Healthcare

Zimbabwe nurses strike as economic crisis brings threat of second coup and military dictatorship

By Stephan McCoy, 4 July 2020

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is preparing to confront mounting opposition in the working class through dictatorial forms of rule and the abrogation of democratic rights—even as it is threatened by the possibility of a coup.

Riverside, California: HCA nurses strike continues as coronavirus takes its toll

By Alex Johnson, 4 July 2020

According to health officials, the confirmed active case count in Riverside bloated to 10,059 on Thursday, compared to 9,532 on Wednesday. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 stands at 465.

HPAE union betrays New Jersey nurses’ fight for PPE and better pay

By Erik Schreiber, 4 July 2020

New Jersey nurses must not allow their struggles to be strangled by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union.

Tories resurrect cynical “Clap for Carers” on 72nd anniversary of the NHS

By Rory Woods, 4 July 2020

Sunday’s event insults the memory of hundreds of health and social care workers who died of COVID-19 trying to save the lives of others.

Letter from a New York City transit worker on miscarriages and pregnancy on the job

By our reporters, 3 July 2020

A New York City transit worker has written in to the WSWS describing the atrocious conditions faced by pregnant workers at the facilities run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“The company is taking risks with the lives of 5,000 workers”

As COVID-19 cases surge, Texas GM workers demand closure of factory

By Jerry White, 2 July 2020

Just days after Fiat Chrysler workers in Detroit halted production, GM workers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area are demanding the closure of Arlington Assembly.

“Chrysler was telling everybody that it was safe to come back to work, and it’s not.”

Autoworkers at FCA Trenton Engine call for rank-and-file safety committees to fight COVID-19

By Tim Rivers, 2 July 2020

Autoworkers at the FCA Trenton Engine Plant south of Detroit called on their co-workers to build rank-and-file safety committees to fight the spread of COVID-19 in factories and save lives.

Arizona Department of Health Services activates plan to ration healthcare for COVID-19 patients

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 July 2020

As the pandemic surges throughout Arizona, the governor is seeking emergency support from the federal government to supplement the beleaguered hospital staff in hard-hit counties.

Riverside, California Nurses strike continues as ICU beds reach capacity

By Kevin Martinez, 2 July 2020

Nurses are protesting unsafe working conditions while county health officials announced this week that ICU beds were at 99 percent capacity

Respiratory therapist at New York’s Elmhurst Hospital describes horrors during COVID pandemic:

“The patients in March didn’t have to die like this, if we would have had more staff and better equipment to work with”

By Clara Weiss, 2 July 2020

At poor community hospitals like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, patients were up to three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than they were in facilities in the richest parts of Manhattan.

Johnson pledges “New Deal” for UK as he prepares savage attack on workers

By Chris Marsden, 2 July 2020

Johnson is prime minister of a declining imperialist power, dominated politically, economically, and socially by a financial oligarchy whose sole concern is that the flood of wealth into its coffers continues.

The inequality pandemic: How American capitalism puts profits over lives

By Andre Damon, 2 July 2020

The resurgence of COVID-19 is the outcome of a policy, led by the Trump administration but supported by the entire political and media establishment, of subordinating society’s needs to the interests of the financial oligarchy.

Chile: COVID-19 outbreak in mining regions

By Mauricio Saavedra, 1 July 2020

Three mineworkers have died in the giant state-owned mining corporation Codelco, and some 2,528 are infected, according to the official figures of the Ministry of Mining.

COVID-19 increase at UK’s 2 Sisters, Rowan and Kober meat processing factories

By Tony Robson, 1 July 2020

Inadequate and unsafe forms of transport, poor working conditions, and rundown accommodation are class issues bound up with the wealth extraction demanded by capitalism.

Hands off Fiat Chrysler workers fighting the COVID-19 disease!

By the Jefferson North and Sterling Heights Rank-and-File Safety Committees, 1 July 2020

This joint statement was issued by the rank-and-file safety committees set up by Detroit-area Fiat Chrysler workers to fight for safe conditions during the pandemic.

”I can get another job. I can’t get another life”

Food processing plants in Ohio and New York hit with outbreaks

By Alex Findijs, 1 July 2020

Outbreaks at salad and fruit processing plants in Springfield, Ohio, and Oswego, New York, show the vulnerability of food workers to the deadly disease.

New York City transit worker suffers miscarriage on the job

By Sam Dalton, 1 July 2020

Transit workers are outraged at the Transit Authority and the union after a conductor who was six-months pregnant lost a baby when she was forced to return to track switching.

