Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos kills workers


This 4 April 2021 video from the USA says about itself:

Jeff Bezos‘ Culture of Utter Psychopathy Puts Profits Before Lives

Status Coup’s Jordan Chariton shares original reporting he’s done with the Brown family, where one sister, Poushawn, has died after being required to administer COVID tests to other Amazon workers, and another sister, Christina, was met with concern for the Amazon vehicle and not herself when icy conditions flipped her delivery van. This points to a culture of psychopathy at Amazon that starts from the top.

This 4 April 2021 video from the USA says about itself:

Amazon‘s SHOCKING Culture of FEAR Harms Efforts to Unionize

Independent journalist Tina-Desiree Berg of District 34 (interviews Amazon workers who detail efforts to unionize, but also a culture of fear and a feeling of being very replaceable among the Staten Island Team.

Coronavirus profiteers and coronavirus PTSD


This 15 September 2020 video is called Pandemic Profiteering: Amazon Caught Price Gouging as Jeff Bezos’s Wealth Soared to $200 Billion.

Dutch webshop corporation Bol.com profited from the coronavirus pandemic. Their boss is getting a 6 million euro bonus. Also at Philips corporation, the bosses get big bonuses ‘for excellent behaviour’. These bosses have sacked 700 workers: here.

U.S. BILLIONAIRES GOT A LOT RICHER DURING PANDEMIC Billionaires’ fortunes swelled 45% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, accelerating inequality and plowing an additional $1.3 trillion into rich people’s coffers. Pandemic profiteers included 43 newly minted billionaires, according to the Institute for Policy Studies. Another study found that 1 percenters hide 20% of their income from the IRS, which means wealth inequality is worse than we thought. [HuffPost]

Some COVID-19 survivors face another foe: PTSD. About a third of very ill patients developed post-traumatic stress disorder in a small study: here. Also a big bonus for Philips corporation bosses, ‘for excellent actions’. These bosses sacked 700 workers: here.

Billionaire Elon Musk ruins workers’ health


This 15 July 2020 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Tesla Workers Raise Concerns After At Least 100 Test Positive For COVID-19

That was then. And now …

About the richest man in the world (or second richest, after Jeff Bezos of Amazon), Elon Musk, translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Last year hundreds of infections in California Tesla plant

At a factory of car corporation Tesla, hundreds of workers were infected with the coronavirus last year. This is evident from court documents that The Washington Post has seen. Tesla owner Elon Musk has been an opponent of the US state lockdown from the start.

In May, Musk wanted to reopen the Tesla factory against government rules. Then, he said that the police should arrest him. Musk then reached an agreement with the authorities to reopen the factory. It was agreed that all positive cases would be reported to the health services.

They refused to disclose data about the number of infections at Tesla, but The Washington Post now has it. Between May and December, 450 employees were infected.

Bosses sabotage working at home during pandemic


This 19 March 2020 video is called “Coronavirus Capitalism”: Naomi Klein’s Case for Transformative Change Amid Coronavirus Pandemic.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 22 January 2020:

Forcibly going to the office; we are sitting together in a small space, sneezing, coughing and touching everything

Working at home? Many bosses turn out to hate that. ‘Managers say: now, worrying about coronavirus should be finished

30% of the office slaves still working in offices

That is about white-collar and pink-collar workers. It is even worse for blue-collar workers in factories, construction, etc.

Heroes and villains of 2020


This 22 July 2021 video says about itself:

Angry NHS nurse berates Boris Johnson for not giving nurses and cleaners a pay rise | LBC

This angry NHS nurse didn’t hold back in her criticism of Boris Johnson for denying nurses and cleaners a pay rise, stating the sooner “Keir Starmer takes over the better.”

“I am so personally offended that this man has come out and hoodwinked us,” Kylie told Shelagh Fogarty, who was furious at the news that nurses and other workers will miss out on the 3.1% pay rise for some public sector workers.

She pointed out that the pay rise received two years ago doesn’t pay for the “gruelling job” workers have done in the last six months.

The Tories didn’t get us out of Covid, the NHS did and nurses are the backbone of that service and I am so disgraced at him to say that we don’t deserve a pay rise.”

Shelagh argued that “there must be something coming” for workers that were left out of the pay rise, as she couldn’t believe that nurses would be left out.

