Workers and the fallout from covid-19

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

U.S. Economy Sheds Another 2.1 Million Jobs, Leaving 40.7 Million Unemployed Since Start of Pandemic

The U.S. Labor Department reported another 2.1 million workers filed for unemployment benefits over the last week, bringing the toll of job losses since coronavirus lockdowns began in mid-March to a staggering 40.7 million. One in four U.S. workers has lost their job in just 10 weeks. The Institute for Policy Studies reports that during the same period the combined wealth of U.S. billionaires soared by $485 billion.

bekayne

NDPP wrote:

White House adviser Kevin Hassett: 'Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work.' (and vid)

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1264996588834996226

How capitalists/politicians really view workers.

Human capital stock...it's people!

Bacchus

In a Charlton Heston voice?

bekayne

Bacchus wrote:

In a Charlton Heston voice?

Yes

NDPP

Unemployment, Systemic Failure & the Future of Capitalism in the Age of COVID (podcast)

https://store.counterpunch.org/richard-wolff-episode-153/

Episode 153 - Richard Wolff: "Capitalism as a system is no longer working for a majority of people."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

New Jobs Figures Show 42.6 Million U.S. Workers Filed for Unemployment During Pandemic

The U.S. Labor Department has just released its latest unemployment numbers: 1.9 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week; 42.6 million U.S. workers have filed claims since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, a study by Bloomberg News finds the U.S. Treasury has failed to pay out a staggering $67 billion in unemployment benefits during the pandemic — about one-third of all the money owed to jobless Americans.

NDPP

Exploitation, Abuse, Health Hazards Rise For Migrant Workers During COVID-19...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/migrant-workers-farm-deaths-report-1.56...

"Farm workers complain of unsafe working conditions, demand federal action in wake of deaths to coronavirus...."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

U.S. schools lay off hundreds of thousands, setting up lasting harm to kids

quote:

Macias will join the staggering number of public school personnel across the United States who have lost their jobs in the wake of school closures amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In April alone, 469,000 public school district personnel nationally lost their jobs, including kindergarten through twelfth-grade teachers and other school employees, a Labor Department economist told Reuters.

That is more than the nearly 300,000 total during the entire 2008 Great Recession, according to a 2014 paper by three university economists financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. The number of public school teachers hasn’t recovered from that shakeout, reaching near-2008 levels only in 2019.

Multiple school district administrators, public officials and teaching experts have warned that the current school personnel job loss will last for years, hurting the education of a generation of American students. It also could be a drag on economic recovery, for one thing because school districts are big employers.

The Labor Department reported on May 8 that 20.5 million non-farm workers lost jobs in April, including 980,000 government workers. Of those, 801,000 were local government employees. Although the Labor Department report does not break out the number, 469,000 of the 801,000 local government workers were K-12 public school teachers and other school personnel, the department economist told Reuters.

BIG BLOW TO POOR AREAS

School districts in poor areas face the most punishing blows. A Brookings Institution paper in April predicted that education layoffs “would come at the worst possible time for high-poverty schools, as even more students fall into poverty and need more from schools as their parents and guardians lose their own jobs.”

Low-income districts are particularly troubled because of plunging revenue amid the Covid-19 recession. Districts rely for revenue on local property taxes and state subsidies. Poorer districts, where property tax revenue is low, rely on states for most of their income. With states hit hard by falling income and sales taxes, aid to school districts is dwindling in many places.

The job losses at public K-12 schools are bigger and coming faster than experts anticipated. Michael Griffith, a senior researcher at the Learning Policy Institute, says “we’re looking at record cuts in teaching positions.”.....

NDPP

"Grocery chains Loblaws and Metro, as well as Walmart, have decided to stop giving their workers an extra $2 an hour pay bump they put in place in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic."

https://twitter.com/CBCNews/status/1271487730191654913

Despite the price gouging and astronomical profits made by these companies too. And it's still 'early days' of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once more we learn that business, indeed, is business. Take yours elsewhere.

NDPP

Workers' Anger Grows As Auto Companies Continue Coverup of COVID-19 in the Factories

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/15/auto-j15.html

The major US automakers are continuing their policy of covering up the spread of coronavirus in auto plants as reports filter out of new cases in several factories. The attempt to hide the extent of COVID-19 is a transparent effort to keep production going in the face of mounting workers' anger over the danger to themselves and family members amidst a nationwide resurgence of the virus due to the ending of all lockdown measures. General Motors and Ford have made it an official policy not to report the number and locations of confirmed COVID-19 cases at their factories. Fiat-Chrysler have also apparently stopped reporting coronavirus cases as well..."

