Health & Safety at Work

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.

Columbia University pressures faculty into teaching in-person classes, triggering backlash

By Elliott Murtagh, 8 August 2020

Faculty and graduate instructors have denounced university demands they teach in-person classes during the planned fall campus reopening.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lancet warns of massive resurgence of coronavirus after UK school reopening

By Thomas Scripps, 5 August 2020

Medical professionals warn that schools cannot be reopened safely when testing and tracing are grossly inadequate and there is already a resurgence of the pandemic.

Brazilian teachers oppose back-to-school drive

By our correspondents, 5 August 2020

Amid intense opposition from teachers and parents, private schools were reopened last month in the state of Amazonas and this week in Rio de Janeiro.

COVID-19 surges in Spain as government pushes reopening of schools

By Alejandro López, 5 August 2020

The return to school is a criminal policy exposing children, teachers, families and neighbourhoods to serious illness and death.

“A lot of people really don’t think we should be working right now”

GM Fairfax worker speaks out on spread of COVID-19

By James Tatsch, 5 August 2020

Last week saw the highest number of new recorded cases for the Kansas City metro area since the start of the pandemic.

Amazon violates its own health and safety rules in COVID-19 coverup

By Nick Barrickman and Patrick Smith, 5 August 2020

Amazon continues to withhold the number of reported coronavirus infections from its own workers and the public, placing countless lives in danger.

Australian meatworks emerge as centres of COVID-19

By Steve Strietberg, 5 August 2020

Amid growing infections throughout the industry, cold storage workers at the JBS plant in Melbourne refused to begin work last week, demanding safe working conditions.

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.

“Most people here think the plant should be shut down”

Workers describe unsafe conditions at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant

By Tim Rivers and George Kirby, 4 August 2020

Members of the new Ford Rouge Rank-and-File Safety Committee spoke to the WSWS to describe the lack of safety protections at Ford’s flagship F-150 factory, while management backed by the union is attempting to restore full production.

Stricter lockdown reimposed in Philippines as cases top 100,000

By Joseph Santolan, 4 August 2020

The Duterte administration has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with authoritarianism and anti-scientific nonsense.

Mass unemployment to worsen in Australia following Victorian lockdown

By Mike Head, 4 August 2020

Workers, especially those in casual and insecure employment, will bear the burden of the sweeping “state of disaster” COVID-19 restrictions announced by Victoria’s Labor government.

Amid COVID-19 “disaster,” Australian state government announces limited workplace closures

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 August 2020

The measures were only announced after the Victorian surge of infections had spiralled out of control, sparking fears of a collapse of the healthcare system.

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.

COVID-19 takes hold in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 4 August 2020

A surge of new COVID-19 cases has been recorded in the past 14 days, threatening to overwhelm the impoverished country’s ill-equipped healthcare system.

One month of the coronavirus pandemic: 7.2 million infected, 165,000 dead

By Bryan Dyne, 4 August 2020

July was the worst month yet in terms of new cases of COVID-19, as the pandemic continued to tear through the global population.

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.

As COVID-19 ravages Brazil, governments promote homicidal reopening of schools

By Tomas Castanheira, 1 August 2020

The attempt by big business politicians to reopen schools in the country faces massive opposition from educators and working-class families.

Reopening of schools in Germany puts the lives of children and educators at stake

By Andrea Reissner, 1 August 2020

The situation is highly dangerous. Since the easing of the coronavirus restrictions, the number of cases in Europe, and in Germany, is once again on the rise.

Hundreds of thousands mobilize on social media to oppose US school reopenings

By Evan Blake, 31 July 2020

An explosion of opposition to the unsafe reopening of schools has developed on social media, primarily through dozens of Facebook groups with a combined global membership of over 300,000.

COVID-19 deaths mount at GM plant and maquiladoras across Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 30 July 2020

The state-owned oil company reported that 234 family members of workers have also died from coronavirus, highlighting the horrific human cost of the rush to reopen the economy.

Auto parts worker dies at Michigan Faurecia plant of unexplained causes

By Tim Rivers, 30 July 2020

Management at the Saline, Michigan plant has not released the cause of death, but coronavirus is widely suspected.

India set to surpass two million COVID-19 cases within days

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 July 2020

While the government claims that it is mounting a “successful battle,” the virus is rampaging across the India, with half a million new infections in the past 12 days.

UK coronavirus infections and death rates increase as Johnson blames Europe

By Robert Stevens, 30 July 2020

The Tories’ aim is to divert attention from the resurgence of coronavirus infections in the UK due to their own criminal policies.

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine racket

By Bryan Dyne, 30 July 2020

Moderna’s exorbitant price point for its taxpayer subsidized vaccine exemplifies the corporate-financial elite’s exploitation of the coronavirus catastrophe for its selfish private gain.

