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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 April 2020

Coronavirus workplace news in brief

Postal workers walk out

Postal worker, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

Postal worker, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Postal workers in Didcot walked out on 8 April after their depot was not cleaned when a member of staff contracted Covid-19.

The Royal Mail workers followed guidance by their union the CWU after only the workers' delivery van was cleaned and not the whole building. The workers returned to work two days later after the company was forced to clean the building.

CWU rep at the depot, Steve Gill, said: "The van he used needed cleaning which was done by a cleaning company. But our building was only originally cleaned by a man with a rag and a spray bottle."

Over the last two weeks, staff at eight Royal Mail sites have walked out over safety concerns.

Heathrow airport threat

Heathrow Airport workers have been threatened with the sack if they reject 'voluntary' pay cuts of 15% in response to coronavirus.

The message was sent to thousands of workers which said the business expected "everyone to play their part". It threatened: "There will be consequences if colleagues do not accept the revised terms as it will mean that we have to make further job cuts. It will also have consequences for those colleagues who do not wish to participate."

Holland and Barrett workers' petition

High street chain Holland and Barrett has kept its shops open during the coronavirus crisis, but workers are campaigning for them to shut, arguing their health is at risk.

The 'alternative health' shop has 750 UK stores and claims to be an essential retailer because its products cater for people with special dietary needs. But staff have set up a petition, demanding management close stores over safety concerns. They argue that what the chain sells is not essential, unlike supermarkets or pharmacies. But they also warn that most stores are too small to be safe, with no room for social-distancing.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 15 April 2020:


Coronavirus news

MPs get 10k each for lockdown expenses - where's ours?

Dispatches from the front: NHS staff say give us PPE, not medals!

Johnson's hospitalisation: a tale of two treatments

Big pharma's profiteering holds back drug supply

Lockdown increases domestic violence calls - Tory money a drop in the ocean

NHS nurse: we're not wasting PPE - the Tories don't value us

Rapacious capitalism and the spread of coronavirus


What we think

Exit strategy? PPE and mass testing and workers' control of workplace safety

Fight back against the corona propaganda war


Transport

London Transport workers fighting private companies and TfL to secure health and safety


Workplace news

Unite opposes all cuts to domestic violence services

Passport workers forced back to offices as Home Office shirks its duty of care

Collectively demanding safe warehouse working conditions

Usdaw shop workers' union activists meet via Zoom

Coronavirus workplace news in brief


Labour

Sabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed


Campaigns

Plymouth students discuss rent strike

Final push for May Day greetings

Socialist Party coronavirus crisis finance appeal

Join an online Socialist Party meeting during lockdown

The Socialist Party and socialist ideas are growing


Lessons from history

How the catastrophe of WW1 sparked revolution


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist comments on the corona crisis


 

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