Dutch bosses make coronavirus-infected workers work


This 9 October 2020 video from California in the USA says about itself:

At a strike rally at the Alameda County offices in Oakland on 10/8/20, striking AHS SEIU 1021 & NNU-CNA workers protested the attacks on themselves and their patients by the Alameda Health System.

Two County supervisors Board of Supervisors President Richard Valle and Wilma Chan spoke and promised that they would remove or replace the AHS management and apologized for allowing their appointed board to create a crisis leading to the strike of over 3700 workers.

In April 2020, after repeated reports of health and safety problems and retaliation against whistleblowers including the firing of SEIU 1021 nurse Saber Alaoui, the Supervisors set up an investigation committee. Their committee, however, was met with contempt by the management of AHS and Noha Aboelata, the president of Alameda Health System even kicked the investigative team out of the AHS Alameda Hospital in order to prevent them from doing their jobs.

Despite this, the Board refused to take any immediate action against the AHS management and directors.

Workers at the rally talked about their issues including PPE and the lack of staffing creating serious health and safety problems for the workers and their patients. The reported that these dangerous conditions have escalated in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They also reported that numerous Cal/OSHA complaints had been made about the serious health and safety violations but Governor Newsom’s Cal/OSHA had failed to take action for the serious violations of health and safety regulations.

Cal/OSHA has a hiring freeze in place and there are less than 200 Cal/OSHA inspectors for the more than 18 million workers in California.

They discussed the contracting out and privatization of the public health system by the managers put in place by the Alameda Board of Supervisors and the failure by the Supervisors to provide proper oversight of the appointed AHS Board of Directors. According to them, the strike has already cost over $10 million which should have gone to provide proper PPE and strengthen the public health system in the County.

Workers said that the AHS operation has run like a privatized for-profit hospital chain instead of a public healthcare system.

Musicians and artists also contributed with art and music during the event.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today, by Nina Bogosavac:

Working with coronavirus complaints: ‘I had to come, my boss said’

As the number of coronavirus infections at work is rising rapidly, corporations should be stricter about who can or cannot come to the office. In sectors where working from home is not possible, workers with complaints – such as a cold and sore throat – must stay at home. But that does not happen everywhere and that is a worrying development, say CNV and FNV trade union federations.

The unions are increasingly receiving phone calls from worried employees. According to the unions, especially in supermarkets, pressure on personnel is increasing, as in distribution centers.

NOS Stories asked supermarket employees about their working conditions … A large majority indicated that they had to stay at home in case of complaints. But there are also dozens of people who say they have to keep working. Many of them say there is otherwise a shortage of staff.

Box filler Vera (17) recently suffered from a cold in her nose. “I called the day before and my boss said I should just come. If you’re coughing all day, you have to stay home. But I’ve had a cold for a while, and then you’re just expected on the floor.”

Undesirable situation

“You notice that flex workers, including many young people and foreign employees, think: I will continue to work anyway, because imagine that I stay at home and then lose my job,” says CNV chairman Piet Fortuin. “The slow test pace doesn’t help either. People go to work anyway, while it is wiser not to.”

FNV also says that employers are increasingly dismissing cold complaints. “You can also see this in transport and healthcare. People are ‘allowed’ to report sick there, but in exchange for vacation days. Very undesirable.” …

Kevin works at a large supermarket chain. His sister, with whom he lives, had coronavirus complaints. “The medical service did not allow me to come to work. But when I called my team leader to tell them that, I got a lot of questions about whether I really couldn’t come to work anyway. It was really difficult.”

The employee ultimately chose not to work after all. “Because I follow the advice. I then called my manager, who thought it was OK that I stayed at home.”

Black-headed gull saves tufted duck’s life


Black-headed gull saves tufted duck's life

This 3 October 2020 photo by Dutch photographer Beverfoto shows a tufted duck in danger of being killed by a herring gull, being saved by a young black-headed gull.

The herring gull caught the duck three times. But first a great egret, then the black-headed gull intervened. After the third time, the herring gull gave up, and the duck swam on.

Coronavirus disaster update


This 9 October 2020 video says about itself:

Myanmar outbreak: Safety concerns during November elections

Myanmar is reporting at least 1,000 coronavirus infections a day.

Case numbers have been soaring since mid-August after the country appeared to have avoided the worst of the pandemic.

It now has more than 22,000 infections and 535 related deaths.

Just a month ago it had fewer than 10 deaths.

Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler reports.

