Health & Safety at Work

“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.

Global trade unions issue empty calls for cruise and shipping seafarer action

By Tom Casey, 27 June 2020

An estimated 28,000 cruise ship crew members remain stranded at sea on ships all over the globe following restrictions implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Against public opposition, Michigan Democrats and Republicans push for unsafe reopening of schools

By Mitch Marcus, 27 June 2020

Both Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-controlled legislature have fully committed to the reopening of in-person schooling, in line with the demands of automakers and other big businesses.

US professional sports confront an opponent that may be unbeatable: COVID-19

By Alan Gilman, 27 June 2020

Major League Baseball plans to begin play during the pandemic, but as with the other professional sports, and college football, the hope of resuming in the midst of the pandemic seems delusional.

“Back to work” campaign in the US has led to surge in COVID-19

By Andre Damon, 27 June 2020

The resurgence of the pandemic was the entirely foreseeable outcome of the homicidal campaign by the Trump administration, with the support of the Democrats and the media, to force workers back into factories and workplaces.

Riverside Community Hospital nurses strike in California

By Kevin Martinez, 26 June 2020

Nurses in the SEIU have launched a 10-day strike to protest staffing cuts while their for-profit hospital chain has received government bailouts.

Five cruise ships detained by UK revealing atrocious conditions of seafarers

By Paul Bond, 26 June 2020

Globally there have been numerous suicides reported among crew members stranded at sea.

Nurses and support staff at HCA Healthcare set to strike California hospital over cuts and PPE shortages

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 June 2020

One thousand nurses and support staff at HCA Healthcare are set to strike over concessions the hospital chain is demanding from frontline health care workers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the US.

The United States nears a new one-day high of COVID-19 infections

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 June 2020

The United States neared a new one-day high in new cases of COVID-19, with 38,386 new infections, only a few hundred below the high set back on April 24 with 39,072 cases.

COVID-19 cases rapidly surge in Texas

By Trévon Austin, 25 June 2020

Texas confirmed over 5,000 cases for the first time on Tuesday.

Brazilian government hides scale of COVID-19 pandemic to promote criminal reopening

By Tomas Castanheira, 25 June 2020

Different studies point to severe underreporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths, as outbreaks at working places spread across Brazil.

India rapidly emerging as epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic in Asia

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 25 June 2020

As a result of the Modi government’s abandonment of lockdown measures, the coronavirus is spreading like wildfire in both urban slums and rural areas.

Detroit nurses’ lawsuit exposes horrific conditions at Sinai-Grace Hospital as COVID-19 deaths spiked

By Kevin Reed, 25 June 2020

Four nurses who worked at Sinai-Grace Hospital have filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Tenet corporation that operates the facility where dozens of people died from COVID-19 due to management’s cost-cutting.

Johnson announces end of UK’s lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 25 June 2020

The bulk of the UK economy, barring “close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas, will reopen July 4. All schools will reopen in September.

London bus drivers’ lives threatened by union collusion on inadequate COVID-19 measures

By Laura Tiernan, 25 June 2020

The Unite union is playing a crucial role for the government and Transport for London in policing the back-to-work drive and concealing the immense dangers facing bus and transport workers.

Unite union facilitates cover-up of COVID-19 outbreak in UK meat processing plants

By Tony Robson, 25 June 2020

Meat processing factories across the world have become a breeding ground for the virus, and working in them is a potential death sentence.

COVID-19 rages through food processing plants, warehouses and manufacturing facilities

By Jerry White, 23 June 2020

More than 24,000 meatpacking workers have been infected and at least 91 have died.

“You risk your life when you go back to work”

Ford workers express health concerns as COVID-19 pandemic spreads

By Tim Rivers and George Kirby, 23 June 2020

Ford workers spoke to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter about returning to work during the pandemic.

