North America

Senate hearing for Fed’s Powell, Treasury’s Mnuchin shows bipartisan support for bailout, back-to-work drive

By Barry Grey, 20 May 2020

The prize for sheer demagogy and hypocrisy at the hearing went to Sherrod Brown of Ohio, an economic nationalist and close ally of the trade union bureaucracy.

US government uses Pensacola shooter’s alleged ties to Al Qaeda to renew attack on encryption

By Kevin Reed, 20 May 2020

Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined plans to force manufacturers to build backdoor access into consumer mobile devices.

New details emerge in Ahmaud Arbery killing

By Matthew MacEgan, 20 May 2020

Recently released surveillance video shows that Travis McMichael had an encounter with Arbery two weeks prior to fatally shooting him on February 23.

Chicago mayor appoints corporate leaders to Economic Recovery Task Force

By Kristina Betinis and Fabian Salgado, 20 May 2020

As deficits mount, the task force appointments place the right-wing, pro-business character of “diversity” and “equity” appointments on full display.

Canadian authorities failed to notify locked-out Regina oil refinery workers of threatened bomb attack

By Carl Bronski, 20 May 2020

While accusing locked-out FCL workers of “terrorism” for resisting sweeping concession demands, Regina’s police failed to warn them of a threatened bomb attack on their picket line.

Capitalism vs. science: The lessons of the 36-hour Moderna vaccine frenzy

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 May 2020

It took just 36 hours for the media’s frenzied promotion of a “breakthrough” treatment for the coronavirus to collapse under its own weight.

The New York Times exposes journalist, #MeToo crusader Ronan Farrow as a dishonest fraud

By David Walsh, 20 May 2020

Farrow has been the golden boy of the American media since the publication of his supposed exposé of Harvey Weinstein in the New Yorker magazine in October 2017.

999 Deaths among youth and students in US

20 May 2020

999 Anti-China campaign

20 May 2020

North American auto industry reopens amid mounting opposition by workers

By Marcus Day, 18 May 2020

Roughly 133,000 workers are expected to return to automotive assembly plants this week.

As death toll mounts, White House steps up efforts to scapegoat China for pandemic

By Peter Symonds, 18 May 2020

Blaming China not only deflects attention from the Trump administration’s responsibility for the horrific US death toll, but feeds into its anti-China trade war measures.

Purge of government watchdogs escalates drive for authoritarian rule

Trump fires State Department inspector general

By Barry Grey, 18 May 2020

Over the past six weeks, Trump also has removed the inspectors general of the Intelligence Community, Defense and Health and Human Services.

Amazon eliminates pay raises for workers as COVID-19 toll mounts

By Douglas Lyons, 18 May 2020

As the number of infections and deaths continues to rise at Amazon, the world’s richest man joins Trump’s murderous campaign to “reopen” the economy.

Maryland and Virginia begin “phase one” reopenings despite record increase in COVID-19 cases

By Nick Barrickman, 18 May 2020

The two jurisdictions began reopening their economies amid a consistent uptick in the amount of infections produced by the coronavirus.

New York Democratic governor enlists tech billionaires to push distance learning

By Sandy English, 18 May 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced “Reimagine Education,” a partnership with Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Google’s Eric Schmidt.

At least 275,000 teachers in the US face permanent job loss as states prepare massive budget cuts

By Phyllis Steele, 18 May 2020

The growing budgetary crisis in every state poses an existential threat to public education, with untold consequences for an entire generation of working class youth.

SEIU pushes through sellout contract after blocking strike by Illinois nursing home workers

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 May 2020

The Service Employees International Union pushed through a deal with poverty wages and no guarantee of health and safety measures as the deadly coronavirus continues its rampage.

Little Rock, Arkansas transit workers laid off amidst COVID fears

By Cordell Gascoigne, 18 May 2020

Due to heavy absenteeism over concerns of coronavirus infection, Rock Region Metro has announced service cuts and the layoff of 23 drivers.

Canada: Ontario government ignored workers’ complaints at poultry plant hit by fatal COVID-19 outbreak

By Roger Jordan, 18 May 2020

Maple Lodge Farms workers complained about unsafe conditions two weeks before a COVID-19 outbreak that killed one worker and sickened more than 25 others.

Back-to-work drive places countless thousands at risk

By Patrick Martin, 18 May 2020

Major American factories are reopening today, each one the potential center for a major new outbreak of the coronavirus.

US Fed report reveals depth of financial crisis it helped create

By Nick Beams, 18 May 2020

A Foreign Policy article noted that with its asset holdings predicted to reach $9 trillion by the year's end, the Fed is pumping money into the financial system at the rate of $1 million every second.