“They have us over a moral barrel because they know we won’t walk out,” the caller said.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 1 January 2020:

The Morning Star‘s Heroes & Villains of 2020

HEROES

Key workers

NHS workers at Royal Liverpool University Hospital in July

THE hypocrisy of ministers who stood and clapped during the first lockdown but have gone on to deny public-sector workers the pay rise they need and deserve will not be forgotten, but neither will the lesson of the lockdown itself: that it is the nurses, care workers, cleaners, transport workers, postal and comms workers, refuse workers, couriers, shop staff and others whose labour keeps our country running, even when it is often the worst paid.

The case for a new deal for workers has never been stronger.

Marcus Rashford

Any heroes list for 2020 which leaves out Marcus Rashford is incomplete.

His contribution off the football pitch saw the Manchester United and England striker force Boris Johnson and his cronies to do the right thing and keep providing meals for vulnerable kids, forcing the government into an embarrassing U-turn.

That this came at a time when MP Matt Hancock was calling on footballers to give up their wages to help the NHS further highlighted what an embarrassment the Conservative party really is — calling out players, often from working-class backgrounds, but being too afraid to do the same for the tax cheats who donate millions to the party.

Rashford has continued the campaign to help young children across Britain, not letting the government off the hook when it comes to helping those less fortunate and being the voice for millions of children who needed a helping hand in 2020.

Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), Bolivia

Last winter democracy was crushed in Bolivia, with full support from the United States and its allies, including the British government.

All the classic coup ingredients were rolled out: right-wing street protests claiming to represent the will of the people, a baseless Organisation of American States report casting doubt on the overwhelming re-election of MAS leader Evo Morales followed by the army giving the elected president his marching orders and appointing a successor.

The security forces massacred protesters against the coup, Morales fled for his life, and MAS supporters faced a year of persecution.

Yet they organised across the country, repeatedly rallied enormous crowds demanding new elections and forced the coup government to concede them — resulting in MAS’s emphatic re-election under Luis Arce and Morales’s triumphant return.

A ray of light in a bleak year, the MAS win was a victory for democracy and self-determination against imperialism.

The civil fleet

Almost 1,000 people were intercepted by the EU-supported Libyan coastguard within the first two weeks of 2020.

By year’s end, at least 11,891 people have been returned, 323 drowned and 417 are still missing.

Since the EU pulled its own ships from the Mediterranean in 2019, the only actors able to prevent refugees drowning or being returned to Libya’s notorious migrant detention centres were a collection of NGO rescue ships — often referred to as the civil fleet.

Having spent most of 2019 drafting laws to stop NGO rescuers, the Italian and Maltese governments began 2020 in a truce with the civil fleet.

The outbreak of Covid-19 in Europe changed that.

In March, Rome and Valletta announced their ports were closed to refugees.

Despite being continually ignored, demonised and detained for months on end by the European authorities, the Aita Mari, Ocean Viking, Sea Watch 3 and 4, Alan Kurdi, Mare Juno, Open Arms, and Louise Michel rescue ships managed to save thousands of lives this year.

Without the activist network Alarm Phone, the distress calls of thousands of people who attempted or were forced to cross the Mediterranean and Aegean seas this year would have gone unheard.

India’s farmers and the All-India Kisan Sabha

In six years in office, Narendra Modi has undermined the foundations of the secular Indian republic that was won over decades of struggle against British rule, institutionalising the persecution of Muslims with the Citizenship Amendment Act, trampling over the rights of states and presiding over the effective criminalisation of inter-faith marriage, while RSS thugs mete out terror and violence to his opponents.

Yet resistance is growing, with the country witnessing the biggest general strike in history on November 26 and now a farmer’s movement blockading New Delhi and staging rallies tens of thousands strong in every state against his bid to marketise Indian agriculture, drop price controls and allow transnational corporations to move in.

Neither police violence nor government bribes have induced the farmers’ movement to back down. All power to them.

Black Lives Matter

On May 25 footage of white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd until he died exploded onto screens around the world.

By June the outraged response of millions had reached such a size they were arguably the largest movement in US history.

It’s hard to say yet what the political legacy of this unprecedented uprising will be: with 14,000 arrested in 49 cities the protests are ongoing.

But with resistance to batons, tear gas and rubber bullets now in the muscle memory of so much of the US working class, the idea that it will accept brutal inequality without a fight any longer is unthinkable.

