As the world approaches 7 million cases of COVID-19, the pandemic casts a broader net. By Benjamin Mateus, 6 June 2020. While governments move to open their economies there will be over 7 million cases and over 400,000 deaths by the end of the weekend.
From the World Socialist Web Site, 6 June 2020:
UK medical couriers’ vote to strike after staff sacked for raising safety concerns
UK medical couriers working for London-based The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) have voted overwhelmingly for strike action against 10 staff redundancies. TDL, a subsidiary of Australian Sonic Healthcare, is subcontracted to the National Health Service (NHS) to provide courier services for samples.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain members accuse the company of victimising the 10 because they raised safety concerns over the transport of COVID-19 samples. They are also demanding the provision of proper personal protective equipment and for the regular testing of couriers for the virus.
India: Tyre factory workers in Tamil Nadu strike
MRF tyre factory workers at Thiruvottiyur in Chennai, Tamil Nadu downed tools on May 28 after a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19. The workers demanded decontamination and sanitation of various departments, systematic contact tracing, testing of all workers and isolation of those showing signs of being infected.
The workers also rejected recent management demands that all permanent floor-level technicians report for work. The tyre workers said the management directive was in violation of the government endorsed standard operating procedures and ignored an agreement between management and the union prior to restarting work. …
Pakistan: Sindh government hospital nurses demonstrate in Karachi
Sindh Young Nurses Association members are maintaining a protest they began on International Nurses Day outside the Karachi Press Club on May 12.
Government hospital nurses are demanding personal protective equipment (PPE) as COVID-19 infections increase throughout Pakistan and under conditions of a premature lifting of lockdown measures.
The nurses’ other demands include implementation of a service structure, timely promotions, the provision of health professional payments and health risk allowances, promotions and benefits for contract-based nurses and compensation to the families of nurses who have died of COVID-19.
Malaysian police break up hospital protest
About 20 non-medical workers from the HRBT hospital in Ipoh, a city 180 km north of Kuala Lumpur, protested outside the hospital on Tuesday to demand personal protective equipment. Police were mobilised to break up the protest, arresting five workers.
Workers complained that their employer, Edgenta UEMS, forced them to clean COVID-19 wards without supplying them with PPE. They were also protesting over victimisation of union activists through arbitrary changes to their hours and shifts or transferring them to distant hospitals.
While the protest was conducted in accordance with COVID-19 procedures, the five workers were arrested under a 1988 prevention of infectious diseases law and the Criminal Procedures Code. Three of those arrested were hospital union officeholders and two were members of Malaysian Socialist Party.