On “This Week” news show, Sanders urges supporters to vote for Biden

By Jacob Crosse, 18 May 2020

Sanders used the national platform afforded him to once again urge his supporters to vote for the right-wing Democratic candidate.

“They don’t care about the safety of the workers”

As assembly plants reopen US autoworkers speak on premature rush to restart production

By our reporters, 18 May 2020

As workers returned to auto assembly plants across North America workers are speaking out against the premature return to work in the midst of the COVI-19 pandemic and the totally inadequate safety measures in place.

999 US police shootings

18 May 2020

999 Autoworker interviews on reopening

18 May 2020

“There will be a human cost from this. Everyone knows that.”

Drive to reopen auto plants in North America threatens thousands of lives

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.

Mississippi: Workers at Brentwood Originals pillow factory continue walkouts

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.

Hundreds of workers walk out at six fruit packing plants in Washington state

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.

Trump threatens to cut all ties with China

By Peter Symonds, 16 May 2020

The US president’s phony allegations—that China failed to prevent COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic—have been integrated into Washington’s trade war measures.

US House passes $3 trillion coronavirus “relief” bill

By Jacob Crosse, 16 May 2020

In a near party-line vote, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a fourth stimulus bill that has no chance of being approved by the Republican-controlled Senate.

US Senate reauthorizes domestic surveillance, allows access to internet histories

By Kevin Reed, 16 May 2020

The Senate voted 80 to 16 to reauthorize the domestic surveillance provisions of the USA Freedom Act, including rejection of an amendment that would have barred law enforcement from accessing the internet browsing and search histories of citizens.

Washington places Cuba and Venezuela on “terror” list

By Bill Van Auken, 16 May 2020

After fostering an abortive mercenary invasion aimed at overthrowing Venezuela’s government and murdering its president, the US placed Caracas on a list of governments deemed uncooperative in the “war on terrorism.”

Prices for basic foods soar in the US as pandemic disrupts supply chains

By Alex Findijs, 16 May 2020

Grocery prices in the country rose 2.6 percent in April, the largest increase in a single month since 1974.

Budget shortfalls and planned cuts threaten higher education across the US

By Alexander Fangmann, 16 May 2020

Colleges and universities across the US are announcing layoffs and eliminating programs in response to declines in state revenue and financial pressures from dormitory refunds and other costs incurred as they moved classes online.

California State University, the largest public university system in the US, closes campuses for the fall semester

By Anthony del Olmo, 16 May 2020

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, universities and colleges throughout the US are grappling with the new economic and social reality as uncertainty mounts over reopening campuses in the fall.

With private prison outbreak, Tennessee county leads US in per capita COVID-19 cases

By Warren Duzak, 16 May 2020

More than half of the 2,400 inmates at the CoreCivic Trousdale Turner Correctional Center have tested positive for coronavirus.

Canadian unions cement anti-worker corporatist alliance with government and big business

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 16 May 2020

The unions’ alliance with big business was epitomized by a joint statement from the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York: A little more of an edge than usual

By David Walsh, 16 May 2020

Disgracefully, A Rainy Day in New York has been suppressed in the US. The film was completed in 2018, but Amazon Studios refused to distribute it.

As Global coronavirus death toll tops 300,000

US whistleblower warns premature return to work will bring “unprecedented illness and fatalities”

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.”

Three million more US workers apply for unemployment, reaching 36 million in two months

By Trévon Austin, 15 May 2020

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reported that 40 percent of US households bringing in less than $40,000 a year lost a wage earner in March.

US Senator Richard Burr steps down as intelligence chairman amid investigation into pre-pandemic stock dump

By Jacob Crosse, 15 May 2020

As part of an ongoing Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe into insider trading, FBI agents have seized the North Carolina senator's personal cell phone.

Declassified Mueller investigation transcripts confirm no evidence WikiLeaks colluded with Russia

By Thomas Scripps, 15 May 2020

The “Russian connection” was baldly asserted by the Democratic Party, US intelligence officials and the corporate media

The drums of economic nationalism are beating louder

By Nick Beams, 15 May 2020

A series of comments published in the New York Times in recent days points to the rise of economic nationalism within the US political establishment the logic of which is war against China.

“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.

US grocery stores and retailers move to cut pandemic pay to workers

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.

As COVID-19 crisis deepens on Native American reservations

Sioux tribe faces down South Dakota over sovereignty

By Evan Cohen, 15 May 2020

The Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes in South Dakota have refused to lift checkpoints on highways that cross their tribal borders.

Supreme Court considers blanket immunity for Trump

By John Burton, 15 May 2020

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held oral arguments on whether to give Donald Trump immunity from congressional and grand jury investigations.

