Health & Safety at Work

“Practically all children, one way or another, will be infected”

Spanish government demands schools reopen as COVID-19 deaths surge

By Alice Summers, 11 September 2020

The PSOE-Podemos government is deliberately implementing a reckless and criminal policy that will lead to an explosion of cases and many unnecessary deaths.

University of Michigan graduate student strike wins wide support

By Sheila Brehm, 11 September 2020

On Wednesday, graduate students rejected an offer from the university that met none of their demands and voted to continue their strike in the face of threats of retaliation.

University of Iowa students and staff respond to one-day sickout

By Brian Brown and Andy Thompson, 11 September 2020

University of Iowa faculty and students continue to protest against the administration’s reluctance to transition to 100 percent online learning, despite an additional 220 students who tested positive for COVID-19 in one day.

University of California, San Diego students, staff and faculty issue open letter opposing reckless reopening plan

By Peter Ross, 11 September 2020

The appeal calls on the university to cancel in-person classes, limit campus housing to those with no other viable options and cancel layoffs and furloughs.

Turkish government prepares to reopen schools as pandemic escalates

By Barış Demir, 11 September 2020

Under deadly conditions, the government plans to reopen schools across Turkey on September 21, backed by official opposition parties and allied trade unions.

Iraqi health care workers threaten nationwide strike to demand resources to fight pandemic

By Jean Shaoul, 11 September 2020

Iraq had initially contained the pandemic with lockdown measures, but cases and deaths have more than doubled since early July, when the government began the gradual lifting of restrictions.

Millions reject UK government’s return to work call as COVID-19 cases escalate

By Robert Stevens and Paul Bond, 5 September 2020

The response to the pandemic has been driven from day one by a “herd immunity” policy and indifference to the deaths of tens of thousands.

Germany is reopening all schools despite rising coronavirus infections

By Marianne Arens, 5 September 2020

The lockdown in the spring saved millions of lives throughout Europe, but now schools and day care centres are being reopened, despite the rising spread of infections.

“Workers must refuse to be sacrificed in the name of profits at the hands of the ruling class”

Florida parent denounces Osceola County public school system’s unsafe reopening

By the World Socialist Web Site Educators Newsletter, 5 September 2020

This letter was sent to the WSWS Educators Newsletter to expose the atrocious conditions facing educators, students and parents in Ocseola County, which stands adjacent to Disney World but has the worst-funded education system in Florida.

“We have a right to withdraw our labour, especially when being exposed to disease and death”

UK Morrisons distribution worker speaks on Bridgwater COVID-19 outbreak

By our correspondent, 4 September 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with a worker about the situation at the distribution centre of major supermarket chain Morrisons in Bridgwater, Somerset, which had an outbreak of COVID-19 in March.

India: Death toll from Kerala landslide rises to 65

By Shibu Vavara, 4 September 2020

While heavy rain was blamed for the disaster, government authorities failed to provide the region with the necessary basic public infrastructure.

The pseudoscience behind the right-wing drive to force schools to open

Part two

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 September 2020

The ruling elites and their legion of state and local officials are furiously pushing to open schools and universities. However, recent published studies have provided ample evidence that school openings will drive the pandemic toward a second, potentially larger, wave.

Opposition grows to British Columbia NDP government’s reckless school reopening

By Alexandra Greene, 1 September 2020

The BC NDP government is receiving critical support for its reckless back-to-school drive from the B.C. Teachers Federation, which, while mouthing oppositional sounding phrases, is helping organize the return to class.

GM using office personnel to man assembly lines at Wentzville, Missouri plant as pandemic spreads

By Jessica Goldstein, 1 September 2020

Facing no opposition from the UAW, General Motors is bringing salaried workers onto the production assembly lines of its Wentzville Assembly Center in Missouri, putting more lives in danger for the sake of profits.

Stop the UAW-management cover-up of COVID-19 in the auto plants!

the Autoworker Rank-and-File Safety Committee Network, 1 September 2020

The claims by auto companies that they are following extensive safety protocols and testing workers exposed to COVID-19 are lies that do not withstand scrutiny.