VILLAINS

Matt Hancock & Priti Patel

It’s hard to pick a Tory minister whose villainy stands out in the parcel of rogues that is the British government.

Rishi Sunak, who reportedly convinced the PM to ignore scientific advice and delay a second lockdown, leading to the virus’s renewed spread?

Gavin “we’re a much better country than any of them” Williamson, who is placing us all at risk with his refusal to shift schools to remote learning?

But we’ve picked two who, in different ways, embody the venality and brutality of our rulers.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has used a health crisis to enrich Tory cronies and cynical privateers, handing contracts to those totally unfit to deliver them and ensuring that Britain has the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe and rising.

And Priti Patel, whose vow to deport a thousand refugees by the end of 2020 shows that the cruel and racist “hostile environment” is worsening. Each of them demonstrates the need to oust the Tories, day in, day out.

Dido Harding

If the heroic sacrifices of our key workers have been on display this year, so has the staggering corruption of the incompetent, sleazy elite who run Britain.

Who better represents it than Dido Harding, the disgraced TalkTalk chief exec whose watch saw children hack the personal data of 157,000 customers and Jockey Club board member who let the Cheltenham Gold Cup proceed as a virus super-spreader in spring, and whose connexions — Oxford with Cameron, hubby a Tory MP — saw her handed control of our test-and-trace system and then the National Institute for Health Protection, replacing Public Health England (which her husband had long campaigned to be abolished).

Harding isn’t the only beneficiary of Tory cronyism — vaccine chief Kate Bingham and even Matt Hancock’s pub landlord have enjoyed the largesse of their friends in government.

But she will forever be associated with the bungled, privatised test-and-trace disaster that stopped us suppressing the virus.

David Evans

We’ve learned a lot about the nastier characters in the Labour hierarchy this year, not least through the leaked report that exposed in devastating detail how Labour HQ staff hostile to Jeremy Corbyn abused the membership, stymied the party’s disciplinary process and then blamed the leadership for it and sabotaged its efforts in the 2017 election.

New general secretary David Evans is a fitting successor to that crew, presiding over a crackdown on discussion and debate and sweeping suspensions and expulsions of members in a transparent bid to crush the socialist left and prevent anything like the Corbyn movement re-emerging.

The battle for democracy in the Labour Party should matter to all socialists, members or not — its authoritarian new order is bad news for the entire movement.

Mike Pompeo

Donald Trump may be making an exit, albeit in spectacularly ungraceful fashion, but his Secretary of State walks the Earth sowing the seeds for a poisonous harvest.

A coincidence that Pompeo’s secret meeting with blood-soaked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Neom took place just before the murder of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in a bid to derail any detente between Iran and Washington? Unlikely.

Pompeo is not just shoring up Trump’s horrendous legacy, he is testing the water for a future hard-right presidency of his own.

Elon Musk

It turns out that calling his son X Æ A-12 may be the least of Tesla tycoon Elon Musk’s crimes.

As Covid ravaged California in May, he defied public health regulations to reopen his car factory in Alameda, taking the local authorities to court over their lockdown rules.

He has since relocated to Texas to avoid California’s higher taxes, a heavy burden on a man whose net worth rose from $27 billion to $155bn this year, making him second only to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in the plutocratic pecking order.

At least the people of Bolivia have shattered one of his uglier boasts — “we will coup whoever we want,” he declared following the military overthrow of Evo Morales, widely seen as linked to Western firms’ appetite for Bolivian lithium reserves vital to the electric car industry. No, you won’t, Musk.

Coronavirus disaster worldwide news update


This 10 December 2020 video says about itself:

Protesters in Brazil have appealed to the country’s government to extend emergency financial aid.

It has been a lifeline for millions since the start of the pandemic.

But the government wants to stop it by the end of this month.

Al Jazeera’s Monica Yanakiew reports from Rio De Janeiro.

USA: Auto parts worker dies of COVID-19-induced heart attack at Faurecia plant in Saline, Michigan. John Stamper’s death is only the latest demonstration of the need for an immediate shutdown of nonessential production, including the auto industry, in order to combat the spread of the disease and save hundreds of thousands of lives: here.

Detroit Free Press breaks silence on Fiat Chrysler COVID-19 deaths: here.

How Tyson Foods chairman John Tyson made $600 million by exposing meatpacking workers to coronavirus: here.

