Health & Safety at Work
Amid failure by corporations and governments to repatriate employees
By Tom Casey, 19 May 2020
Crew members on board the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s (RCCL) Majesty of the Seas staged a protest Friday on the upper deck of the ship, demanding answers from the captain as to when they would be sent home.
By Erik Schreiber and Kayla Costa, 19 May 2020
The response to the petition demonstrates workers’ willingness to fight, but its appeal to the Teamsters union is a dead end. A genuine struggle for safety requires the formation of independent rank-and-file committees.
By Peter Ross, 19 May 2020
The warehouse explosion spread the fire to adjacent buildings but was contained in about an hour by some 230 responders.
“There will be a human cost from this. Everyone knows that.”
By Shannon Jones, 16 May 2020
As the Detroit-based auto companies prepare to restart their North American factories, opposition is growing among workers to a deadly return to work.
By Cordell Gascoigne, 16 May 2020
The walkouts at the Mississippi pillow factory are part of a wave of wildcat strikes and other job actions across the United States and internationally by workers demanding protection from COVID-19.
By David Fitzgerald and Kayla Costa, 16 May 2020
Located in the county with the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state, the agricultural workers are demanding companies provide adequate personal protective equipment, hazard pay and safe working conditions.
By Marianne Arens, 16 May 2020
German slaughterhouses have become coronavirus hotspots, with hundreds of workers, most of them sub-contracted from Eastern Europe, infected with the virus.
By Tania Kent and Harvey Thompson, 16 May 2020
The closure of schools is a key measure recommended by medical experts internationally to reduce the infection and death rate from the coronavirus.
By Robert Stevens, 16 May 2020
There are 23,956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland and 1,518 deaths—one of the highest death ratios in the world. In Northern Ireland, 4,317 people have tested positive, with 469 deaths.
By Andre Damon, 16 May 2020
Proponents of “herd immunity” argue that measures to contain COVID-19 should be abandoned, allowing the disease to infect billions of people and kill countless millions.
As Global coronavirus death toll tops 300,000
By Bryan Dyne, 15 May 2020
Dr. Rick Bright warned yesterday that the pandemic “has the potential to eclipse the devastation wrought by the 1918 influenza, which globally claimed over 50 million lives.”
“We are not going back to unsafe conditions”
After FCA Sterling Heights Assembly workers contract COVID-19, anger mounts over premature return to work
By Shannon Jones, 15 May 2020
Anxiety over a premature return to work has been heightened after reports that several workers in the Detroit area have already been sent home with suspected COVID-19 infections.
By Andrea Peters, 15 May 2020
There are now more coronavirus infections in Russia than anywhere else in the world, with the exception of the United States and Spain.
By Marianne Arens, 15 May 2020
With the general relaxation of the coronavirus measures, cases in schools, retirement homes, local transport, industry and the entire working population are inevitably on the rise again.
By Alberto Escalera, 15 May 2020
Businesses have been left to supervise themselves in all matters related to worker safety as the government’s regulatory agencies essentially wash their hands of the matter.
By Zachary Thorton, 15 May 2020
Kroger, Starbucks and other companies plan to end hazard-related bonuses, including pay increases and paid work leave, even as the number of new COVID-19 infections and deaths in the US continues to rise.
The 2003 SARS epidemic: How Canada’s elite squandered the chance to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic
By Omar Ali, 15 May 2020
Canada’s disastrous response to the pandemic is all the more criminal given the impact of SARS and the repeated government vows that the country’s health system would be well-prepared for any future novel virus.
By Cordell Gascoigne, 14 May 2020
Concern over a possible plantwide spread of the virus was mounting for days when a worker at the plant told supervisors that her husband—also employed at the factory—had tested positive for coronavirus.
By Tony Robson, 14 May 2020
The largest on-line fashion retailer in the UK has been allowed to keep its non-essential business open throughout the pandemic, including at its main warehouse and distribution centre in Barnsley, South Yorkshire
By our reporter, 14 May 2020
“It all looks good on the outside (one-way system, tents with thermo-cameras), but inside they care less and less every day.”
By Tom Casey, 14 May 2020
While companies have since begun to slowly enact measures to repatriate their remaining employees in accordance with governmental guidelines, the conditions facing those workers still stuck on board has grown untenable.
White House Coronavirus Task Force member warns of “really serious” consequences of premature reopening
By Bryan Dyne, 13 May 2020
The testimony was a devastating indictment of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and made clear that the back-to-work campaign risks countless lives.