The pseudoscience behind the right-wing drive to force schools to open

Part one

By Benjamin Mateus, 1 September 2020

The ruling elites and their legion of state and local officials are furiously pushing to open schools and universities. However, recent published studies have provided ample evidence that school openings will drive the pandemic towards a second potentially larger wave.

COVID-19 outbreaks continue unabated at US schools, putting millions at risk

By Renae Cassimeda, 29 August 2020

The past week has seen a deepening of the disastrous crisis surrounding the reopening of schools, with significant outbreaks occurring in schools across the country.

“They should shut everything down again until they get the virus under control”

Mississippi bus drivers walk out as schools push ahead with unsafe reopenings

By Emma Arceneaux, 29 August 2020

Deplorable working conditions and an immediate reduction of hours and pay impelled 45 percent of school bus drivers in Columbus, Mississippi to walk out on Monday.

Students, teachers, parents and nursery staff in Germany oppose school reopenings

By Gregor Link, 29 August 2020

As the country’s various state governments rush ahead with the policy of opening schools, growing numbers are expressing their opposition to the move.

Government agency minutes reveal at least 40 active COVID-19 outbreaks at UK food processing plants

By Robert Stevens, 29 August 2020

The information is not available in the news section of the Food Standards Agency’s website or its social media accounts.

Under pressure from the White House, CDC issues guidelines for less COVID-19 testing

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 August 2020

The change in guidelines has been met with a barrage of anger and dismay among various health experts and physician groups who have repeatedly stated that the key to suppressing the infection is broad, mass testing of the population.

“We refuse to lay down our lives for profit or participate in a poorly designed, underfunded, deadly experiment”

Florida educators launch rank-and-file committee to oppose unsafe school openings

Duval County Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 27 August 2020

Teachers and their supporters have set up a rank-and-file safety committee in Duval County, Florida, which includes Jacksonville, the sixth largest school district in Florida, the state with the highest per capita infection rate in the US.

New York City’s school reopening plan: Anatomy of a crime

By Alberto Escalera, 27 August 2020

Mayor de Blasio, a self-proclaimed “progressive,” has proven just as willing to carry out the homicidal policy of school reopening amidst the pandemic as his most reactionary Republican counterparts.

Low-income Canadians twice as likely to be hospitalized due to self-harm than the wealthiest

By Alexandra Greene, 27 August 2020

A recent study found that 25,000 Canadians were either hospitalized or died due to self-harm last year, the equivalent of about 70 self-harm incidents per day.

Australia: Official negligence led to mass health worker infections in Victoria

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 August 2020

Government claims that health staff had primarily contracted COVID-19 at home and in the community, as opposed to their places of employment, have been exposed as lies.

First week back on campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic: A US college student’s first-hand account

By an Albion College student, 25 August 2020

Albion College in south-central Michigan promised a safe return, but one student’s experience reveals a different picture, one of unsanitary rooms, a lack of sanitization supplies, failing protocols, and a testing regime full of holes.

US health care workers infected with COVID-19 pressured to return to work

By Alex Johnson, 25 August 2020

The failure of health care facilities and employers to provide adequate paid leave has left health care staff with the cruel “choice” of risking hunger and homelessness by forfeiting their paychecks or becoming transmitters of the coronavirus in their workplaces.

“They are killing people to save money”

Fiat Chrysler, UAW conspire to keep workers on the job after exposure to coronavirus

By Shannon Jones, 22 August 2020

In order to cut costs and boost profits, management and the UAW are seeking to eliminate the limited and inadequate safety protocols put in place in May.

European countries force children back to school amid resurgence of COVID-19

By Alejandro López, 22 August 2020

The drive to reopen schools after the summer break continues unabated throughout Europe as the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across the continent.

Nearly 300 workers infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Northampton sandwich factory

By Paul Bond, 22 August 2020

Northampton, already on a coronavirus watchlist, has the highest rate of new cases in England and could be subjected to a local lockdown.

Cornell residential advisors hold one-day strike over coronavirus safety as school reopens

By James Mullan, 22 August 2020

The strike action was spontaneously organized in response to the university’s reckless reopening plans that left RAs with larger workloads than in pre-pandemic semesters.