The Trump administration vs. science

By Patrick Martin, 15 May 2020

The president’s attack on his top coronavirus advisor, Anthony Fauci, is part of an appeal to the most backward and reactionary forces to support the deadly policy of “reopening” the US economy.

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.

Family files lawsuit against Louisville, Kentucky police over March killing of Breonna Taylor

By Kevin Reed, 14 May 2020

Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was killed in a hail of gunfire during a court authorized “no-knock” siege of her apartment on March 13.

Capitalist economics and the politics of death

By David North, 11 May 2020

The more terrible the reports of death and human suffering, the more ecstatic the response of Wall Street. The fight against the pandemic is the fight against capitalism and for socialism.

Automakers continue production restarts as US death toll tops 80,000

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.

Appeal demands the defense of “non-negotiable human rights”

GM workers in Mexico call for an international struggle to keep plants closed during pandemic

By Andrea Lobo, 11 May 2020

Asked about how workers should respond across North America, a worker said: “Through a strike protest to demand no reopening until it’s safe and the virus has been eradicated.”

“To them, we’re just numbers”

Selma, Alabama garment workers explain why they walked out of American Apparel plant

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.

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.

Ten Canadian airport taxi drivers die from COVID-19

By Jake Silver, 11 May 2020

The high death toll at Toronto airport underscores the grave threat all workers face from the reckless, premature back-to-work drive.

Indianapolis cops fire pepper balls on group protesting police shooting of Dreasjon Reed

By Kevin Reed, 11 May 2020

Police arrested one protester and fired pepper balls at demonstrators who assembled at the scene where Dreasjon Reed was shot and killed by an officer on May 6.

First ICE detainee dies of COVID-19 in San Diego

By Adam Mclean, 11 May 2020

Lacking basic sanitation and living in squalor, infections among immigrants in ICE custody have skyrocketed.

The thievery in Bad Education: Capitalism “is the villain more than any one individual”

By Joanne Laurier, 11 May 2020

Bad Education on HBO concerns the largest embezzlement scandal in the public education system in US history, in Roslyn, Long Island, a crime that came to light in 2004.

Strikes and workers’ protests mount against “back to work” campaign

By Shannon Jones, 9 May 2020

The incompetence and callous disregard for human life by the capitalist authorities in country after country is fueling an upsurge in the class struggle.

Number of COVID-19 cases hits 4 million worldwide

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 May 2020

The number of deaths has exceeded 275,000 and infections are growing. Yet, the stock markets continue to rise, despite unprecedented job losses.

Democratic governor and UAW collude with auto bosses to force return to work in Michigan

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.

Protests erupt over police violence and state cover-up of murder in Indiana and Georgia

By Christopher Davion and Kevin Reed, 9 May 2020

Protests erupted over police killings in Indianapolis and the ten-week cover-up of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery by a former officer and his son in Brunswick, Georgia.

At Trump’s urging: US Justice Department quashes Flynn prosecution

By Patrick Martin, 9 May 2020

The dropping of perjury charges against retired General Flynn—to which he had already pled guilty—is a further step toward the consolidation of an authoritarian regime in Washington.

Infections in Ontario, Canada spike as Ford government rushes to reopen economy

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.

US state governments of Virginia and Maryland plan to reopen businesses

By Ray Coleman and Nick Barrickman, 9 May 2020

Despite the lack of scientific evidence that the pandemic has been contained, the governors of Virginia and Maryland have announced plans to begin reopening businesses this week.

Mental health crisis erupts among health care workers confronting coronavirus

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.

Why are thermal imaging cameras being deployed in US workplaces?

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.

COVID-19 cases skyrocket among the US homeless population

By Renae Cassimeda, 9 May 2020

Infection rates are rising among the homeless, many of whom are dying in the shadows and will not be counted in the COVID death toll.

Depression USA

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 9 May 2020

The social desperation of millions of people in the United States is being used by the ruling class to compel a return to work amidst the expanding coronavirus pandemic.

The Times’ 1619 Project is damned with faint praise

Hannah-Jones receives Pulitzer Prize for personal commentary, not historical writing

By Tom Mackaman and David North, 9 May 2020

The Pulitzer awards took no notice of the New York Times’ pretentious claims that the 1619 Project is an important contribution to the understanding of American history. It granted Hannah-Jones an award for “Commentary.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and global imperialist war

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2020

For all of the vapid talk about us all being in it together, the US ruling class views the pandemic as an instrument of war.

Over 40 percent of mothers with children ages 12 and under are now food insecure in the US

By Kevin Reed, 7 May 2020

The Hamilton Project, a Washington, DC policy think-tank, has published survey results that show dramatic increases in hunger in households across the US.