Walkout by sorting office workers at Barnsley Royal Mail after coronavirus outbreak

By Thomas Scripps, 23 June 2020

Royal Mail workers at the central post sorting office in Barnsley, England walked out yesterday after colleagues tested positive for coronavirus.

Companies vow no more shutdowns for COVID-19 as US auto plants resume full production

By Shannon Jones, 20 June 2020

All the major carmakers have expressed their determination to continue production without interruption even as COVID-19 cases surge in many areas of the US.

Around 250 workers infected with COVID-19 in three UK food processing plants

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2020

The outbreaks underscore the criminality of the government’s decision to enforce a mass return to work and the lack of basic work safety in plants that have been operating during the pandemic.

Hundreds of new COVID-19 infections in German meat industry

By Marianne Arens, 20 June 2020

More than two-thirds of the meat packers at the Tönnies abattoir in Rheda-Wiedenbrück have been infected with COVID-19, with 730 positive initial test results out of 1,050 tested.

Doctors head legal challenge to UK government on health care deaths and PPE

By Rory Woods, 20 June 2020

At least 181 health workers and 131 social care workers have died while working on the frontline.

More than 40 percent of all US deaths from COVID-19 are in nursing homes

By Benjamin Mateus, 17 June 2020

A report published Tuesday says that there were 51,000 COVID-19 deaths among residents of US nursing homes and extended care facilities.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 in Brazil’s meat processing plants and mines

By Tomas Castanheira, 17 June 2020

Clusters of coronavirus at large companies across the country threaten the lives of thousands of workers.

Canada’s grocery chains slash wages as pandemic continues to rage

By Roger Jordan, 17 June 2020

The decision to abolish the pay premium shows the companies’ shocking disregard for the lives of workers.

An interview with Dr. Mona Masood, founder of the Physician Support Line

By Kate Randall, 17 June 2020

The WSWS spoke to Dr. Mona Masood about her experience setting up a support line of psychiatrists serving the mental health needs of physicians during the coronavirus pandemic.

Indian cruise ship crew stage second protest in three days

By Tom Casey, 16 June 2020

Thousands of cruise ship workers—some of them infected with COVID-19—remained trapped on vessels around the world after the industry shut down last March in response to the pandemic

Germany: Schools and child daycare centres open despite the high risk of infection

By Marianne Arens, 16 June 2020

The same politicians who pump hundreds of billions of euros of so-called “Corona aid” into the vaults of the big banks and leading companies see no need to equip schools with the measures needed to combat the coronavirus.

Virginia and Maryland ease COVID-19 restrictions

By Dominic Gustavo, 16 June 2020

The state authorities in Virginia and Maryland are proceeding with the reopening of the economy with complete indifference to the lives and health of working people in the Washington DC area and across the entire region.

UK: Johnson opens the economy and guarantees fresh COVID-19 outbreak

By Thomas Scripps, 16 June 2020

Scientists warn that easing the lockdown under current conditions is likely to lead to a resurgence of coronavirus, endangering lives and throwing away the sacrifices made by workers and their families

UK: Legal action highlights social-Darwinist policies against the disabled during COVID-19 pandemic

By Alice Summers, 16 June 2020

Numerous medical guidance documents published during the pandemic suggest that coronavirus patients can be denied or deprioritised for medical care solely on the basis of their age or existing mental or physical disabilities.

Philadelphia public workers protest poor working conditions and police violence

By Nick Barrickman, 13 June 2020

Sanitation workers and educators took to the streets this week to demonstrate against Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney’s austerity measures and increased funding for the police.

UK Health and Safety Executive provides cover for Johnson government’s back-to-work drive

By Tony Robson, 13 June 2020

The Health and Safety Executive has not carried out any inspections of workplaces since March to reduce risks to its own staff.

India: A massive explosion in Gujarat chemical plant kills 10 workers

By Arun Kumar, 13 June 2020

The tragic loss of life and terrible injuries are a direct result of government and company indifference towards mandatory work safety measures.