German Socialist Equality Party campaign against reopening schools finds significant response

By our reporters, 22 August 2020

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei’s call to build action committees to prepare a general strike in Germany against the reopening of schools has been shared hundreds of times on social media and found thousands of readers.

New excess death counts reveal more complete toll of coronavirus pandemic

By Bryan Dyne, 20 August 2020

As of mid-July, there were 178,500 excess deaths in just fifteen urban areas internationally, including New York City, Mexico City, Lima, Jakarta, Istanbul and Madrid.

Johnson government scraps Public Health England, accelerating break-up of National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 20 August 2020

The main “crime” of PHE for the ruling elite was that it was part of a “bloated” NHS still not sufficiently responsive to the expertise and “flexibility” of the private sector.

As Bath shipyard workers poised to vote, machinists union, management and White House praise sellout deal

By Shannon Jones, 18 August 2020

After more than nine weeks on strike against Bath Iron Works, the International Association of Machinists is recommending a sellout deal that will retain scab subcontractors hired during the walkout while abandoning victimized workers.

New York and Los Angeles plan deadly reopening of schools

By Renae Cassimeda, 18 August 2020

Democrats in the two largest school districts are pushing to reopen schools in a matter of weeks, endangering the lives of millions of residents in New York and Los Angeles.

“Teachers want to strike, but the unions are doing nothing”

“Refuse to Return” Facebook group cofounder describes explosion of opposition to unsafe school openings

By the World Socialist Web Site Educators Newsletter, 18 August 2020

The “Refuse to Return” group in Colorado has attracted 9,469 members and helped inspire the formation of at least 35 other groups across the US, with tens of thousands of members in total.

Canadian authorities to reopen schools, facilitating COVID-19 spread

By Laurent Lafrance, 18 August 2020

The Canadian ruling elite has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting ever more explicitly the homicidal principle of “herd immunity.”

London bus drivers deliver massive strike vote over “COVID pay,” health and safety

By Miles Driver, 18 August 2020

The ballots show the willingness of drivers to fight but Unite’s “consultative” ballot campaign is a fraud.

Hawaii schools to reopen August 17 as opposition grows

By Renae Cassimeda, 15 August 2020

In a fight for their lives and those of thousands of students, educators and parents oppose the new reopening plan that has students and teachers reporting to school sites for in-person instruction for one week prior to full distance learning.

Brazilian teachers report 36 COVID-infected schools after one week of classes in Manaus

By Tomas Castanheira, 15 August 2020

Virtually all Brazilian states and capitals have ongoing plans to reproduce the homicidal model of school reopenings in Manaus.

Workers denounce cover-up and intimidation around COVID-19 infections at Fiat Chrysler Belvidere plant

By Kristina Betinis, 15 August 2020

Belvidere workers continue to speak out against management and UAW concealing information and shaming workers for stating concerns as Boone and Winnebago counties launch investigation into the spread of disease at the plant.

UAW announces COVID outbreak at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville with 32 new cases

By Steve Filips, 15 August 2020

There were 32 new COVID-19 cases reported last week at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.

Prepare a nationwide general strike to stop the deadly reopening of schools!

Form independent rank-and-file safety committees of educators, parents and students!

the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 15 August 2020

We are launching the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee to unite all those opposed to the unsafe reopening of schools and provide the necessary leadership to prepare for a nationwide general strike to halt the reopening of schools.

For a general strike against the reopening of German schools!

By Statement of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 15 August 2020

By demanding a return to face-to-face teaching amid rising coronavirus infection rates, German state governments of all stripes are putting the health and lives of countless teachers, students and parents at risk.

Growing wave of protests across the US against school openings

By Evan Blake, 13 August 2020

Across the US, thousands of teachers, education workers, parents and students are mobilizing to oppose the unsafe reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diversions, posturing as school board votes to reopen school in small-town Massachusetts

By Joseph Mario, 13 August 2020

Scituate, a small coastal town south of Boston, is one example of broader situation in the state, where Governor Baker has pushed for schools to fully reopen in the fall.