By Miguel Andrade, 13 May 2020
Auto factories have already restarted production even as every region in the country is breaking daily records of cases and deaths.
By Laura Tiernan, 13 May 2020
Workers fear infections will soar following Sunday night’s “phased exit” announced by the Johnson government
By Shannon Jones, 13 May 2020
The reckless attempt to restart the North American auto industry is meeting with determined resistance by workers unwilling to risk their lives for corporate profits.
By Christopher Davion and Anthony Bertolt, 13 May 2020
On Wednesday May 6, at least 20 workers in West Columbia, South Carolina walked off the job at the House of Raeford Farms chicken processing plant.
By Brian Dixon and Kimie Saito, 13 May 2020
“We don’t know how many medical workers have died here because of COVID-19 because neither the hospital nor the union tells us.”
By Josh Varlin, 13 May 2020
Three regions within New York state are set to resume some economic activity May 15, under a plan that leaves significant room for a deadly second wave of the pandemic.
“The company and the union are trying to pacify us, but they don’t care about our lives”
By Jerry White, 12 May 2020
Auto parts suppliers reopened plants in Michigan and other states Monday as GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler prepare to recall nearly 200,000 autoworkers to their North American factories by May 18.
By Will Morrow, 12 May 2020
The mass return to work underway across Europe is in line with the criminal policy being pursued by the Trump administration in the United States.
By Stephen Fuller, 12 May 2020
Sal Hadwan, a nurse who participated in a job action along with five other co-workers at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit last month, was fired by the company in retaliation for speaking out against management policies.
By Douglas Lyons, 12 May 2020
Wolf, presented as a more rational leader than his Republican counterparts, is restarting the economy as the virus is still killing workers across the state in nursing homes, food-processing plants and warehouses.
By Bryan Dyne, 11 May 2020
In all three countries, the new coronavirus cases have come after the partial lifting of lockdown measures.
By Marcus Day, 11 May 2020
Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk threatened to withdraw the company’s US operations from California Saturday unless the company is allowed to immediately restart production.
“To them, we’re just numbers”
By Jerry White, 11 May 2020
The workers who produce facemasks for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been allowed to use the same masks to protect themselves from COVID-19
As US House returns to Washington, Democrats signal readiness to grant companies immunity for worker deaths
By Barry Grey, 11 May 2020
It is already clear that any “Phase IV” stimulus bill that emerges will further enrich the financial aristocracy at the expense of the jobs, the wages and the very lives of the working class.
By Chris Marsden, 11 May 2020
Johnson tried to portray his six-week plan as “cautious” because of the massive opposition in the working class to ending the lockdown.
By John Stryder, 11 May 2020
A carer of an elderly family member wrote to the WSWS about the problems faced by carers during the pandemic.
Governments globally reopen schools, ignoring scientists’ warnings of coronavirus impact on children
By Will Morrow, 11 May 2020
Governments see reopening schools as essential as a false symbol of a return to normal, and so that they can herd parents back into their workplaces.
Washington Post columnist calls for destruction of child care safety in the pursuit of “reopening America”
By Linda Rios and Nick Barrickman, 11 May 2020
Columnist Carrie Lukas demands the elimination of “burdensome” laws protecting children’s safety so that parents may quickly return to work.
By Alejandro López, 11 May 2020
The state is placing the lives of millions of workers going back to work in danger, putting corporate profits above workers’ lives.
By Marianne Arens, 11 May 2020
Immigrants from Romania, who are the main workers in the German meatpacking industry, are now being struck down by COVID-19.
By Terry Cook, 11 May 2020
Local authorities in mining regions have warned that the continued operations of the sector threaten outbreaks of COVID-19.
Seventy-five years after the end of World War II
By Christoph Vandreier, 11 May 2020
Three-quarters of a century after the end of the most brutal war in world history, the German ruling elite is returning to authoritarian and ultimately fascist policies to enforce militarism and inequality.
By the National Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (France), 11 May 2020
The mass opposition of workers against the return to work in France and internationally, which threatens millions of lives, must be politically mobilized.
By Jacob Crosse, 9 May 2020
At least two children in the US and one in the UK have died from the newly identified Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which is believed to be related to COVID-19.
By Jessica Goldstein, 9 May 2020
Michigan still remains the fourth highest state in the number of deaths in the US, and the Detroit metro area is among the hardest-hit by the pandemic.
By Marianne Arens, 9 May 2020
Schools are being reopened in nearly all federal states and the risky measure is meeting with growing opposition from teachers.