One in four pregnant people with COVID-19 may have lingering ‘long-haul’ illness. A comprehensive analysis digs into how the coronavirus unfolds in this often overlooked but high-risk group: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 9 September 2020:

Buses need stricter safety measures, Unite says following driver’s death from Covid

BUSES must have stricter safety measures, the Unite union said today following the death of a driver with coronavirus.

Unite said that Kofi Opoku, who was based in Croydon, south London, died earlier this week.

The union said that safety measures on buses were of particular importance because London’s bus drivers were at the greatest risk, of all professions, to die from Covid-19. At least 29 had succumbed to the disease between March and May.

From daily News Line in Britain, 10 October 2020:

Second wave drives deaths up by 98%! Get rid of capitalism now … it’s a killer

THE SECOND wave of coronavirus has hit the UK with devastating consequences, and the Tory government’s efforts at bringing in measures to curb the spread are like a modern-day King Canute attempting to command the waves to retreat.

The Tory government are responsible for creating conditions in which the virus has spread like wildfire again. They re-opened the schools, the nurseries, the universities, they drove people back to work for the sake of profit, and damn the consequences.

42,592 have now died of the virus, 562,000 have been infected. There has been a 98% increase in death in the last few days and a 192% increase in infection. Rather than use a rigorous and scientific method to eradicate the virus the Tory Johnson government has chosen to attempt to save British capitalism rather than saving the British public’s lives.

And their attempts at saving British capitalism are futile. British capitalism was bankrupt before the coronavirus. The pandemic has just increased the rapidly accelerated decline with the closure of what little industry Britain had left.

The final flight of the last two 747 jets departed on Thursday with British Airways retiring its entire fleet of 31 Boeing 747s four years ahead of schedule.

Car sales slumped 4.4% in September; Jaguar Land Rover put its workers on a three-day week; Ford in Bridgend in Wales shut its factory after 40 years, with the loss of over a thousand jobs.

Retail and restaurants have been hit for six with Debenhams, DW Sports, Marks & Spencer, Pret a Manger, currency exchange company Travelex, and WH Smith all announcing shop closures and mass sackings.

A tiered system of measures for England is set to be announced by Monday, with a traffic light scheme where, if your town is deemed ‘Red’, all pubs, bars and restaurants will be shut down. Small family businesses, restaurants and cafes will be left to go to the wall, to shut and never re-open again.

Most universities around the country are now teaching completely on-line after tens of thousands of students were infected. Students were forcibly locked down in their halls in Glasgow and Manchester, with security guards patrolling, stopping them from leaving campus, an act ruled as ‘unlawful’.

The NHS Nightingale temporary hospitals around the country have been reactivated amid the surge of cases in the UK.

Meanwhile, China showed off its newly reopened sports centre in Wuhan which was used as a hospital during the first days of the coronavirus pandemic. China has declared the coronavirus has been totally eradicated. And this is while the capitalist world is suffering a global death toll which now stands at more than one million and growing.

China celebrated the newly reopened arena at the Wuhan Sports Centre as 7,500 people crowded inside to watch a basketball game. It was turned into the Fang Cang temporary hospital in February and received 1,065 patients.

Wuhan was the epicentre of the pandemic. Wuhan has been out of lockdown since April 8 – and has recorded no new cases of community transmission since May. The city is back to the ‘old normal’ with pictures last month also showing packed nightclubs and a crammed pool party.

The Chinese deformed workers’ state was able to shut down, with no loss of wages to workers, and to conduct a massive campaign to defeat the virus. They definitely did not learn to live with it!

This is the only way to eradicate the virus. Lock the country down, have trained people in hazmat suits to deliver food and essentials to people’s doors. Go door to door, testing and tracing. All those found to be positive for the virus and all those who they had been in contact with removed from their homes and taken to hospital to recover.

This scientific method, to systematically go through all neighbourhoods in every town, village and city in the country, is the only way to eradicate a virus. And it is something that was successfully achieved in both Vietnam and China.

Capitalist countries are not prepared to do this. The capitalist leaders are not directed by the needs of the people, but by the needs of the bosses to continue to make profits.

The only way forward is to bring this Tory government down, through mass strike action, to establish a workers government, that will immediately nationalise all services, industries, banks and land and put the massive resources of this country into the hands of the majority. Such a government will implement measures to eradicate the virus in a matter of weeks.

Britain, 8 October 2020: Covid test and trace scheme sees worst week on record ahead of highest number of cases.

France: Paris hospitals ordered to activate emergency measures amid spike in Covid-19 cases.

Cycling in Italy: