Coronavirus

Back-to-work protests a threat to all workers’ health and safety!

The back-to-work/business as usual protests of far right fanatics is a threat to your health and safety. Consider:

  • At Safeway’s distribution center in Tracy, CA, 51 workers were found to be infected. They say they are not being provided with basic sanitation supplies like gloves and hand sanitizers.
  • Nearly 100 workers at a Tyson chicken plant in Tennessee have been found to be infected and in Iowa over half the new cases are from a Tyson meat packing plant in that state. Both plants continue to operate.

Smithfield packing plant in South Dakota. Nearly 240 workers there were found to be infected.

  • Smithfield Foods, Inc. – the world’s largest pork processor, has had to shut down three of its plants due to the rapid spread of the virus among the workers there.

Virus will spread
Like wage cutting and union busting, this virus won’t just stop at one or two – or a hundred – work places. From the workers in the work place, it will spread to their families and into the wider community.
That’s why workers are starting to take work-place action:

Workers take action
From Amazon workers protesting their lack of safety equipment to nurses at
Providence St. John’s Hospital who refused to work without N95 masks, some workers are starting to demand the safety that we all need and deserve. As a result of this pressure, a few improvements have been made here and there.

Back to work an attack on all workers
The back-to-work/business as usual campaign is a move to reverse all of this and force workers to risk their lives and the lives of their
families and their community. It is no accident that it is organized by the likes of far right wing groups and individuals like tucker Carleson, Glen Beck and racists like the Militia Movement and the Proud Boys. The right wing family of Trump “education” secretary Betsy de Vos is also behind this as is Trump, himself.

But it’s not only these fanatics Even the voices of supposed reason like New York State Governor Cuomo are talking about when they can

The number of confirmed cases continues to rise at a steady pace.

reopen the state. This is despite the fact that the number of confirmed cases is still rising every day. Now is not the time to even be talking about reopening! Now is the time to be talking about far stricter workplace safety measures and even further workplace closures.

Union leadership MIA
Also, we have to be realistic: The union leadership is once again missing in action. With just one or two exceptions, they are doing absolutely nothing to actually help workers on the job organize to insist on the protection we need. They keep relying on the same corporate-controlled politicians who have let us down every time in the past.

Time to act
We can wait no longer! T
rump and is crazed far right wing fanatics are driving us to absolute disaster. Workers on the job can and should take action on their own. Those who are most thoughtful and brave can get together and work out a plan of action. Organize the rest of the work place. Demand the safety procedures you decide are necessary. Demand time-and-a-half hazard pay. If your job is not essential, shut it down by your own action.

And let’s all stand together against this crazed business-as-usual movement. Organize work place walk offs or protests for May Day – May 1 – to push back against them.

If we don’t do this, what will we tell our children we did to stop this disaster?

Categories: Coronavirus

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