DENSO workers describe conditions that led to COVID-19 outbreak at Michigan auto parts plant

By Brent Dylan, 28 July 2020

After an initial report on an outbreak, workers describe the unsafe conditions and corporate double speak.

Teachers face battle as Trump pushes school reopenings

By Evan Blake, 28 July 2020

After waging years of strikes and protests against cuts to school funding and wages, educators in the US now face a direct confrontation with the Trump administration over its drive to reopen schools.

Iowa Department of Health underreported confirmed cases at meatpacking plant by more than half

By Cordell Gascoigne, 25 July 2020

The Iowa Department of Health cover-up occurred at the height of the “back to work campaign” and ongoing meat industry production.

COVID-19 spreading widely in auto plants as Detroit automakers push for more production

By Shannon Jones, 23 July 2020

Reports continue of spreading COVID-19 infections at US auto plants as Detroit automakers are making clear that they will not permit even temporary shutdowns for cleaning and quarantining.

New coronavirus cases globally rocket past a quarter million

By Bryan Dyne, 23 July 2020

Multiple countries yesterday set new records in their daily death tolls, case counts or both.

California: 700 health care workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital on five-day strike

By Brian Dixon, 23 July 2020

Workers are protesting understaffing at the hospital, inadequate access to personal protective equipment, and management’s proposal to slash their benefits.

Widespread opposition as union sells out Joliet, Illinois nurses strike

By Alex Johnson, 23 July 2020

The Illinois Nurses Association isolated the courageous two-week strike and then pushed through a deal that does nothing to address dangerously high patient-to-nurse ratios.

Record daily coronavirus infections in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 23 July 2020

The pandemic has been exacerbated by the casualisation of the workforce that was engineered over the last four decades by successive Labor and Liberal governments.

Ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases across Pacific Island states

By John Braddock, 23 July 2020

The global health and economic crisis is having a catastrophic impact on the fragile and impoverished former colonies across the Pacific.

Death of 14-year-old on the job highlights growth of child labor in Canada

By Frédéric Charlebois, 23 July 2020

Young workers represent more than 50 percent of the workforce at some large corporations such as McDonald’s and Tim Hortons.

Safety expert removed from Australia’s Grosvenor Mine explosion inquiry

By Terry Cook, 23 July 2020

The Queensland state Labor government’s inquiry is shaping up to become another cover-up of how safety is subordinated to the companies’ ruthless drive for profits.

As opposition mounts to reopening of the schools

Missouri governor says children infected with COVID-19 will “get over it”

By Evan Blake, 21 July 2020

The campaign to reopen schools across the US, spearheaded by the Trump administration and supported by the entire political establishment, is provoking widespread opposition among educators.

Health and safety of medical workers jeopardized by world leaders’ negligent response to the pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 21 July 2020

Health care workers have faced the brunt of the pandemic, with tens of thousands who have contracted the coronavirus and thousands who have died caring for those infected with COVID-19.

040 Meatpackers update

21 July 2020

Mauritian seafarers, workers and youth oppose Jugnauth government corruption and austerity

By Tom Casey, 21 July 2020

Tens of thousands of workers and youth marched in a demonstration on Cathedral Square in the central district of Port Louis, Mauritius, on July 11.

Australian coronavirus surge hits workplaces, factories

By Paul Bartizan, 20 July 2020

Some 80 percent of all COVID-19 transmissions in the state of Victoria over the last two months have occurred in workplaces.

Tönnies meat-processing plant in Germany restarted despite ongoing danger from COVID-19

By Marianne Arens, 20 July 2020

At the Tönnies plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, and the district of Gütersloh where it is located, 244 people are still registered as sick due to the coronavirus.

999 JBS Greeley meatpackers update

20 July 2020

Australia: Hundreds of health workers in Victoria contract COVID-19

By Clare Bruderlin, 18 July 2020

A national survey of 500 healthcare workers found that half were experiencing PPE shortages and some were having to source their own supplies.

Two-week strike by Joliet, Illinois nurses in danger

By Benjamin Mateus and Jerry White, 17 July 2020

The nurses have taken a defiant stand not just for themselves but for all health care workers, but the unions are isolating their strike.

Australian governments reject lockdowns, as Victoria hits highest daily infection toll

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2020

Infections are spiralling out of control, because governments are refusing to implement measures that would impinge on the profits of the corporate elite.

Australian authorities sought to cover-up asbestos removal at Newcastle school

By Robert Campion, 15 July 2020

The debacle is part of a decades-long scandal concerning the use of asbestos in public buildings, involving successive Labor and Liberal governments.

“We’re not going to compromise because this is our safety”

Meatpacking, auto and health care workers take action to protect lives as pandemic surges in US

By Jessica Goldstein and Jerry White, 14 July 2020

Meatpacking workers in Greeley, Colorado walked out Friday and autoworkers are setting up rank-and-file safety committees to protect themselves from the deadly virus.