“This is a modern-day sweatshop”

Amazon workers speak out against inadequate safety measures

By our reporters, 13 August 2020

As the company makes money hand over fist from the pandemic's boost to online retail sales, hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers labor for long hours in unsafe conditions at Amazon's fulfillment centers.

New York educators and students denounce Governor Cuomo’s push to reopen schools

By the World Socialist Web Site Educators Newsletter, 11 August 2020

Teachers and students spoke to the WSWS to express their opposition to New York state Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to allow all schools to reopen in the coming weeks.

Germany reopens its schools: An experiment in herd immunity

By Marianne Arens, 11 August 2020

Although there are currently more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections per day in Germany, all of the country’s state governments are ruthlessly enforcing the reopening of schools after the summer break.

“They are treating us all like pawns—we are the ones who suffer”

Health care workers rally across UK against unsafe conditions

By our reporters, 11 August 2020

Thousands of health workers took part in demonstrations and rallies across the UK demanding a pay rise and adequate protection from COVID-19.

Peru reopens economy as thousands of miners contract COVID-19

By Mauricio Saavedra, 11 August 2020

With 478,024 coronavirus cases, Peru has the third most infections in Latin America, and with over 21,000 fatalities, it has the highest per capita death toll in the region.

“They spout in the news ‘thank you to health care heroes’ but what thanks do we get?”

US nurses’ poll shows appalling working conditions in the pandemic

By Julian James, 11 August 2020

The NNU study shows that only 24 percent of nurses think their employer is providing a safe workplace.

“They have a multi-billion dollar corporation, and they work us to death”

Indiana Faurecia workers denounce unsafe conditions, forced overtime

By Tim Rivers, 11 August 2020

Auto parts workers at the Faurecia plant in Columbus, Indiana, have described forced overtime at their factory, the spread of COVID-19 and other grueling and dangerous conditions.

Producers push reckless resumption of North American film production in face of pandemic

By Lee Parsons, 11 August 2020

In an indication of the studios’ disregard for the health and safety of workers, now showing up in film production contracts are waivers designed to give the employers legal immunity from suits over failure to provide protection against the virus.

New York Governor Cuomo sanctions statewide reopening of schools

By Evan Blake, 8 August 2020

Cuomo’s mandate provides crucial political support for the Trump administration’s drive to reopen schools irrespective of the cost to human life.

No masks, crowded hallways

Georgia highschoolers use social media to expose disastrous conditions as schools reopen

By Genevieve Leigh, 8 August 2020

Two students from Georgia’s North Paulding High School were suspended after photos of hallways packed with crowds of unmasked students went viral on social media.

Texas attorney general orders in-person education as state cases top 500,000

By Tony Jackson, 8 August 2020

The attorney general and governor of Texas are endangering the lives of teachers and students with a patently unscientific back-to-school pandemic plan.

“It’s a recipe for disaster”

Autoworkers denounce bipartisan drive to reopen schools

By Tim Rivers, 8 August 2020

Opposition is growing among autoworkers and other workers to the back-to-school campaign, which is threatening the health of teachers, students and their families.

German schools reopen despite increase in coronavirus infections

By Marianne Arens, 8 August 2020

In order to ensure the capitalists can turn a profit, all established parties, from the Christian Social Union to the Left Party, are pushing for a return to regular in-person teaching.

UK: For a general strike against the reopening of schools

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 August 2020

The SEP calls for the development of an interconnected network of rank-and-file committees to prepare for a general strike against the opening of schools and the murderous policy of the ruling class.

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

By Elliott Murtagh, 8 August 2020

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

GM Spring Hill workers speak out against unsafe conditions amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Zac Thorton, 8 August 2020

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter has received comments from a number of workers at the Tennessee plant.

Reject whitewash report into London bus driver coronavirus deaths! For rank-and-file health and safety committees!

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 8 August 2020

There is nothing remotely “independent” about University College London’s review into bus driver deaths.