NDPP

Prof Richard Wolff on Capitalism and Social Unrest

https://youtu.be/QoNNNxa_r0U

"This is a [US] class war."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Liberals looking to extend COVID-19 help ahead of parliamentary showdown

The Liberals are putting together a plan to extend one of the key COVID-19 benefits ahead of a parliamentary showdown on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he'll detail later this week how the Canada Emergency Response Benefit might be extended as millions of Canadians have almost maxed out how much they can claim.

"In the last few weeks, things have started to look up for a lot of people but that said, we also know that far too many Canadian are still struggling," Trudeau said Monday during his daily press conference outside his home.

"If you're having troubles finding a job you shouldn't also be worrying about whether you'll hit the limit of your CERB benefits. So right now we're working on a solution to extend the benefit for people who can't return to work yet."

quote:

Demand for the CERB has surpassed expectations, pushing its budget to $60 billion from $35 billion.

quote:

"But even with the economy reopening we know there are many jobs that aren't going to be coming back in the short term and that's why we're looking at continuing to help people who are on the CERB who can't find a job."

NDPP

Justice4MigrantWkers (and vid)

https://twitter.com/j4news/status/1272971368963817472

"Here's a video that shows where 12 migrant farmworkers are crammed into an employer-provided bunkhouse separated only by flimsy cardboard. In the middle of a pandemic, governments must act NOW to prevent more Black and Latinx workers from getting sick."

NDPP

Canada's Grocery Chains Slash Wages As Pandemic Continues to Rage

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/17/groc-j17.html

"In a highly provocative and apparently coordinated move, Canada's three main grocery store chains announced last week that they were scrapping a $2 per hour COVID-19 pandemic 'premium' or bonus effective Friday, June 13. This decision will mean a significant pay cut for hundreds of thousands of workers who have performed, and continue to provide, an essential service amid the worst pandemic in a century..."

Eat the rich.

NDPP

"Ontario Premier Doug Ford called out farmers in the Windsor-Essex region for failing to get migrant workers tested as a COVID-19 outbreak there continues. 'It's just not fair what you're doing right now."

https://twitter.com/CTVNews/status/1275116914944159745

Ford-talk is cheap. As are the lives of foreign workers  to our Canadian plantation owners. (another death today)

NDPP

"Here it is plainly stated; we are prepared to accept the deaths of migrant farm workers in order to maintain the 'integrity' of the supply chain and the profits of a few...I can't process this without being overcome by shame. Where are our priorities?"

https://twitter.com/SharkawyMD/status/1275976958741024768

Once again COVID reveals the real Canada. Aside from some nominal and perfuctory virtue-signalling perhaps, few will notice or care. Let alone act.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

begin drift....

Repair & Revive: Rev. William Barber on Fighting Racism, Poverty, Climate Change, War & Nationalism

quote:

REV. WILLIAM BARBER II: In recent weeks, we’ve heard the media ask, “When will the protests stop?” Since we’ve launched this campaign, people have asked, “What one demand is your top priority?” Well, we say, when you decided to do COVID response, you gave $2.5 trillion, nearly $3 trillion, to the banks and the corporations. If they can have 3 trillion things, don’t ask us what is our one thing.

quote:

And what happened on Saturday, we had planned to be in D.C. on Pennsylvania Avenue, but because of COVID-19, we couldn’t. But our people said, “We have to still do this.” And so we did. And when you heard me, for instance, speaking there, that was after 50 people, at least 50 people, impacted people from across this country, poor and low-wealth, had told their stories and made their demands. More than 2.5 million people turned out for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly, Moral March on Washington, a digital affair — 2.5 million just on Facebook. Now, that doesn’t include what happened on other networks and CNN — I mean, excuse me, C-SPAN and radios across this land.

What it was, was people, poor and low-wealth people, counterintuitively — coal miners from Kentucky, with poor folk from Alabama, white women from West Virginia standing with Black women from Mississippi, and so forth and so on, farmers from Kansas standing with fast-food workers from North Carolina — saying that there are five issues that we have to address: systemic racism in all of its form, Black people — how it affects Black people, Brown people, First Nation people; systemic poverty; ecological devastation, the war economy; and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism. And we must do it out of our deepest moral traditions, constitutionally, religiously. We must do it with deep love, but also with deep truth.