COVID-19 cases spike across the United States

By Jacob Crosse, 12 June 2020

Twelve US states—Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Delaware and Hawaii—have all seen a 25 percent or more spike in average cases within the last week.

“They treat us like we are slaves”

Detroit Flex-N-Gate workers denounce sweatshop conditions

By J. Cooper, 12 June 2020

Workers are facing intolerable conditions after the reopening of the auto parts plants.

“Make no mistake, the union supports ramping up production”

UAW threatens job losses at Ford Kentucky Truck Plant over COVID-19-related absences

By Marcus Day and Jessica Goldstein, 12 June 2020

The UAW’s threats came the same day that Ford’s Chief Operating Officer, Jim Farley, announced that the company expects production to return to pre-pandemic levels by July 6.

UK: Indian cruise ship crew members still awaiting repatriation

By Paul Bond, 12 June 2020

Around 650 Indian crew members of TUI/Marella cruise ships are still laid up in waters off Southampton on the south coast of England.

How Canada’s unions and NDP paved way for bill enforcing return to work amid pandemic

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 12 June 2020

The proposed legislation would impoverish and criminalize workers who refuse to risk their lives and those of their families for corporate profit.

COVID-19 eruptions increasing in US meatpacking plants, logistics centers

By Shannon Jones, 10 June 2020

As all levels of government abandon any attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, workplaces are increasingly becoming vectors of transmission.

US Postal Service covers up COVID-19 death toll in New York City

By Tom Carter and Shuvu Batta, 10 June 2020

“There are people that have been gone for weeks, and people who have been gone who never came back.”

Bridgestone tire defends safety “playbook” as infections rise at Iowa plant

By Jacob Crosse, 10 June 2020

Working with United Steelworkers Local 1301, Bridgestone has continued production despite rising infections among workers and the surrounding community.

COVID-19 spreads in US auto plants as officials hide information from workers

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 June 2020

Three new cases of coronavirus were confirmed among workers at General Motors’ assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, in recent days.

COVID-19 cases rise rapidly after South Asia’s governments abandon lockdowns

By our correspondents, 10 June 2020

India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have all recorded dramatic increases in COVID-19 infections and deaths over the past week.

Canadian government threatens fines and jail time to force workers back to work

By Roger Jordan, 10 June 2020

The Liberal government is spearheading a homicidal back-to-work drive that prioritizes big business profit over workers’ lives.

UK: Setback for Johnson’s school reopening plan due to popular opposition

By Tania Kent, 10 June 2020

The temporary retreat is a credit to the millions of parents and educators who opposed the government and acted in defiance of the trade unions.

A reality check on the ongoing spread of the coronavirus pandemic

By Bryan Dyne, 9 June 2020

More than 400,000 men, women and children have lost their lives from COVID-19 and the lives of countless millions more remain in danger as the number of cases continues to grow.

UK: Postal workers at Bridgewater walk out as six COVID-19 cases confirmed at Wellingborough

By Paul Lee, 9 June 2020

Workers have faced threats of disciplinary action such as “wilful delay of the mail,” which can lead to instant dismissal.

UK: Virus infection rate increases as Johnson government continues ending lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 9 June 2020

Since imposing a lockdown on March 23, Johnson and government ministers have proclaimed keeping the “R” rate below 1 as the precondition for ending the lockdown. But ending the lockdown continues.

Alberta’s hard-right premier dismisses coronavirus as “influenza”

By Janet Browning, 5 June 2020

Kenney’s callous remark is part of his government’s reckless back-to-work policy, and underscores the broad support within Canada’s ruling elite for a criminal “herd immunity” strategy.

Opposition builds to re-opening of UK schools

By Tania Kent, 5 June 2020

In response to a Zoom webinar held by the National Education Union on Wednesday—two days after the re-opening of schools—many educators on Facebook expressed hostility to the inaction of the union.

London bus drivers face COVID-19 disaster: Build rank-and-file safety committees!

By Laura Tiernan, 5 June 2020

Unite has signed off on the Johnson government’s COVID-19 transport plan despite the serious and imminent danger it poses to drivers and the travelling public.

US colleges prepare full opening of campuses in the name of football

By Andy Thompson, 5 June 2020

Over the past several decades college sports has become a multibillion-dollar industry and has made athletics the center of revenue and funding plans in most major US universities.

999 strike in Spain

5 June 2020

US nurses speak on dangers of COVID-19 exposure at their workplaces

By Katy Kinner, 4 June 2020

WSWS reporters spoke to nurses across the US who shared their anger and frustration over governmental and employer neglect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sri Lankan health workers protest wage and transport cuts during pandemic

By W. A. Sunil, 4 June 2020

While hospital workers across all grades and union affiliations participated in the protests the unions are seeking to head off a confrontation with the government.

Survey exposes COVID-19 dangers facing call centre workers

By Joe Mount, 4 June 2020

Several call centre workers have lost their lives to COVID-19, with thousands in fear that their health and safety is being jeopardised.

Democratic Governor Whitmer lifts major COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 3 June 2020

The announcement rescinds the stay-at-home order, along with a series of other restrictions even though most of the state remains in the “flattening” phase of the pandemic.

Canadian farm and industrial worksites become new coronavirus hotspots

By Carl Bronski, 3 June 2020

The reckless back-to-work drive across Canada is already producing new outbreaks of the potentially deadly coronavirus.

Oppose the premature lifting of COVID-19 safety restrictions!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 3 June 2020

The Socialist Equality Party opposes the profit-driven “back-to-work” campaign as the global COVID-19 pandemic worsens and fresh outbreaks appear across the country.

999 CDC report on nurses impacted by the pandemic

3 June 2020

Nurses at HCA Healthcare across the US protest job cuts and lack of PPE

By Alex Johnson, 2 June 2020

Nurses protests are erupting under conditions where hospitals across the country are denying access to personal protective equipment in the pandemic and have already laid off thousands of health care workers.

COVID-19 outbreaks continue surge in meatpacking plants following forced reopenings

By Christopher Davion, 2 June 2020

Meatpacking plants continue to be a major source of COVID-19 transmission in US Midwestern states.

Thousands of Canadian medical workers infected with COVID-19 due to lack of PPE

By Omar Ali, 1 June 2020

More than 2,000 nurses in British Columbia have filed complaints about the lack of personal protective equipment.

Detroit autoworkers report unexplained illness at Jefferson North Assembly as COVID cases mount

By Shannon Jones, 30 May 2020

Several B Crew workers at Fiat Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit fell ill from unknown causes during work on Thursday.

Workers in Germany report on corona virus infection risk in workplaces

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 May 2020

Workers highlight the lack of safety measures in public transit and factories.

No to the reopening of schools! Build action committees to safeguard children and teachers!

Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 30 May 2020

The “phased” return of school children is a criminal policy that places children, teachers, families, and communities open to the risk of serious illness and death.

Local television stations broadcast fake news stories scripted by Amazon

By Douglas Lyons and Nick Barrickman, 29 May 2020

Reporters at nearly a dozen local news stations in the US dutifully read from scripts prepared by Amazon while broadcasting public relations videos prepared and edited by the company.

Nursing union NYSNA provides cover for Cuomo’s push to reopen the economy

By Ali Elhassan, 29 May 2020

The New York State Nurses Association is promoting the illusion that the political establishment responsible for jeopardizing the health of the population and frontline health care workers can be pressured into adopting socially responsible policies.

UK: Weston General Hospital shuts due to coronavirus outbreak among staff

By Robert Stevens and Ben Trent, 29 May 2020

The outbreak reveals the enormous dangers to the health and lives of National Health Service workers.

Letter from an American teacher: “In a pandemic, no one is safe unless we are all safe.”

29 May 2020

The WSWS Teacher Newsletter has received this letter from a high school AP Biology teacher in the Bay Area, California for publication.