Pandemic profiteering: Gilead Sciences cashes in on COVID-19

By Bryan Dyne, 1 July 2020

Gilead’s declaration that it will charge over $3,000 per patient for the drug remdesivir sends a clear message that pharmaceutical companies plan to use the COVID-19 crisis to make billions of dollars.

“Street medics” provide emergency care to US protesters injured by police

By Alex Johnson, 30 June 2020

”Street medics” have helped protesters cope with the effects of tear gas and pepper spray, broken limbs and injuries from “less-lethal” rounds of rubber bullets and bean-bag hits.

Brazilian health care workers strike for PPE and risk bonus

By Brunna Machado, 27 June 2020

On Thursday, health care professionals in the Brazilian state of Piauí started an indefinite strike as their counterparts in Rio de Janeiro launched protests.

As pandemic rages, Trump administration calls on Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare

By Kate Randall, 27 June 2020

An overturn of the Affordable Care Act would wipe out health care coverage for as many as 23 million Americans.

“Back to work” campaign in the US has led to surge in COVID-19

By Andre Damon, 27 June 2020

The resurgence of the pandemic was the entirely foreseeable outcome of the homicidal campaign by the Trump administration, with the support of the Democrats and the media, to force workers back into factories and workplaces.

Contact tracing and capitalism’s response to the pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 June 2020

As the globe rapidly approaches ten million cases of COVID-19, the United States continues to ignore any public health measures to contain the pandemic.

Riverside Community Hospital nurses strike in California

By Kevin Martinez, 26 June 2020

Nurses in the SEIU have launched a 10-day strike to protest staffing cuts while their for-profit hospital chain has received government bailouts.

Nurses and support staff at HCA Healthcare set to strike California hospital over cuts and PPE shortages

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 June 2020

One thousand nurses and support staff at HCA Healthcare are set to strike over concessions the hospital chain is demanding from frontline health care workers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the US.

The United States nears a new one-day high of COVID-19 infections

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 June 2020

The United States neared a new one-day high in new cases of COVID-19, with 38,386 new infections, only a few hundred below the high set back on April 24 with 39,072 cases.

COVID-19 cases rapidly surge in Texas

By Trévon Austin, 25 June 2020

Texas confirmed over 5,000 cases for the first time on Tuesday.

Brazilian government hides scale of COVID-19 pandemic to promote criminal reopening

By Tomas Castanheira, 25 June 2020

Different studies point to severe underreporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths, as outbreaks at working places spread across Brazil.

India rapidly emerging as epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic in Asia

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 25 June 2020

As a result of the Modi government’s abandonment of lockdown measures, the coronavirus is spreading like wildfire in both urban slums and rural areas.

Detroit nurses’ lawsuit exposes horrific conditions at Sinai-Grace Hospital as COVID-19 deaths spiked

By Kevin Reed, 25 June 2020

Four nurses who worked at Sinai-Grace Hospital have filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Tenet corporation that operates the facility where dozens of people died from COVID-19 due to management’s cost-cutting.

Johnson announces end of UK’s lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 25 June 2020

The bulk of the UK economy, barring “close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas, will reopen July 4. All schools will reopen in September.

London bus drivers’ lives threatened by union collusion on inadequate COVID-19 measures

By Laura Tiernan, 25 June 2020

The Unite union is playing a crucial role for the government and Transport for London in policing the back-to-work drive and concealing the immense dangers facing bus and transport workers.

Unite union facilitates cover-up of COVID-19 outbreak in UK meat processing plants

By Tony Robson, 25 June 2020

Meat processing factories across the world have become a breeding ground for the virus, and working in them is a potential death sentence.

Tennessee legislature passes anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill

By Warren Duzak, 24 June 2020

The Republican-backed bill would require doctors to refuse to provide abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detectable.

Johnson used pandemic to step up privatisation of UK public sector

By Margot Miller, 24 June 2020

The corporate raid underscores the cynicism of government ministers clapping frontline workers and hailing NHS workers as “heroes.”

Western Massachusetts psychiatric units facing imminent closure

By Ben Oliver, 22 June 2020

Trinity Health plans to close the three inpatient units of Providence Behavioral Health Hospital, eliminating 202 jobs, 74 beds and the region’s only pediatric unit.

WHO warns coronavirus pandemic entering a “dangerous phase”

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 June 2020

As nations open their economies, new cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, and the death toll has begun to climb again.