By our reporters, 9 May 2020
The UK has registered the highest number of fatalities in Europe from the virus, including at least 200 health and social care workers.
By Omar Ali, 9 May 2020
Even as Canada’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 65,000 and the death toll approaches 4,600, the country’s governments are rushing recklessly to “reopen” the economy.
By Alex Johnson, 9 May 2020
Countless testimonials have emerged documenting the psychological harm being inflicted on nurses, doctors and other health workers as a result of the pandemic.
By Kevin Reed, 9 May 2020
Since many infected people are asymptomatic, thermal imaging scanners in workplaces have more to do with the erection of a repressive apparatus than with fighting the pandemic.
By Oscar Grenfell, 9 May 2020
Mass unemployment is being used as a battering ram to push financially devastated workers back into workplaces, regardless of their safety fears.
By Terry Cook, 9 May 2020
Four miners are fighting for life and another sustained serious injuries in a gas explosion at an Anglo American mine in central Queensland.
By Zachary Thorton, 8 May 2020
As states continue to push to reopen their economies and force workers back on the job, new hot-spots are emerging in factories and stores from Iowa to Massachusetts.
By Norissa Santa Cruz, 8 May 2020
Farmworkers lack access to basic medical care and suffer from significantly higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and health conditions such as heart disease and environmental cancers due to long exposure to pesticides.
By Jessica Goldstein, 8 May 2020
The union pushed through a concessions contract that gives the corporate management of the nursing home facilities everything they wanted and leaves nursing home workers in poverty and working under life-threatening conditions.
By Carl Bronski, 8 May 2020
Even as the federal Liberals announced a $77 million handout to major producers, new coronavirus outbreaks were exposed at meatpacking plants in Alberta and Quebec.
“The company is not disclosing any information about sickness and deaths”
By our reporters, 7 May 2020
UPS drivers and sorters are working without proper PPE and health benefits, while management and the Teamsters union are concealing information about the spread of the virus, which has killed at least two workers.
By Kate Randall, 6 May 2020
The wiping out of large numbers of the elderly population is seen by the ruling elite as a convenient and positive byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic.
By Barry Grey, 6 May 2020
Trump made a point of calling the American people “warriors,” implying that they had to be prepared to die. And to die, moreover, for Wall Street.
Playing Russian roulette with hundreds of thousands of lives
By Peter Schwarz, 6 May 2020
Two weeks after the initial lifting of some of the coronavirus lockdown's restrictions in Germany, demands for its total abandonment have reached fever pitch.
By Robert Stevens, 6 May 2020
Deaths reach record levels as thousands of new coronavirus cases continue to be reported daily in Britain—with another 4,406 yesterday and a total of 194,990.
By Chris Marsden, 6 May 2020
The attempt by Labour and the trade unions to feign concern for the working class is laughable, given that they have functioned in a de facto national unity government with the Tories.
By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 May 2020
The CGT is refusing to call any strike action as Macron is pushing workers back into their workplaces next Monday.
By Julie Hyland, 6 May 2020
Social care provision in the UK increasingly resembles that of the Victorian period when the lives and wellbeing of millions depended on philanthropy.
By Anthony Bertolt, 6 May 2020
Texas health officials confirmed that they were investigating over 159 cases tied to a JBS meatpacking plant in the state’s northern panhandle.
By Nancy Hanover, 6 May 2020
The AFT’s “Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities,” released on April 29, is entirely in line with the demands of Wall Street.
By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 6 May 2020
Absent the independent intervention of the working class, workers face a ruinous choice between risking their health and lives by returning to work or being driven into destitution.
By Mauricio Saavedra, 6 May 2020
The push to reopen schools is part of the back-to-work campaign waged by the ultra-right Piñera government in complete disregard of the costs in terms of sickness and death.
By Oscar Grenfell, 6 May 2020
Prime Minister Scott Morrison bluntly admitted that the reversal of lockdown measures would lead to increased infections.
By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 6 May 2020
Amidst the expanding coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration is implementing a socially criminal “open up the economy” policy that will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
6 May 2020
By Andrea Lobo, 5 May 2020
Hundreds of non-essential maquiladora plants across Mexico have remained open during the pandemic and those that were closed after a wave of wildcat strikes are reopening with the sanctioning of the López Obrador government.
By Stephan McCoy, 5 May 2020
The lockdown has caused grave hardship for millions of South Africa’s 60 million people, with videos of people waiting in kilometres-long queues for charity food aid going viral.