And they decided, “We want to tell our story. We want to show America herself. We want to put a face on these issues. And then we want to put the facts around these issues. And then we want to put forward an agenda.” And so, that’s what we did on Saturday, and it was overwhelmingly, beyond our expectations, received.

One of the things our agenda says to people is, “Do you realize that when voter suppression is put in place, that it suppresses the vote, targets the Black vote, but what it does, it also allows people to get elected who then block healthcare and block living wages?” And that hurts all of us, regardless of your race, your creed, your color.

Our agenda also says, “Do you realize, if we took 1 million — if we took one military contract, we could fund every state that has refused to accept the Affordable Care Act, the insurance there?” Just one military contract could give preschool to all the children we need. If we just took the money that we spent since 9/11, we could have had a green grid for our country to deal with new kinds of energy. Do you realize that if we spent $15 — we raised the living wage to $15, 40 million people could come out of poverty and low wealth? If we had a housing wage, 83 million people could come out of poverty and low wealth.

That’s the focus of this agenda, to say the choices we are making are bad choices. That’s why we have 140 million people poor and low-wealth in this country, and 62 million people who work every day without a living wage, and 80 million people without insurance or underinsured. And it doesn’t have to be this way.

quote:

And one of the things we pointed out on Saturday is that every regressive policy has what I call a DM on the DL — that is, a death measurement on the down low. When we talk about, for instance, the death of George Floyd, which we have to, and police violence, but police violence is only one part of racism that kills and classism that kills. For every 500,000 people that are denied healthcare, 2,800 people die. Seven hundred people die every day from poverty, even before COVID. And we know we’re headed toward poverty going probably plus-50% in this economic downturn. Every regressive policy has a death measurement on the down low. And we’ve got to bring those things out. We even have to show people that racist voter suppression has a death measurement, because when people are allowed to get elected through racist voter suppression, and then, once they get elected, they block healthcare, they block living wages, they block reparations, they in fact are blocking policies that could cause people to live. And in blocking them, people die.

The first declaration this country made — we’ve never lived up to it fully — is the declaration to life — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life. In far too much of our regressive policies, we have never dealt with the issue of life, because we’ve never dealt with how so many policies create death. Racism has always had death in it. Classism has death in it. And so, yes, we have to repair and revive. That has to be a part of if we’re truly going to ever be the democracy we claim to be on paper.

....end drift

Aristotleded24

NDPP wrote:
Workers' Anger Grows As Auto Companies Continue Coverup of COVID-19 in the Factories

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/15/auto-j15.html

The major US automakers are continuing their policy of covering up the spread of coronavirus in auto plants as reports filter out of new cases in several factories. The attempt to hide the extent of COVID-19 is a transparent effort to keep production going in the face of mounting workers' anger over the danger to themselves and family members amidst a nationwide resurgence of the virus due to the ending of all lockdown measures. General Motors and Ford have made it an official policy not to report the number and locations of confirmed COVID-19 cases at their factories. Fiat-Chrysler have also apparently stopped reporting coronavirus cases as well..."

No no no, don't you see that the real problem isn't corporate malfeasance, but individuals moving about their daily lives doing what they do? That's what we need to focus on! Let's make people so scared to do anything in their personal lives that they will always be watching on eggshells, worried about every little action that has a very negligible chance of spreading the virus! That way we can keep covering up larger systemic problems, like large workplaces not protecting their staff from infectious diseases, not properly protecting our elder care homes, and not protecting migrant workers, when these systemic problems are actually responsible for driving the bulk of the covid spread!

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

NDPP wrote:
Workers' Anger Grows As Auto Companies Continue Coverup of COVID-19 in the Factories

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/15/auto-j15.html

The major US automakers are continuing their policy of covering up the spread of coronavirus in auto plants as reports filter out of new cases in several factories. The attempt to hide the extent of COVID-19 is a transparent effort to keep production going in the face of mounting workers' anger over the danger to themselves and family members amidst a nationwide resurgence of the virus due to the ending of all lockdown measures. General Motors and Ford have made it an official policy not to report the number and locations of confirmed COVID-19 cases at their factories. Fiat-Chrysler have also apparently stopped reporting coronavirus cases as well..."

No no no, don't you see that the real problem isn't corporate malfeasance, but individuals moving about their daily lives doing what they do? That's what we need to focus on! Let's make people so scared to do anything in their personal lives that they will always be watching on eggshells, worried about every little action that has a very negligible chance of spreading the virus! That way we can keep covering up larger systemic problems, like large workplaces not protecting their staff from infectious diseases, not properly protecting our elder care homes, and not protecting migrant workers, when these systemic problems are actually responsible for driving the bulk of the covid spread!