Doctors head legal challenge to UK government on health care deaths and PPE

By Rory Woods, 20 June 2020

At least 181 health workers and 131 social care workers have died while working on the frontline.

Johnson government reneges on waiving health surcharges on NHS workers from overseas

By Tony Robson, 19 June 2020

What is being demanded by migrant NHS workers is not preferential treatment, but rights that should be extended to all overseas workers.

UK nurses from overseas demand permanent residence after battling COVID-19

By our reporter, 19 June 2020

The SEP was contacted by an overseas nurse from the south of England, urging support for a petition demanding permanent residence for non-EU National Health Service migrant workers.

More than 40 percent of all US deaths from COVID-19 are in nursing homes

By Benjamin Mateus, 17 June 2020

A report published Tuesday says that there were 51,000 COVID-19 deaths among residents of US nursing homes and extended care facilities.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 in Brazil’s meat processing plants and mines

By Tomas Castanheira, 17 June 2020

Clusters of coronavirus at large companies across the country threaten the lives of thousands of workers.

Canada’s grocery chains slash wages as pandemic continues to rage

By Roger Jordan, 17 June 2020

The decision to abolish the pay premium shows the companies’ shocking disregard for the lives of workers.

An interview with Dr. Mona Masood, founder of the Physician Support Line

By Kate Randall, 17 June 2020

The WSWS spoke to Dr. Mona Masood about her experience setting up a support line of psychiatrists serving the mental health needs of physicians during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurses outraged over US hospital chain bailouts, layoffs and bloated CEO pay

By Gary Joad, 15 June 2020

The largest health care corporations and hospital chains have collected billions in federal grants and laid off tens of thousands of health care workers, while compensating top executives hundreds of millions.

UK Health and Safety Executive provides cover for Johnson government’s back-to-work drive

By Tony Robson, 13 June 2020

The Health and Safety Executive has not carried out any inspections of workplaces since March to reduce risks to its own staff.

Scottish government moves to end lockdown as COVID-19 deaths hit 4,000

By Stephen Alexander, 13 June 2020

Scotland has the third worst coronavirus death rate in the world.

Ontario calls military into another for-profit long-term care facility ravaged by COVID-19

By Matthew Richter, 13 June 2020

The vast majority of the care home deaths have been at for-profit facilities, where wages, staff levels and working conditions are generally even lower.

COVID-19 cases spike across the United States

By Jacob Crosse, 12 June 2020

Twelve US states—Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Delaware and Hawaii—have all seen a 25 percent or more spike in average cases within the last week.

“They treat us like we are slaves”

Detroit Flex-N-Gate workers denounce sweatshop conditions

By J. Cooper, 12 June 2020

Workers are facing intolerable conditions after the reopening of the auto parts plants.

“Make no mistake, the union supports ramping up production”

UAW threatens job losses at Ford Kentucky Truck Plant over COVID-19-related absences

By Marcus Day and Jessica Goldstein, 12 June 2020

The UAW’s threats came the same day that Ford’s Chief Operating Officer, Jim Farley, announced that the company expects production to return to pre-pandemic levels by July 6.

UK: Indian cruise ship crew members still awaiting repatriation

By Paul Bond, 12 June 2020

Around 650 Indian crew members of TUI/Marella cruise ships are still laid up in waters off Southampton on the south coast of England.

How Canada’s unions and NDP paved way for bill enforcing return to work amid pandemic

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 12 June 2020

The proposed legislation would impoverish and criminalize workers who refuse to risk their lives and those of their families for corporate profit.

Pandemic intensifies growing mental health crisis in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 11 June 2020

The government’s promised spending displays the official contempt for those being devastated by mass unemployment and under-employment.

COVID-19 eruptions increasing in US meatpacking plants, logistics centers

By Shannon Jones, 10 June 2020

As all levels of government abandon any attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, workplaces are increasingly becoming vectors of transmission.

US Postal Service covers up COVID-19 death toll in New York City

By Tom Carter and Shuvu Batta, 10 June 2020

“There are people that have been gone for weeks, and people who have been gone who never came back.”

Bridgestone tire defends safety “playbook” as infections rise at Iowa plant

By Jacob Crosse, 10 June 2020

Working with United Steelworkers Local 1301, Bridgestone has continued production despite rising infections among workers and the surrounding community.

COVID-19 spreads in US auto plants as officials hide information from workers

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 June 2020

Three new cases of coronavirus were confirmed among workers at General Motors’ assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, in recent days.

COVID-19 cases rise rapidly after South Asia’s governments abandon lockdowns

By our correspondents, 10 June 2020

India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have all recorded dramatic increases in COVID-19 infections and deaths over the past week.