Stop government attack on COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones! The SEP condemns the fascistic police raid on Jones’ home, meant to suppress her work exposing the spread of COVID-19 in Florida and in schools across the US: here.

Pupils in Germany resist in-person classes and demand “consistent lockdown”. The Bremen school strike is part of a growing wave of resistance by students against the herd immunity policies of the European governments: here.

British food factories coronavirus danger


This video from Harvard University in the USA says about itself:

Food Insecurity, Inequality and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing crises of food insecurity and health disparities. In the United States, mass protests continue to spotlight deep-seated inequities — including access to affordable, nutritious food — faced by communities of color. Black Americans in particular have been disproportionately burdened by the pandemic. Globally, issues about potential disruptions in local food supply chains and prices have caused concern. Drawing on new U.S. Census and other data, this Forum explored public policy and actions needed to preserve access to federal nutritional assistance programs, including SNAP, WIC, and National School Lunch Programs. The panelists also discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the global food supply and nutritional quality, especially in low and middle-income countries, as well as strategies to minimize food system disruptions and ensure food access and nutrition during and after the pandemic.

Presented jointly with The World from PRX & WGBH on June 30, 2020.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Food factories could be Christmas super-spreaders, warns TUC

FOOD factories could be “super-spreaders” of Covid-19 in the run-up to Christmas, the TUC warns today.

The trade union organisation says that workers in food plants already face a higher chance of contracting coronavirus due to the lack of airflow, poor social distancing and low temperatures.

And a huge influx of temporary staff over the festive period could see cases “rocket”, it predicts.

Food processing has the third-highest rate of outbreaks of any sector across Europe, after care homes and hospitals, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Control.

Since March, several British food factories have been forced to close during the pandemic after reporting hundreds of cases of coronavirus, among them suppliers to major supermarkets.

Last month, turkey meat manufacturer Bernard Matthews reported 147 positive cases across two sites.

But food manufacturing companies across Britain are currently advertising for temporary workers as they gear up for the busy Christmas period.

They include Dessert factory Bakkavor, which had 115 staff test positive for Covid-19 over the summer, with at least one fatality.

The company is seeking hundreds of seasonal staff to meet demand for Christmas.

Meat supplier Cranswick, hit by outbreaks that led to three workers losing their lives, is recruiting for at least 130 Christmas jobs in one factory.

The TUC warns that current workplace safety guidance for food production is “out-of-date” and called on ministers to “stop dragging their feet” and make it a legal requirement for employers to publish their risk assessments.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “There is a real danger that food factories could become ‘super spreaders’ of Covid-19 as they produce turkeys and other seasonal fare for Christmas.

“Out-of-date guidelines on food production, combined with the seasonal increase in staff, will put factory workers at an even higher risk of infection.

“Ministers urgently need to update the guidance for food production. They must require employers to publish their risk assessments.

“And they must resource the HSE properly, so it can get into food factories and crack down on unsafe working.

“That’s how to make sure everyone is safe at work this Christmas.”

The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has been approached for comment.

Amazon’s Bezos attacks privacy for money


This 28 November 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Fired Amazon Worker: Jeff Bezos Sells Profiling System to Law Enforcement

Independent videographer Jon Farina covered a Black Friday protest of Amazon on November 27th, 2020.

Bias, disrespect, and demotions: Black employees say Amazon has a race problem.

Pollution helps United States COVID-19 pandemic


This 24 November 2029 video says about itself:

Has capitalism turned the COVID-19 emergency into a disaster? | All Hail The Lockdown

We were in a crisis before COVID-19 – a crisis of capitalism. Join Ali Rae in this first episode of “All Hail The Lockdown” – a 5 part series exploring the complexities of our global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this episode, Ali speaks with filmmaker and activist Astra Taylor, economist Aditya Chakrabortty and economic sociologist Linsey McGoey about disaster capitalism, philanthrocapitalism and how the structures of capitalism have left us ill-equipped to deal with the fallout of COVID-19.

From Washington University in St. Louis in the USA:

Pollution and pandemics: A dangerous mix

Research finds that as one goes, so goes the other — to a point

November 12, 2020

The United States may have set itself up for the spread of a pandemic without even knowing it.

According to new research from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, pollution may bear part of the blame for the rapid proliferation in the United States of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the spread of COVID-19.

The research, from the lab of Rajan Chakrabarty, associate professor in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, was published online ahead of print in the journal Science of The Total Environment.

