At the regular Prime Minister's questions (PMQs) two days ago (20 May) Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer asked the question that had already been raging on social media for some time. Why is the British Government making non-EU migrants working and dying in the front line in the National Health Service pay a special surcharge of £400 (increasing to £624 in October) for the right of themselves and their families to use the NHS?- IV544 - May 2020 / Britain, Covid-19 Pandemic
The United States has during the shutdown of the last two months suffered 90,000 deaths while 36 million workers have filed for unemployment, nearly 25 percent of the workforce. President Donald Trump now wants to restart the economy because he fears losing the November election if this Second Great Depression continues. Businesses are also anxious to make profits, and many unemployed workers want to earn wages—but they fear putting themselves and their families in danger. The fight for safe workplaces will become the driving force of activism in the coming weeks.- IV544 - May 2020 / Covid-19 Pandemic, USA, Trade unions/workplace organizing
Defend Socialists and Environmental Activists in Izhevsk: Demand the politically motivated charges against Dmitriy Tsarenko be dropped!
Since late April, Dmitriy Tsarenko (aka Morozov), one of the leaders of the Russian Socialist Movement's branch in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, has been under increasing pressure from the state apparatus—in particular, from the Interior Ministry's “Center for Combating Extremism,” often wielded by the authorities against political opponents. On May 15th, the police attempted to charge him with an arson attack on the office of Russia's ruling United Russia party, and on May 18th, Dmitriy was officially charged with on the ridiculous offense of “justifying terrorism” in connection with a speech he gave at a protest in March. There, Morozov demanded that antifascists jailed as part of the Network Case, which was fabricated by the secret police, be freed. Breaking this article of the Russian Criminal Code can carry a sentence of up to three years.- News from around the world / Russia
This government has a death pact with a market system that kills.
We should start with the deaths. Sometimes on the left we can be a bit cold and analytical but the only response at the moment is utter anger. Thousands and thousands are dying needlessly. Dying on ventilators, apart from their family and friends, is a slow painful way to die. Everyone who dies leaves dozens or more of us grieving. More and more of us know people who have died. Already we are talking of the equivalent of 600 Grenfells (over 100 people died in a tower block due to defective building materials two years ago).- IV544 - May 2020 / Britain, Covid-19 Pandemic
President Donald Trump is driving the United States toward complete loss of control of the coronavirus pandemic, a development that will lead to tens or even hundreds of thousands of deaths and further devastation of the economy. Today the United States has 1.3 million known cases and 78,763 official deaths while 40 million people or 24.9% of the workforce are unemployed. With Trump's plan for reopening next month's death toll will continue to rise and the economy could virtually collapse.- IV544 - May 2020 / USA, Covid-19 Pandemic
Originally published in French and in Greek in March 2020 under the title Capitulation entre Adultes, the book will be available in English before the end of 2020. The book looks back at Syriza coming to power in Greece in January 2015 and the ensuing six months, marked as they were by stark confrontation between the new Greek government and the European Union. As scientific coordinator of the debt audit, alongside the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Éric Toussaint had a grandstand view of events. He criticises the government's policies and explains that there was plenty of scope for different strategies.- Reviews section / Debt, Greece
In support of Anthony Smith, laid off for asking a company to introduce preventive measures in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, 1052 officials of the Ministry of Labour reaffirm the importance of their public service mission. They demand the withdrawal of the disciplinary procedure and that their independence is respected: “We will not allow the labour inspectorate to be destroyed”.- News from around the world / France, Covid-19 Pandemic, Trade unions/workplace organizing
As life in the central city of Wuhan gradually returns to normal, China Labour Bulletin investigates the role of the trade unions during the city's 76-day lockdown, and the extent to which it was able to represent the interests of essential workers.- IV544 - May 2020 / China, Covid-19 Pandemic, Trade unions/workplace organizing
After seven days of “phase 2”, the dynamics of the Coronavirus epidemic are still very uncertain in Italy; on the one hand, there appears to be a moderate decline in cases nationwide (although deaths are now over 30,000 and the infected more than 80,000) but, on the other, some regions remain exceptions to this, including Lombardy, where the vast majority of infections have been recorded.- IV544 - May 2020 / Italy, Covid-19 Pandemic
Johan (pseudonym) works in a factory which makes instruments for the medical sector, but which belongs to the engineering sector. Since the company is rightly considered to be an essential one, he has worked for the past two months. Johan is also an active union activist in the FGTB within his company. Thomas Weyts talked to him last week about how he and his family lived in lockdown, what it meant to be, unlike many other people, physically present every day at his workplace in recent weeks, his vision of politics, what he thinks of the lifting of lockdown and the prospects of the trade union movement in this crisis.- IV544 - May 2020 / Covid-19 Pandemic, Belgium, Trade unions/workplace organizing
As of May 15, Venezuela is reporting 455 coronavirus infections and just 10 Covid-19 deaths. However, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan immigrants in neighboring Columbia and (especially) Brazil are trapped in pandemic hotspots. Thus far, President Nicolás Maduro's government has maintained an effective quarantine regime on the border, preventing the contagion's rapid spread. However, the despreate economic situation, stemming from crippling U.S. sanctions, the collapse in world oil prices, and the regime's economic mismanagement places a question mark over how long the country can fend off the pandemic.[No Borders News]- IV544 - May 2020 / Venezuela, Pandemics
Travis Watkins was and hopefully will be again a mechanic at a General Motors plant in Wyoming, Michigan. He was recently fired for warning his fellow workers that two other workers were suspected of having the Coronavirus and had been removed from the factory. Watkins was employed by Caravan Facility Management, on contract to GM for plant maintenance. The 30 some unit workers were a mix of plant cleaners and skilled trades workers. The Caravan group was one of the units in the plant organized by Local 167 of the United Auto Workers. The unit elected Travis Watkins as their representative to the Local's E-Board and bargaining committee.- IV544 - May 2020 / USA, Pandemics, Trade unions
On 28 March, an internal voting process ended in which Anticapitalistas decided to leave Podemos. Seventy-nine per cent of the membership participated; of these 89 per cent voted in favour, 3 per cent against and 7.5 per cent abstained. We decided to wait until today to make this decision public; our priority has been paying attention to the COVID-19 pandemic that is hitting the country hard and fundamentally affects the most vulnerable sectors of the popular classes.- IV544 - May 2020 / New parties of the left, Fourth International, Spanish state
Radical Socialist is greatly alarmed at the death of 11 people, including a six-year-old girl, and more than a thousand people affected after styrene monomer gas leaked from a chemical plant belonging to LG Polymers at RR Venkatapuram in Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020. Around 350 people are hospitalised till now. This gas leak has directly affected an area over a radius of about three kilometres. At least five villages within this radius have been severely affected. According to experts, styrene is a neuro-toxin and inhalation leads to immobilisation and eventual death in ten minutes.- News from around the world / Ecology and the Environment, India