Canadian government threatens fines and jail time to force workers back to work

By Roger Jordan, 10 June 2020

The Liberal government is spearheading a homicidal back-to-work drive that prioritizes big business profit over workers’ lives.

UK: Setback for Johnson’s school reopening plan due to popular opposition

By Tania Kent, 10 June 2020

The temporary retreat is a credit to the millions of parents and educators who opposed the government and acted in defiance of the trade unions.

A reality check on the ongoing spread of the coronavirus pandemic

By Bryan Dyne, 9 June 2020

More than 400,000 men, women and children have lost their lives from COVID-19 and the lives of countless millions more remain in danger as the number of cases continues to grow.

“Our system is so broken, it needs to be broken down and rebuilt”

Health care workers join mass protests against racism and police violence, and explain why

By Clara Weiss, 9 June 2020

The WSWS spoke to health care workers in Illinois and Kentucky who have joined the protests or are working to organize protests themselves.

Health care worker layoffs surge in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota

By Gary Joad, 9 June 2020

Essentia Health of Duluth, Minnesota, is engaging in job destruction to cover the impact of the pandemic on its bottom line and the losses incurred with the nosedive of a building project.

UK: Virus infection rate increases as Johnson government continues ending lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 9 June 2020

Since imposing a lockdown on March 23, Johnson and government ministers have proclaimed keeping the “R” rate below 1 as the precondition for ending the lockdown. But ending the lockdown continues.

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.

Plummeting vaccinations in the US and globally put millions of children at risk

By Katy Kinner, 6 June 2020

WHO experts warn that at least 80 million of the world’s children under the age of one are at risk of diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio due to a massive decrease in routine immunizations.

UK: After the clapping stops—The way forward for NHS workers

By Rory Woods and Chris Marsden, 6 June 2020

Things came to a head last week because it has become impossible for the government to maintain the charade of unity behind “our carers.”

Thousands of US medical workers join protests against police violence

By Clara Weiss, 5 June 2020

Protests by health care workers expanded significantly Thursday, with more demonstrations planned for Friday and Saturday.

US nurses speak on dangers of COVID-19 exposure at their workplaces

By Katy Kinner, 4 June 2020

WSWS reporters spoke to nurses across the US who shared their anger and frustration over governmental and employer neglect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sri Lankan health workers protest wage and transport cuts during pandemic

By W. A. Sunil, 4 June 2020

While hospital workers across all grades and union affiliations participated in the protests the unions are seeking to head off a confrontation with the government.

Democratic Governor Whitmer lifts major COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 3 June 2020

The announcement rescinds the stay-at-home order, along with a series of other restrictions even though most of the state remains in the “flattening” phase of the pandemic.

An interview with a university mental health professional

Anxiety, depression, loneliness grip millions of youth during pandemic

By Renae Cassimeda, 3 June 2020

The WSWS spoke with a university psychotherapist on the psychological impact of the pandemic on college students.

Canadian farm and industrial worksites become new coronavirus hotspots

By Carl Bronski, 3 June 2020

The reckless back-to-work drive across Canada is already producing new outbreaks of the potentially deadly coronavirus.

Oppose the premature lifting of COVID-19 safety restrictions!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 3 June 2020

The Socialist Equality Party opposes the profit-driven “back-to-work” campaign as the global COVID-19 pandemic worsens and fresh outbreaks appear across the country.

Nurses at HCA Healthcare across the US protest job cuts and lack of PPE

By Alex Johnson, 2 June 2020

Nurses protests are erupting under conditions where hospitals across the country are denying access to personal protective equipment in the pandemic and have already laid off thousands of health care workers.

Thousands of Canadian medical workers infected with COVID-19 due to lack of PPE

By Omar Ali, 1 June 2020

More than 2,000 nurses in British Columbia have filed complaints about the lack of personal protective equipment.

UK: Official figures inflate COVID-19 testing rate by more than a million

By Alice Summers, 30 May 2020

The Johnson government is again seeking to cover up criminal inaction that has led to tens of thousands of deaths.

Trinity Health to terminate psychiatric beds in Massachusetts in midst of pandemic

By Ben Oliver, 30 May 2020

If approved by the state, the closure will eliminate 74 beds for adults, the elderly, and children, along with 202 jobs.

UK: Weston General Hospital shuts due to coronavirus outbreak among staff

By Robert Stevens and Ben Trent, 29 May 2020

The outbreak reveals the enormous dangers to the health and lives of National Health Service workers.