Teacher unions support drive to reopen US schools as pandemic explodes

By David Brown, 14 July 2020

As COVID-19 cases soar across the country, the AFT and NEA are striving to channel teachers’ anger over the forced reopening behind the right-wing presidential campaign of Democrat Joseph Biden.

New York City releases dangerous school reopening plans

By Sandy English and Steve Light, 14 July 2020

The announcement last week by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio that public schools would reopen on an alternating-day schedule has provoked concern and opposition among parents and educators.

Anger grows as Australian state Labor government sends teachers and senior students back to school in Melbourne

By Patrick Kelly, 14 July 2020

The sweeping return to school, amid a worsening COVID-19 surge, represents a threat to public safety.

Houston hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients as Texas continues to reopen

By Chase Lawrence, 14 July 2020

Coronavirus skyrockets in Texas’ largest city as reopening continues.

Hundreds of workers infected and four dead from COVID-19 at Los Angeles sweatshop

By Marc Wells, 14 July 2020

The Los Angeles Apparel factory was shut down after months of reports and formal complaints filed by garment workers and advocacy groups.

Coronavirus infections skyrocket in the US

Bipartisan back-to-work campaign produces catastrophe

By Andre Damon, 14 July 2020

The uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus in the United States is a social crime. Definite individuals, acting on behalf of the financial oligarchy, are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.

North American autoworkers expand fight against unsafe conditions amid COVID-19 nightmare

By Shannon Jones, 11 July 2020

Fiat Chrysler Toledo Assembly workers in Ohio have decided to launch a rank-and-file safety committee, after similar committees were set up last month at two FCA plants in the Detroit area.

Toledo Fiat Chrysler workers launch rank-and-file safety committee to save lives amid COVID-19 rampage

By the Toledo Assembly Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 11 July 2020

After the outbreak of at least 31 COVID-19 cases at the plant, workers at FCA’s Toledo Assembly Complex have formed a rank-and-file safety committee.

Pandemic surges in the Americas as the global death toll nears 560,000

By Kate Randall, 11 July 2020

The United States is leading the global toll of new COVID-19 cases and deaths, with nearly 3.2 million cases and 134,092 deaths as of Friday evening, about a quarter of the global total.

Striking Joliet, Illinois nurses should reject sellout deal

By Benjamin Mateus, 11 July 2020

AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center nurses in Joliet should reject the Illinois Nurses Association's deal, which does nothing to address chronic understaffing.

“The decision to reopen schools shouldn’t be political. It should be made by medical experts.”

Teachers speak out against Trump’s push to reopen schools

By Mitch Marcus and Kimie Saito, 11 July 2020

The WSWS spoke with two teachers about the dangerous push by the Trump administration to reopen schools in the fall as the COVID-19 pandemic spirals out of control.

COVID-19 disrupts reopening of US professional sports

By Alan Gilman, 11 July 2020

Professional baseball, basketball, football and soccer are all attempting to resume play without live audiences, but dozens of athletes have fallen victim to coronavirus.

Lenox Hill: Portrait of New York City hospital obscures more than it shows

By Clara Weiss, 11 July 2020

Netflix is currently streaming the mini-series documentary Lenox Hill, which focuses on four doctors at the hospital of the same name in New York’s Manhattan.

Canada’s migrant workers protest lack of COVID-19 protections

By Matthew Richter and Roger Jordan, 7 July 2020

Hundreds of migrant workers and their supporters joined protests Saturday against atrocious working and living conditions—conditions long sanctioned by government and made still worse by the pandemic.

Worker at German meat processing plant dismissed for sharing critical video

By Marianne Arens, 7 July 2020

The video shows a view into a canteen, where hundreds of employees sit and eat close to each other at the tables.

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer pushes unsafe reopening of Michigan schools

By Mitch Marcus, 7 July 2020

Last week, Whitmer released dangerous and unfunded mandates on schools reopening, making it clear that she is determined to push ahead even as cases spike across the state.

COVID-19 outbreak surges among Michigan farm workers in rural counties

By Brent Dylan, 7 July 2020

Over 200 Michigan farm workers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus during the last ten days of June.

Organise teachers, parents and school staff committees to oppose reckless school reopening in Melbourne!

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 7 July 2020

The CFPE calls for the formation of safety action committees to demand the suspension of the school system as part of a comprehensive public health and safety plan to protect the working class.

Riverside, California: HCA nurses strike continues as coronavirus takes its toll

By Alex Johnson, 4 July 2020

According to health officials, the confirmed active case count in Riverside bloated to 10,059 on Thursday, compared to 9,532 on Wednesday. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 stands at 465.

UAW and General Motors downplay outbreaks of COVID-19 at US auto plants

By Jessica Goldstein, 4 July 2020

As the UAW and auto corporations to play down the health crisis, workers’ anger is at breaking point as they demand the plants be shut down for their safety.

“Deep cleaning” in Australian schools: Image and reality

By Carolyn Kennett, 4 July 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, governments promised thoroughly cleaned classrooms, but school cleaners have neither the resources nor hours to conduct the necessary cleaning.

“The company is taking risks with the lives of 5,000 workers”

Texas GM workers demand closure of factory as COVID-19 cases surge

By Jerry White, 2 July 2020

Just days after Fiat Chrysler workers in Detroit halted production, GM workers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area are demanding the closure of Arlington Assembly.

“Chrysler was telling everybody that it was safe to come back to work, and it’s not.”

Autoworkers at FCA Trenton Engine call for rank-and-file safety committees to fight COVID-19

By Tim Rivers, 2 July 2020

Autoworkers at the FCA Trenton Engine Plant south of Detroit called on their co-workers to build rank-and-file safety committees to fight the spread of COVID-19 in factories and save lives.

Arizona Department of Health Services activates plan to ration healthcare for COVID-19 patients

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 July 2020

As the pandemic surges throughout Arizona, the governor is seeking emergency support from the federal government to supplement the beleaguered hospital staff in hard-hit counties.

Riverside, California Nurses strike continues as ICU beds reach capacity

By Kevin Martinez, 2 July 2020

Nurses are protesting unsafe working conditions while county health officials announced this week that ICU beds were at 99 percent capacity

Respiratory therapist at New York’s Elmhurst Hospital describes horrors during COVID pandemic:

“The patients in March didn’t have to die like this, if we would have had more staff and better equipment to work with”

By Clara Weiss, 2 July 2020

At poor community hospitals like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, patients were up to three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than they were in facilities in the richest parts of Manhattan.

Johnson pledges “New Deal” for UK as he prepares savage attack on workers

By Chris Marsden, 2 July 2020

Johnson is prime minister of a declining imperialist power, dominated politically, economically, and socially by a financial oligarchy whose sole concern is that the flood of wealth into its coffers continues.

The inequality pandemic: How American capitalism puts profits over lives

By Andre Damon, 2 July 2020

The resurgence of COVID-19 is the outcome of a policy, led by the Trump administration but supported by the entire political and media establishment, of subordinating society’s needs to the interests of the financial oligarchy.

030 US: HCA nurses strike

1 July 2020

Chile: COVID-19 outbreak in mining regions

By Mauricio Saavedra, 1 July 2020

Three mineworkers have died in the giant state-owned mining corporation Codelco, and some 2,528 are infected, according to the official figures of the Ministry of Mining.

COVID-19 increase at UK’s 2 Sisters, Rowan and Kober meat processing factories

By Tony Robson, 1 July 2020

Inadequate and unsafe forms of transport, poor working conditions, and rundown accommodation are class issues bound up with the wealth extraction demanded by capitalism.

090 FCA Trenton engine shutdown over COVID-19

1 July 2020

Hands off Fiat Chrysler workers fighting the COVID-19 disease!

By the Jefferson North and Sterling Heights Rank-and-File Safety Committees, 1 July 2020

This joint statement was issued by the rank-and-file safety committees set up by Detroit-area Fiat Chrysler workers to fight for safe conditions during the pandemic.

”I can get another job. I can’t get another life”

Food processing plants in Ohio and New York hit with outbreaks

By Alex Findijs, 1 July 2020

Outbreaks at salad and fruit processing plants in Springfield, Ohio, and Oswego, New York, show the vulnerability of food workers to the deadly disease.

New York City transit worker suffers miscarriage on the job

By Sam Dalton, 1 July 2020

Transit workers are outraged at the Transit Authority and the union after a conductor who was six-months pregnant lost a baby when she was forced to return to track switching.

Amazon workers in Germany strike against lack of coronavirus protection

By Marianne Arens, 30 June 2020

More than 2,000 Amazon workers are taking part in a 48-hour strike at six locations to protest the company’s refusal to provide adequate protection from the virus.

Broader reopening of UK schools leads to spread of COVID-19 infections

By Tania Kent and Tim Pearce, 30 June 2020

Recent outbreaks in schools almost doubled to 44 in one week—16 more than were recorded at hospitals

Nurses, farmworkers, autoworkers strike for safe working conditions

Detroit Fiat Chrysler workers halt production for second day to demand COVID-19 protection

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 June 2020

The mounting struggles by workers against the back-to-work drive highlight the immense power of the working class in the fight to halt the deadly pandemic and the corporate-government attack on jobs and living standards.

Dole Foods in Ohio hit by 230 COVID-19 cases as food processing plants globally are ravaged by infections

By Alex Findijs, 27 June 2020

Food processing plants around the world continue to be hit by mass infections, even in countries that had largely stopped the spread of the disease.