures in northern NSW

By Kaye Tucker and Oscar Grenfell, 12 November 2020

The plan to establish a “super-school” in Murwillumbah has provoked widespread opposition from parents and teachers who have warned of possible job cuts, land privatisation and school overcrowding.

Citing Trump’s executive order keeping meatpacking plants open, Stampede Meat files suit against shutdown order by New Mexico government

By Cordell Gascoigne, 12 November 2020

The coronavirus is significantly more widespread in the plant than in the surrounding community, with 18 percent of the workforce at Stampede Meat infected compared to 4 percent in Doña Ana County.

West Virginia Kroger workers reject sellout agreement, vote overwhelmingly to strike

By Zac Thorton, 12 November 2020

Under the proposed agreement, Kroger would place a cap on the amount of money it contributes to health care benefits, placing more of the burden on its employees.

Three more bus drivers die in Britain as Covid-19 surges

By Barry Mason, 12 November 2020

Three more bus drivers have died in the UK from COVID-19, this time in Leeds, West Yorkshire and Kilmarnock, Scotland. The Leeds drivers were from the same depot, while the death in Kilmarnock was also part of a workplace cluster.

Workers’ lives are not expendable! Take action to stop the COVID-19 pandemic!

By Marcus Day, 12 November 2020

Rank-and-file safety committees must be expanded and organized to prepare walkouts to shut down non-essential plants, warehouses and other workplaces.

”We are being sacrificed for the profits of big business”

Teachers strike across France against Macron administration’s “herd immunity” policy for schools

By Will Morrow, 11 November 2020

The one-day strike followed a week of walkouts organized by rank-and-file teachers since the resumption of classes following the holiday break last Monday.

Coronavirus spreading out of control at Sterling Stamping Plant: A case study of infections in the US auto industry

By The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 11 November 2020

There have been at least 26 infections in the plant since March, and infections are rising far faster in the plant than in the surrounding community.

GM Canada contract ratification ends 2020 negotiations at Detroit Three’s Canadian operations

By Carl Bronski, 11 November 2020

Unifor has functioned as nothing more than a cheap labour contractor, offering up current and future autoworkers to be ruthlessly exploited for the profit interests of the Detroit Three transnational auto giants.

UK parents’ strike sabotaged by trade unions and Labour Party

By Charlotte Salthill and Laura Tiernan, 11 November 2020

National Education Union officials, led by Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted, feared that any promotion of the parents’ strike would draw behind it the active support of teachers.

999 Interview with Teachers against dying

11 November 2020