US nursing home catastrophe: Increasing numbers of the elderly fall victim to COVID-19

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.

US ramps up COVID-19 propaganda war against China

By Peter Symonds, 6 May 2020

The crude attempt to blame China is aimed at diverting attention from the Trump administration’s criminal negligence in failing to respond to the dangers of COVID-19.

At “reopen the economy” event, Trump confirms plans to shut down coronavirus task force

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.

UAW gives its blessing to reopen auto plants as pandemic rages on

By Jerry White, 6 May 2020

UAW President Rory Gamble said the company had the unreserved right to decide when and how the plants open.

Trump administration sends federal strike force to keep meatpacking plants open

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.

Pandemic exposes inherent flaws in capitalist food production

By Alex Findijs, 6 May 2020

The inefficiencies of capitalist food production have generated mass amounts of waste and put thousands of workers at risk of dying from COVID-19.

US teachers union provides political cover to Trump’s demand for the reopening of schools

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.

Lawsuit against US Department of Education claims wages being garnished to pay off student loan debt

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 May 2020

The lawsuit alleges 285,000 students had their wages garnished in the second half of March, despite being banned by the CARES Act during that period.

Canada: Form rank-and-file committees to oppose COVID-19 back-to-work drive

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.

Classical musicians discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

By Fred Mazelis, 6 May 2020

There is increasing uncertainty about when live concert performances will resume, a demonstration of how culture is threatened by the criminal policy of malign neglect.

999 Deployment of thermal imaging cameras at workplaces to justify US reopening

6 May 2020

Trump White House steps up return to work drive

By Bryan Dyne, 4 May 2020

The recent surge in coronavirus cases and deaths heralds even greater suffering by the population as states continue to reopen.

Canadian workers speak out against lack of protective equipment in health facilities

By our reporters, 4 May 2020

Hospitals are rationing masks even for frontline health workers treating COVID-19 patients.

US Amazon worker describes callous attitude toward safety as management reports $75 billion in 2020 revenue

By Nick Barrickman, 4 May 2020

Amazon did little to protect its workforce during the first several weeks in March, when the COVID-19 disease was declared a pandemic.

“They are sucking the lifeblood out of us”

Millions of Americans cannot pay their rent

By Kayla Costa, 4 May 2020

On May 1, millions of Americans were not able to pay their rent due to the dire social crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, opening up a housing crisis in which many working class families face a future of debt, eviction and homelessness.

Furloughed workers face hunger in New Jersey, America’s second-wealthiest state

By Erik Schreiber, 4 May 2020

The shuttering of workplaces in New Jersey, an epicenter of the pandemic, has forced workers with little savings to join mile-long lines for food assistance.

Inmates at Michigan prisons exposed to COVID-19 in unsanitary conditions

By Stephen Fuller, 4 May 2020

As of May 2, almost 2,000 inmates have tested positive with 41 prisoners succumbing to the coronavirus.

Tennessee health commissioner blocks release of data on likely COVID-19 deaths

By Warren Duzak, 4 May 2020

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey has refused to release figures on “probable” deaths where symptoms were present but no test was done.

US Steel lays off 2,700 workers, threatens to cut one-third of its production workforce

By Samuel Davidson, 4 May 2020

The Pittsburgh-based steel company sent out notices of potential layoffs to 6,500 in a devastating blow to workers, their families and communities.

US trains Sri Lankan naval elite forces during COVID-19 lockdown

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 4 May 2020

US combat training of Sri Lankan navy personnel forces is part of Washington’s military preparations throughout the Indo-Pacific against China.

Scapegoating China for US administration’s failures

Trump and Pompeo’s “big lie”

By Andre Damon, 4 May 2020

Knowing that its policy will lead to a rapid growth in fatalities, the White House is preparing a narrative to argue that whatever happens, it is China’s fault.

Fifty years since the massacre of students at Kent State

By Patrick Martin, 4 May 2020

The killing of four students by National Guard soldiers touched off an unprecedented national wave of antiwar protests involving millions of youth.

Trump escalates attacks on China over COVID-19

By Peter Symonds, 2 May 2020

US President Trump has stepped up his propaganda war and threats against China, blaming it for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has cost the lives of more than 230,000 people internationally.

Trump tweets support for armed right-wing protesters in Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 2 May 2020

The right-wing demonstration in the Michigan state Capitol is part of a high-level campaign to force a return to work in the midst of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Massive opposition by US meatpacking employees to forced return to work

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.

“They are willing to kill us for their profits”

US autoworkers oppose early return to factories

By Shannon Jones, 2 May 2020

Detroit auto companies are pushing for a May 18 restart but workers are resisting this attempt to force them into the factories during the uncontained COVID-19 pandemic.