Health & Safety at Work

UFCW ignores strike vote by West Virginia Kroger workers, pushes through sellout agreement

By Ray Coleman, 27 November 2020

The contract rammed through by the United Food and Commercial Workers would impose lower wages and higher health care costs onto essential workers in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 death of Ontario youth worker—a tragic outcome of the ruling elite’s criminal school reopening policy

By Omar Ali, 27 November 2020

Ingrid Salt was employed as a child and youth worker at a school in a low-income north-west Toronto neighbourhood.

999 Warren Truck update

27 November 2020

Study finds meatpacking plants were responsible for 8 percent of coronavirus cases in opening phase of pandemic in the US

By Cordell Gascoigne, 27 November 2020

The findings of the study are an indictment not only of the major meatpacking companies themselves but the entire political establishment.

999 Warren Truck TPT death interviews

26 November 2020

Greece’s hospitals face collapse in the second coronavirus wave

By Katerina Selin, 26 November 2020

With death and infection figures skyrocketing, doctors and nurses are sounding the alarm over the crisis in Greece’s health care system.

999 Education article, topic TBD (Chicago, TN, MI or AL)

26 November 2020

Australia: Residents speak out against northern NSW school closures

By Kaye Tucker, 26 November 2020

“For families like mine, this is a real panic situation! I’m in social housing and very grateful to have a roof over our heads, but if I can’t give my son a quality education in the area, then I am going to have to move.”

“I think school should be closed until the virus is brought under control”

UK student nurse and her daughter speak out on impact of pandemic

By our reporter, 26 November 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with Elizabeth, a student nurse in her final year in Manchester, and her daughter Claire, aged 15, about their experiences during the pandemic.

UK mother whose children all contracted COVID-19 speaks out to demand school closures: “I agree you must close schools and universities to save lives”

By our reporters, 25 November 2020

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to Linda, a parent of three school children, who all tested positive for coronavirus at the end of October.

US coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths explode during past two weeks

By Bryan Dyne, 25 November 2020

The number of active cases in the country has risen to more than five million and is on track to double every six to eight weeks.

As pandemic rages out of control, Canada’s governments insist on keeping economy “open” to protect corporate profits

By Roger Jordan, 25 November 2020

All of the half-hearted restrictions that provincial governments have imposed on social gatherings and, in some cases, small businesses have one aim: keeping key areas of economic production running at full tilt even as the virus runs rampant.

Boris Johnson announces end of national lockdown, prepares surge of COVID-19

By Thomas Scripps, 24 November 2020

From Wednesday next week, all non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers and other personal care businesses in England will be allowed to reopen, along with places of worship.

A month after being hired at suburban Detroit Fiat Chrysler plant, worker dies from COVID-19

By George Kirby, 24 November 2020

Stevie Brown, a temporary part-time worker at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant, is the latest victim of the murderous policy of keeping the factories open even as they have become a major vector in the spread of the deadly disease.

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.

Alabama juvenile hall teacher speaks out on hazardous conditions

By Shelley Connor, 24 November 2020

An educator at one of Alabama’s juvenile detention facilities described the dangerous conditions she and her students are forced to confront daily.

Iowa hospitals overwhelmed, Wisconsin health care system on brink of collapse amid exponential rise in COVID-19 cases

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 November 2020

Nearly every intensive care unit bed and every medical-surgical bed is full in the majority of hospitals throughout the state, and over a third of all hospitals in Wisconsin are operating at peak capacity and are unable to admit new patients.

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.

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.

21 November 2020

Binghamton University closes after coronavirus outbreak, University at Buffalo defies guidelines to remain open

By Alex Findijs, 21 November 2020

Binghamton University has switched to remote learning for the second time after recording 100 cases in two weeks. The University at Buffalo, however, has decided to remain open despite reaching the threshold for closure.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

UK city of Hull becomes new COVID-19 epicentre fuelled by unsafe schools

By Harvey Thompson, 20 November 2020

In Hull, 57 of the city’s 97 schools have been affected, while in the wider East Riding area, cases have been reported in 103 of 150 schools.

999 Interactive map shows workplace outbreaks in Illinois

20 November 2020

“The wolf is at the door”: Missouri hospital heads plead for state action to stem the pandemic

By Cole Michaels and Kristina Betinis, 19 November 2020

As the St. Louis area sees record hospitalizations, local mitigation measures have been partial and limited, and Republican leaders are scheming to prevent workers from suing their employers for COVID-19 exposure.