So you propose opening up even more large work places? From the beginning the message has been that they are trying to slow down the virus not stop it.  The goal has always been to keep it at a rate the hospitals can manage. Outbreaks amongst workers were expected.

Having said that it was very poorly managed. The concept of bubbles should have been introduced in the first weeks and there are multiple bubbles. Isolating and contact tracing are much easier if people stay in as small a geographic area as possible. Playgrounds and pools could have been reserved for addresses lacking in private facilities. Schools should have been opened as local day camps for the summer. Day camps could register to use the pools. I could go on.

The list of things all the levels of government did the wrong way is endless. That doesn't mean that it is safe to end social distancing or for things to go back to the way things were. There is a very good chance snowbirds will not be returning to Florida this winter.

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

NDPP wrote:
Workers' Anger Grows As Auto Companies Continue Coverup of COVID-19 in the Factories

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/15/auto-j15.html

The major US automakers are continuing their policy of covering up the spread of coronavirus in auto plants as reports filter out of new cases in several factories. The attempt to hide the extent of COVID-19 is a transparent effort to keep production going in the face of mounting workers' anger over the danger to themselves and family members amidst a nationwide resurgence of the virus due to the ending of all lockdown measures. General Motors and Ford have made it an official policy not to report the number and locations of confirmed COVID-19 cases at their factories. Fiat-Chrysler have also apparently stopped reporting coronavirus cases as well..."

No no no, don't you see that the real problem isn't corporate malfeasance, but individuals moving about their daily lives doing what they do? That's what we need to focus on! Let's make people so scared to do anything in their personal lives that they will always be watching on eggshells, worried about every little action that has a very negligible chance of spreading the virus! That way we can keep covering up larger systemic problems, like large workplaces not protecting their staff from infectious diseases, not properly protecting our elder care homes, and not protecting migrant workers, when these systemic problems are actually responsible for driving the bulk of the covid spread!

So you propose opening up even more large work places? From the beginning the message has been that they are trying to slow down the virus not stop it.  The goal has always been to keep it at a rate the hospitals can manage. Outbreaks amongst workers were expected.

That is a complete misunderstanding of what I have been saying on this topic. My contention is that covid oubreaks have primarily been driven by large scale systemic failures, like NDPP's post that I was responding to, and that if we really want to control these things, that is where we should focus our attention. The media isn't really paying as much attention to these things as it should.

Perhaps I can clarify things and reduce misunderstandings by saying this: I am far more scared of covid being spread through a large workplace or through nursing homes or through employers not adequately protecting migrant workers (note there is next to no media coverage about this) than I am about spread through people singing in church or through a trip to the supermarket (which the media seems to love to talk about). Please also note that the media is essentially a mouthpiece for corporate interests, and that is what will influence their coverage and slant on the pandemic.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

It seems that the media has been pretty good at underscoring the high numbers of COVID-19 cases related to retirement/assisted living homes, meat processing plants and other similar operations, trucking businesses and more recently with the opening of the season, migrant farm workers. When I do my 1X a week grocery run, it's like a 50-50 split of people wearing masks but everyone is pretty good at respecting the distancing measures and hand sanitizer recommendations. I only went to one restaurant since easing started and that was well handled. I appreciate that people are taking this seriously and being for the most part considerate about helping control the spread of COVID-19. I am impressed that my partner took the step to do some limited social distancing and getting tested because he attended a couple of working and social events cross provincial borders.

Aristotleded24

Here we go again:

Quote:

The federal government has conducted mostly remote inspections of Ontario farms that employ migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of physically entering the properties to make sure the labourers' living conditions are safe.

Employment and Social Development Canada, the department responsible for the inspections, told CBC News that over the last four months, all the farms it inspected during the initial 14-day mandatory quarantine period complied with the rules as of June 12.

But the department admitted in most cast cases, inspectors didn't actually travel to the farms in question.

"For the safety of everyone involved, the majority of inspections are still being conducted remotely," the department said in a statement. By some accounts, the inspections are done virtually. CBC News has asked for details on how the remote monitoring is conducted, but so far, the department has not provided details.

If these farms are too dangerous to send an inspector on site for a few hours it would take to do the inspection, is it not by definition too dangerous for temporary foreign workers to spend entire days there?

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