When it comes to how ill someone gets after contracting COVID-19, medical professionals believe that a person’s health — having certain medical conditions, for example — can play a vital role. When it comes to how fast the virus can spread through the community, it turns out the health of the environment is directly correlated to the basic reproduction ratio R0, which denotes the expected number of people each sick person can infect.

The reproduction ratio R0 of COVID-19 associates directly with the long-term ambient PM2.5 exposure levels. And the presence of secondary inorganic components in PM2.5 only makes things worse, according to Chakrabarty.

“We checked for more than 40 confounding factors,” Chakrabarty said. Of all of those factors, “There was a strong, linear association between long-term PM2.5 exposure and R0.”

PM2.5 refers to ambient particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less; at that size, they can enter a person’s lungs and cause damage. For this reason, PM2.5 can be detrimental to respiratory health. But how this relates to the spread of COVID-19 through a population had yet to be explored.

Chakrabarty and his graduate student Payton Beeler, both aerosol researchers who have done previous coronavirus modeling, became interested in the relationship after two papers were published in quick succession. First, a July paper in the journal Science found that levels of susceptibility to COVID-19 is a driving factor for the pandemic; it is more important than temperature, which researchers initially thought might play an outsized role.

British Conservative coronavirus PPE scandal


This 12 August 2020 video about Britain is called Conservative Backers Given Billions of PPE Contracts? Was There Corruption in PPE? – TLDR News.

From daily News Line in Britain today:

While NHS workers scrabble for PPE Tories pay £1 million a day to keep supplies stored in containers

A MASSIVE mountain of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is currently sitting on Felixstowe docks while frontline healthcare workers are still being forced to work in dangerous conditions without any adequate protection.

According to the Telegraph newspaper nearly 10,000 shipping containers full of surgical masks, aprons and gloves are stuck at the port, with the Tory government paying a staggering £1 million a day storage charges to keep them there.

Trade unions representing health workers have condemned this complete failure to deliver the urgently needed PPE to the NHS, with Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, the Unite national officer for health, saying: ‘The long-running problems with the delivery of PPE are a national scandal that have shocked the public.’

He added: ‘Our members on the NHS and social care frontline, such as speech and language therapists, paramedics and health visitors, are still reporting difficulties getting the necessary PPE nine months after the first lockdown.’

Christina McAnea, Unison assistant general secretary, said: ‘Health and care workers can’t avoid close contact with patients and vulnerable people to carry out their jobs. Having plentiful access to the right PPE is vital and we have to make sure all key workers are well equipped.’

This news is just the latest in the scandal surrounding the provision of vital PPE to the NHS, and Felixstowe port authorities aren’t the only ones to be making vast amounts of money out of PPE.

Last week, a review by Britain’s spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, of 8,600 contracts for PPE revealed that the government has signed agreements for hundreds of thousands of facemasks which turned out to be unusable.

As the coronavirus pandemic raged across the UK, from April £12.3billion was handed out to any firm claiming to be able to provide the NHS with protective equipment as hospitals and care homes ran out.

Many of these companies turned out to have no experience of supplying PPE – but this didn’t stop them winning multi-million deals with the government.

According to the Audit Office, suppliers with political contacts with the Tories were ten times more likely to be awarded these contracts.

The Audit Office announced an urgent investigation of one of the most extraordinary deals – worth £21 million – for surgical gloves and gowns with a Florida-based jewellery designer.

When questioned in Parliament last week about these findings Boris Johnson refused to apologise and claimed he was ‘very proud’ of the government’s record of paying a fortune to these companies for equipment that is mostly unusable.

On Sunday, Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak, interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show, also refused to apologise for PPE contracts given to companies with links to Tory MPs and ministers during the first wave of coronavirus, and defended the government buying 50 million face masks from Ayanda Capital – an investment firm – that were later found to be unusable for NHS workers. ‘It was right to try to do everything we can, and I’m not going to apologise for us reacting in that way,’ Sunak said.

In August it was reported that over 600 health and social care workers had died from Covid-19 while the Department for Health and Social Care confirmed that deaths of NHS staff are to be kept secret. No wonder they are so desperate to keep the number of deaths among NHS and care workers quiet.

The Tories gifted millions to private companies for useless PPE and now are spending £1 million a day to keep tons of vital equipment sitting on a quay while health workers scrabble around for the protection they need.