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.

Germany’s schools remain open despite a massive second wave of COVID-19

By Marianne Arens, 19 November 2020

Governments at the national and state levels are keeping schools and day care centres open, ensuring that the pandemic will continue to explode, pushing up death rates.

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.

Turkey adopts inadequate restriction policies as COVID-19 surges

By Ulaş Ateşçi, 19 November 2020

The Turkish government is committing to a “herd immunity” policy in the interests of the ruling class, regardless of how many lives are lost.

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.

Number of children diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US surpasses one million

By Alex Findijs, 19 November 2020

Most of the infections have come after the reopening of schools, highlighting the dangers of in-person instruction during the pandemic.

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.

South Australian COVID-19 outbreak highlights dangers of “reopening” campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 November 2020

The infections in Adelaide underscore the risk of a rapid spread of the virus as governments seek to lift all remaining safety restrictions.

Second wave of coronavirus pandemic hits New York and New Jersey

By Josh Varlin, 18 November 2020

Amid the worst-hit regions in the world during the spring, COVID-19 is resurging in New York and New Jersey.

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.

999 Interactive map shows workplace outbreaks in Illinois

18 November 2020

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.

As Mexico records 1 million coronavirus cases, 53 percent of tests are coming out positive

By Andrea Lobo, 18 November 2020

Mexico has reached 1 million cases and is expected to reach 100,000 deaths this week, while the country reports the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the world.

New York Governor Cuomo keeps schools open despite rising COVID-19 positivity rate

By Alberto Escalera, 18 November 2020

Schools will remain open in New York City Wednesday despite the positivity rate reaching 3.2 percent Tuesday, with the latest data showing a 2.74 percent seven-day rolling average infection rate in the city.

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.

Austria to tighten lockdown, but factories remain open

By Markus Salzmann, 18 November 2020

Only when the infection figures reached five times the peak of the spring — as more and more experts sounded the alarm and outrage in the population became unmistakable—has the government enacted some disjointed and half-hearted measures.

As COVID-19 spreads in workplaces, US autoworkers call for emergency action to save lives

By Shannon Jones, 17 November 2020

US auto plants have become major vectors for the spread of COVID-19, yet auto executives, the UAW union and government officials at every level are determined to continue full production no matter what the cost to life.

999 Interactive map shows workplace outbreaks in Illinois

17 November 2020

Macron government opposes full lock-down as coronavirus deaths climb

By Will Morrow, 17 November 2020

Hundreds of people are continuing to die every day in France as tens of thousands of new coronavirus infections are being reported.

What would a Biden administration mean for public education?

By Renae Cassimeda, 17 November 2020

An understanding of what a Biden administration would have in store for educators requires a sober appraisal of the record of the Obama-Biden administration, the president-elect’s program and the class interests that Biden and the Democratic Party serve.

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.

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.

999 Interactive map shows workplace outbreaks in Illinois

16 November 2020

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.

“If Whitmer were really concerned about COVID-19, she would never have allowed manufacturing to re-open”

Sterling Heights Assembly workers demand shutdown as coronavirus spreads in factories throughout US

By Tom Hall, 16 November 2020

Michigan’s governor announced new lockdowns exempting manufacturing, while new signs emerged of major outbreaks at Fiat Chrysler’s Sterling Heights assembly and stamping plants and other Detroit-area factories.

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.

Prisoners load bodies into mobile morgues in El Paso, Texas as COVID-19 infections skyrocket

By Benjamin Mateus, 16 November 2020

The winter surge in the US is well underway, with fatalities climbing as hospital systems from one region to the next reach capacity.

Coronavirus spreads throughout Germany’s schools and businesses

By Gregor Link, 16 November 2020

The federal and state governments are responsible for a situation in which the virus is running out of control nationwide.

“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.

New York City schools likely to close as pandemic surges

By Alberto Escalera, 14 November 2020

With the rise in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths throughout the region, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Friday of a likely suspension of in-person learning at public schools as early as next week.

999 Interactive map shows workplace outbreaks in Illinois

14 November 2020

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.

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.

Close all nonessential workplaces! Full compensation for workers and small businesses!

By Andre Damon, 14 November 2020

All sections of the ruling class are opposed to taking measures necessary to contain the pandemic. That is why workers must take emergency action.