UK: Johnson government forced to retreat over attacks on migrant NHS workers

By Tony Robson, 29 May 2020

The government had insisted that only doctors, nurses, and paramedics would be made exempt from the NHS surcharge and that only their families qualified for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) in the event of their death.

Over 62,300 US health workers infected and 291 dead from COVID-19

By Katy Kinner, 28 May 2020

Widespread employer and governmental neglect of basic safety protections are to blame for the massive increase in infection rates and deaths among health care workers.

Yemen’s health care system collapses under weight of pandemic

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2020

The UN has warned that if its programmes close, “the world will have to witness what happens in a country without a functioning health system battling COVID-19”.

Mumbai health care system overwhelmed as COVID-19 surges across India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 May 2020

”It’s a war zone,” said a doctor employed at one of the main hospitals in India’s second largest city.

Reports question undercounting of COVID-19 deaths in US and globally

By Bryan Dyne, 27 May 2020

There is increasing evidence that the actual fatalities caused by the pandemic are up to three times the numbers officially reported.

US corporations, government cover up workplace infections and deaths

By Jerry White, 27 May 2020

Recent reports on the meatpacking, logistics and other industries document a systematic effort to conceal the number of COVID-19 cases in workplaces.

UK: Johnson government crisis worsens after Dominic Cummings press conference

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 27 May 2020

Cummings has emerged as the near universally despised embodiment of a hated and crisis-wracked government.

Sweden’s “herd immunity” policy produces one of world’s highest fatality rates

By Jordan Shilton, 27 May 2020

Sweden’s policy has been praised by reactionary political forces and the corporate media internationally to bolster their criminal back-to-work campaigns.

JBS meatpacking plant reopens in Brazil as Latin America becomes COVID-19 epicenter

By Gabriel Lemos, 27 May 2020

Workers Party governments financed JBS’s transformation into a transnational, whose plants have become COVID-19 hotspots in both Brazil and the US.

Protests by medical workers grow as hospitals overwhelmed across Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 27 May 2020

The protests are part of an international wave of unrest among medical workers demanding personal protective equipment, medicines, respirators, testing and staffing.

Indonesia experiences major surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases

By Owen Howell, 27 May 2020

The Indonesian government is blaming the sharp rise in confirmed cases on ordinary workers and peasants for not adhering to social distancing measures.

Quebec Premier accelerates return to work in Montreal—Canada’s COVID-19 epicenter

By Richard Dufour, 27 May 2020

Acknowledging that it is “taking a gamble” with workers’ lives, the Quebec government is intensifying its drive to “reopen” the economy.

Pennsylvania reopens despite gross mishandling of COVID-19 data

By Ben Collyer, 27 May 2020

Figures released this week paint a horrific picture of the suffering and despair caused by the pandemic among the elderly and infirm.

Cruise ship workers protest government and cruise line inaction

By Tom Casey, 27 May 2020

While repatriation plans have been arranged for ship workers after significant delay, thousands still remain trapped on board.

British Trotskyists issue call for working class action against pandemic

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 27 May 2020

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) opposes the reckless back-to-work campaign and the reopening of schools and non-essential workplaces as the pandemic continues to spread.

UK: Johnson government opposes pay increase for nurses

By Rory Woods, 26 May 2020

Boris Johnson and other ministers busy hailing nurses and doctors as “heroes” have again made clear they are bitter enemies of all health care workers.

Maryland Democratic Party officials cite coronavirus crisis to impose sweeping budget cuts on workers

By Ray Coleman, 26 May 2020

Democratic Party officials in Montgomery County seized upon the COVID-19 crisis to impose austerity upon county employees, many of whom are working on the front lines of the pandemic.

High COVID-19 infection rates among doctors and nurses in Germany

By Markus Salzmann, 25 May 2020

According to the public health body Robert Koch Institute, more than 20,000 workers in German hospitals, doctors’ practices, nursing homes and care services are now infected.

Minnesota nurses oppose retaliation over demands for protective equipment

By Anthony Bertolt, 25 May 2020

The determined demands by nurses and health care workers for the necessary protections, equipment and staffing levels has thrust them into a political struggle.

Coronavirus pandemic spreads across the US South

Hospitals overwhelmed in California and Alabama as national death toll approaches 100,000

By Bryan Dyne, 23 May 2020

The spike in cases in such divergent areas of the country is another indication that, contrary to official policy, the spread of the coronavirus pandemic is not slowing but increasing.