COVID-19 news today

This 22 June 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

Boris Johnson is Recklessly Gambling with Your Health | Professor John Ashton – Episode 11

The professor who called it right on coronavirus dire warning to the British public

00:00 The Prime Minister‘s Greatest Gamble 01:18 Testing… or lack thereof 02:01 Global Outbreak & Slaughterhouses 03:47 Break the rules
04:59 2 metre rule 07:00 Manipulating the numbers 08:03 Time for Matt Hancock to resign? 08:58 BAME Coronavirus report 10:09 Black Lives Matter 11:06 Pandemic continues… 12:00 Economy vs Public Health

USA: COVID-19 rages through food processing plants, warehouses and manufacturing facilities. By Jerry White, 23 June 2020. More than 24,000 meatpacking workers have been infected and at least 91 have died.

“You risk your life when you go back to work”. Ford workers express health concerns as COVID-19 pandemic spreads. By Tim Rivers and George Kirby, 23 June 2020. Ford workers spoke to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter about returning to work during the pandemic.

US-owned auto parts maker fires dozens of workers in Matamoros, Mexico for demanding truth about COVID-19 outbreak. By Andrea Lobo, 23 June 2020. Tridonex Cardone management has fired dozens of workers who demanded the truth about the spread of infection and death at the US company’s Mexican plants.

Canada presses ahead with final phase of back-to-work drive. By Frédéric Charlebois, 23 June 2020. Contrary to the ruling elite’s claim of a return to “normality”, everything indicates that the drop in COVID-19 infections in Quebec and across Canada is temporary.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 23 June 2020:

Twenty-four-hour strike by Argentine tire plant workers over spread of COVID

Workers at a Bridgestone tire plant in Llavallol, a district in Buenos Aires province, struck for 24 hours, beginning at 2:00 p.m. June 17, after a worker tested positive for COVID-19. The workers’ union, Sutna, claimed that the walkout was based on “management noncompliance with the most elemental and basic means of prevention.” Despite registering symptoms, the worker was obliged to continue working. Later, another worker, who had been at close quarters with the former, was found to be infected. So far there have been six cases of COVID-19 at the plant.

Workers had struck all the plants in the district the previous Friday, June 12, to demand improvements in safety and prevention measures. Sutna proposed “a specific proper protocol” for identifying and dealing with cases of infection. “Management did not take these demands into account and neither did they comply with the basic regulations determined by the authorities,” according to Sutna head Alejandro Crespo. …

Brazilian delivery workers plan strike over pay, conditions

Bicycle and motorcycle delivery workers in Brazil announced that they will strike on July 1 to demand that the businesses that use their services assume the costs of safety equipment and pay leave for their colleagues who have been infected by COVID-19.

Among their demands is a minimum pay scale for each delivery. Since delivery workers are classified as self-employed and “autonomous”, they are often short-changed and subject to sanctions and violations of their rights. They are demanding that they be classified as employees—not “associates” or “entrepreneurs”—with full labor rights. They also are calling for an end to the “punctuality list,” which is used to intimidate them and absolve the companies of any responsibilities for their welfare.

Other issues include personal security, since the delivery workers are vulnerable to robberies and attacks, as well as lack of COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) and designation of specified locations for rest and meals. They have continued to work throughout the pandemic crisis. …

Hospital workers in Peru protest lack of PPE and other supplies

Hospital personnel in the Lambayeque region of Peru held their fourth protest June 16 against delays in the delivery of PPE and other COVID-19-related supplies. The protesters demanded equity in the distribution of the needed materials by the Regional Health Agency.

Wilmer Antón Mayanga, head of the General Workers Confederation of Peru (CGTP), slammed the policy of the agency, which only gives equipment to professionals who have contact with infected patients. “The danger is in all levels of attention. You cannot neglect the personnel, since the contagion is in the community.”

Antón Mayanga blamed corruption for the inadequate provision of masks and other supplies. “While corruption continues to take over state resources, doctors, nurses and technicians continue to be forgotten and exposed to the coronavirus.” For this reason, he said that the CGTP and other unions would call a general strike. …

Protest in Puerto Rico against governor’s insufficient response to pandemic, unemployment

A group of protesters demonstrated in front of the Fine Arts Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico on June 18. The protest, called by the Socialist Workers Movement (MST), decried the poor response of the government of Wanda Vázquez, to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the resultant massive unemployment.

MST criticized the Labor Department’s foot-dragging on responding to the needs of unemployed workers and called the government’s “policy of ceding before the designs and interests of big business to open the economy in a shoddy manner” while the procedures and recommendations of the island’s medical “task force” are not followed. “The effect that is going to have is that many sectors of the working class are going to see themselves affected with exposure in workplaces.”

A protester denounced the government for the predicament that parents have been put in, first with delays or refusals in paying unemployment benefits, then with the push to reopen the economy going forward, but without guarantees of safe spaces for children, a situation that she said “puts a specific sector up against the wall.”

United States: Mass absenteeism at Sioux Falls Tyson plant

Up to 1,200 workers are still off work at the Tyson Food Sioux Falls, South Dakota pork plant are still off work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The workers involved are either infected, quarantined or fall into the high-risk category, meaning they are over age 60 or have a medical condition such as diabetes. There are 3,700 workers at the plant.

Management had insisted that workers return to work by June 15, but has agreed to push forward that date until June 29. Absenteeism was still running at between 30 and 50 percent at some meatpacking plants. Food processing facilities across the US have become vectors for COVID-19 transmission.

Walkout by sorting office workers at Barnsley Royal Mail after coronavirus outbreak. By Thomas Scripps, 23 June 2020. Royal Mail workers at the central post sorting office in Barnsley, England walked out yesterday after colleagues tested positive for coronavirus.

Quarantine bungles in New Zealand threaten new COVID-19 outbreak. By Tom Peters, 23 June 2020. The Ardern government has placed the military in charge of quarantine hotels after health authorities allowed travellers to leave without being cleared of COVID-19.

2 thoughts on “COVID-19 news today

  1. Pingback: Tennis player Djokovic gets COVID-19 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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