By Owen Howell, 5 May 2020
The WHO said that the rate of infection among health workers, which is now 13 percent of all cases in the Philippines, is likely linked to the shortage of personal protective equipment.
By Carl Bronski, 5 May 2020
The events at the Cargill plant are a case study in the drive by corporations across the globe, backed by governments of all political stripes, to place profit over human lives.
By Marianne Arens, 2 May 2020
While almost 300 workers at a Baden-Württemberg slaughterhouse have COVID-19, the plant remains open.
By Anthony Bertolt and Christopher Davion, 2 May 2020
The Trump administration and local officials are trying to enforce a return to work in meatpacking plants while shielding owners from any liability for the deadly consequences.
By Kate Randall, 1 May 2020
Trump is promoting a reckless and criminal policy of reopening the economy, placing the health and lives of countless millions of Americans in danger.
By Tomas Castanheira, 1 May 2020
Thirteen Brazilian nurses were fired after striking on Monday, along with hundreds of their colleagues at the 28 de Agosto Hospital, in the Amazonian capital of Manaus.
By Kevin Reed, 1 May 2020
The number of confirmed cases and deaths across the state of Michigan continues rising as Democratic Governor Whitmer and Mayor Mike Duggan push for a rapid reopening of Detroit.
By Marianne Arens, 1 May 2020
While Amazon has profited massively from the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of its workers throughout the world have become infected with COVID-19.
By Matthew MacEgan, 1 May 2020
The Florida Department of Health is blocking medical examiners from reporting the accurate number of COVID-19 deaths.
By Laurent Lafrance, 1 May 2020
“We are being sent out to babysit so that business can make profits on the backs of working people,” a Montreal teacher told the WSWS.
By Oscar Grenfell, 1 May 2020
Official modelling openly acknowledges that the policies being pursued by governments will result in a “higher number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths.”
“How many people have to die for us to be treated like human beings?”
By Evan Blake, 30 April 2020
At least one worker at the warehouse has died from COVID-19 and many other have tested positive, as management moves to force workers to accept deadly working conditions or face getting fired and losing unemployment benefits.
With over 1 million coronavirus cases and 60,000 fatalities in the US, markets eager to get back to business
By Benjamin Mateus, 29 April 2020
The markets are clamoring for a rapid reopening of businesses, regardless of concerns about the impact of a second wave of the coronavirus.
29 April 2020
This article was submitted to the World Socialist Web Site by a UK postal worker.
COVID-19 infection at sporting fixtures underscores criminality of Johnson government’s herd immunity policy
By Barry Mason, 29 April 2020
It was only due to growing opposition that the government was forced to impose a lockdown. But much of the damage had already been done, as evidenced by its allowing three sporting events to take place.
By our correspondents, 29 April 2020
The response of South Asia’s governments to the pandemic underscores the contempt of the national bourgeoisie for the lives of hundreds of millions of working people and rural toilers.
By Subash Somachandran, 29 April 2020
Health workers in northern Sri Lanka insist that the insufficiency of tests and shortcomings of health facilities has made the province vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Christopher Davion and Marcus Day, 29 April 2020
Trump’s executive order is aimed squarely at shielding the profits of Tyson Foods and other corporate firms, not at defending the food supply chain or the safety of workers.
By Brian Brown, 29 April 2020
The pandemic poses enormous problems for rural areas where public health programs and hospitals have been greatly defunded over the last decade, leaving vulnerable residents in greater danger.
By Richard Dufour, 29 April 2020
Quebec Premier François Legault has announced the reopening of the province’s elementary schools and daycares.
By Margaret Rees, 29 April 2020
Even according to the officially-reported cases, Melbourne’s health system is one of the worst-affected in Australia.
By Sue Phillips and Oscar Grenfell, 29 April 2020
State and federal governments are invoking dubious research to insist it is safe for teachers and students to return to schools.
29 April 2020
By Dietmar Gaisenkersting and Peter Schwarz, 28 April 2020
Production is starting up again at Volkswagen ’ s main plant, the largest car factory in Europe with 63,000 employees , as the company plays roulette with the health and lives of its workforce.
Nebraska businesses to reopen even as COVID-19 infections at meatpacking plants rise at five times the national average
By Colleen Daly, 28 April 2020
Cases of COVID-19 and resulting deaths have spiked in meatpacking plants as Governor Pete Ricketts has refused to issues a state-wide shelter-in-place order, ignoring the advice of the medical community.