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.

Growing opposition among educators forces closure of schools as pandemic spreads

By Evan Blake, 13 November 2020

Whatever their tactical maneuvers, the Democratic Party is equally beholden to Wall Street and will reopen schools as soon as they deem it politically viable.

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

Sri Lankan government lifts limited lockdown despite rising infections

By W.A. Sunil, 12 November 2020

From the beginning of October, the grossly understated official number of cases has increased dramatically by more than 10,000, while the death toll has risen by 33, or more than tripled.

Maryland governor re-imposes restrictions as COVID-19 cases reach record levels in the Washington, DC region

By Nick Barrickman, 12 November 2020

Daily COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in the past month throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan region.

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.

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

Massachusetts governor pushes for in-person learning as COVID-19 cases surge

By Andrew Timon, 12 November 2020

As Massachusetts reports over 2,000 daily cases for the first time since the spring, Republican Governor Charlie Baker and state officials are continuing their pressure campaign to herd students and teachers back into classrooms.

Metro Detroit hospitalizations rise sharply as second wave of COVID-19 cases surges across Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 12 November 2020

An alarming surge in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is underway in metropolitan Detroit and throughout the state of Michigan, threatening to overrun the capacity of the health care system.

As COVID-19 cases surge across Canada, governments press forward with “reopening” of the economy

By Roger Jordan, 12 November 2020

That Canada’s governments are pursuing a “herd immunity” policy that will result in mass death is increasingly being admitted even within the corporate media.

German schools become coronavirus hotspots: 300,000 students in quarantine

By Gregor Link and Markus Salzmann, 12 November 2020

Although studies show that the closure of schools, day-care centres and non-essential businesses effectively slow down the increase of infections, governments in Germany and Europe generally reject such closures.

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.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, named to the Biden coronavirus taskforce, calls for a national lockdown

By Benjamin Mateus, 12 November 2020

President-elect Joe Biden has refused to call for a national lockdown despite Dr. Osterholm’s declaration that this is the only way to bring the pandemic under control.

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.

US coronavirus hospitalizations hit new peak

By Bryan Dyne, 11 November 2020

The seven-day average of daily deaths in the United States surpassed 1,000 on Monday for the first time since August 22.

COVID-19 cuts through Missouri and Kansas uncontrolled

By Cole Michaels and Kristina Betinis, 11 November 2020

Hospitalizations again hit another high Tuesday at 2,055 across Missouri, and some St. Louis-area hospitals are postponing elective procedures to free up capacity.

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.

999 Interview with Teachers against dying

11 November 2020

UK National Health Service on the precipice due to COVID-19 surge

By Ben Trent and Rory Woods, 10 November 2020

The burnout of staff, backlog of non-COVID patients and the surge of the pandemic are the responsibility of the deliberate and criminal policies of the Tory government, carried out with the tacit support of Labour Party and the trade unions.

Coronavirus pandemic spreads in France despite partial lockdown policies

By Jacques Valentin, 10 November 2020

In a press conference Monday, health director Jérôme Salomon warned that the “peak” remained “ahead of us,” and “the second wave is continuing.”

Truck drivers at United Natural Foods vote to strike over lack of pandemic safety measures

By Philip Guelpa, 10 November 2020

UNFI delivers groceries to a number of major retailers in New York City, New Jersey, upstate New York and Connecticut, including Whole Foods Market and Stop & Shop, from its distribution center in Montgomery, New York

Auto parts workers demand full disclosure as COVID-19 cases surge at Indiana Faurecia plant

By Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 10 November 2020

We demand that the company and the IBEW union make public all information, including dates and locations of cases, on the spread of the coronavirus in the plant.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown allows 150,000 students to return to unsafe schools

By Kayla Costa, 10 November 2020

Educators have responded with anger to Oregon’s new guidelines, which will allow one-quarter of the state’s students to resume in-person learning in the next month, amidst a massive spike in coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus infections in Germany hit a new record

By Markus Salzmann, 10 November 2020

The situation is particularly tense in the capital. For the first time, Berlin is registering more than 15,000 active coronavirus cases.

For a general strike to close schools! Form rank-and-file safety committees of teachers, parents and students!

By Parti de l’égalité socialiste (France), 10 November 2020

Thousands of French teachers will join a nationwide strike today, as strikes voted by local staff meetings have shut dozens of schools since holidays ended Monday.