Australia: Woolworths lifts lockout as union pushes through sell-out deal

By Terry Cook, 8 August 2020

The United Workers Union has brokered a sell-out deal that maintains the exploitative conditions and low-pay regime at Woolworths’ Wyong distribution centre.

Mounting opposition by teachers against drive to reopen schools

By Benjamin Mateus, 6 August 2020

Evidence is growing that the reopening of schools will lead to a massive resurgence of the pandemic, with deadly consequences for teachers and students.

Altered CDC guidelines provide unscientific basis for reopening schools

By Mitch Marcus, 6 August 2020

The CDC guidelines were adjusted in mid-July to suit the demands of the Trump administration that schools reopen, as part the broader campaign to reopen the economy.

Resuming college football driven by financial interests

By Andy Thompson, 6 August 2020

In order to protect billions in revenue, US universities are resorting to threats and cover-ups to keep their plans to play football in the fall on track.

US teachers defy threats to cut funding for schools that delay in-person learning

By Phyllis Steele, 5 August 2020

Republican-controlled legislatures in several states are moving to cut funding and outsource the jobs of teachers if schools do not open with full in-person learning.

New York educators oppose city and state school reopening plans

By Sandy English, 5 August 2020

Teachers in New York are determined to prevent the unsafe reopening of schools by the Democratic mayor and governor.

Lancet warns of massive resurgence of coronavirus after UK school reopening

By Thomas Scripps, 5 August 2020

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

Brazilian teachers oppose back-to-school drive

By our correspondents, 5 August 2020

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

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

By Alejandro López, 5 August 2020

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

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

GM Fairfax worker speaks out on spread of COVID-19

By James Tatsch, 5 August 2020

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

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

By Nick Barrickman and Patrick Smith, 5 August 2020

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

Australian meatworks emerge as centres of COVID-19

By Steve Strietberg, 5 August 2020

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

For a nationwide general strike to halt the drive to reopen schools!

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party, 5 August 2020

Mass opposition by teachers to the criminal policies of the ruling class will galvanize support among all workers in the United States and throughout the world.

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

Workers describe unsafe conditions at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant

By Tim Rivers and George Kirby, 4 August 2020

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

Stricter lockdown reimposed in Philippines as cases top 100,000

By Joseph Santolan, 4 August 2020

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

Mass unemployment to worsen in Australia following Victorian lockdown

By Mike Head, 4 August 2020

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

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

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 August 2020

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

New COVID-19 infections take hold in first week of attempted cruise industry restart

By Tom Casey, 4 August 2020

Among the first ship operators to resume sailings, Norwegian-owned Hurtigruten suspended operation of two ships this weekend after 36 passenger and five crew tested positive for coronavirus.

COVID-19 takes hold in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 4 August 2020

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

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

By Bryan Dyne, 4 August 2020

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

Ford Dearborn Truck Plant workers launch rank-and-file safety committee to save lives amid COVID-19 pandemic

the Ford Dearborn Truck Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 1 August 2020

The committee has appealed to its 5,000 co-workers, who build F-150 pickup trucks, to prepare joint action to fight the coronavirus and save lives.

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

By Tomas Castanheira, 1 August 2020

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

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

By Andrea Reissner, 1 August 2020

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

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

By Evan Blake, 31 July 2020

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

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

By Andrea Lobo, 30 July 2020

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

Auto parts worker dies at Michigan Faurecia plant of unexplained causes

By Tim Rivers, 30 July 2020

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

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

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 July 2020

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

UK coronavirus infections and death rates increase as Johnson blames Europe

By Robert Stevens, 30 July 2020

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

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine racket

By Bryan Dyne, 30 July 2020

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

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

By Brent Dylan, 28 July 2020

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

Teachers face battle as Trump pushes school reopenings

By Evan Blake, 28 July 2020

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

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

By Cordell Gascoigne, 25 July 2020

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

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

By Shannon Jones, 23 July 2020

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

New coronavirus cases globally rocket past a quarter million

By Bryan Dyne, 23 July 2020

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

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

By Brian Dixon, 23 July 2020

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

Widespread opposition as union sells out Joliet, Illinois nurses strike

By Alex Johnson, 23 July 2020

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