Life for Workers and Unions in the US in the Age of COVID19 & Trump

By Dr. Frank Goldsmith – North American Coordinator, World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) (Retrieved from Facebook May 21, 2020.)

When the Trump presidency withdrew US financial support from the World Health Organization it was a profoundly anti working class racist move. As the World Federation of Trade Unions WFTU emphatically noted, the WHO is central to the health and well-being of the world’s people.

Recently pig and meat slaughterhouses workers were forced to return to the Tyson, JBS and Smithfield Virus infected Factories. Trump’s federal government encouraged these same factory owners to cut back on workers regulations that protect those workers.

Trump is deeply corrupt, racist anti union president.

Many workers refused. There have been over 200 strikes against dangerous and killing working conditions.

Just Previously, the Republicans in the US Senate and their president rejected a federal regulation to protect all workers from infectious diseases; including health care workers.

While the social democratic and right wing governments of Britain, Spain, France, Italy and Germany took some national enforcement activities, the US trump administration refused any national attack on the virus and left it up to the 50 different states. Purchasing of protective equipment, oxygen and ventilator Equipment would not come the federal government. Each state would be forced buy there own and they had to negotiate with China and other-suppliers from throughout the world.

The “States Rights” strategy dates back to 1776, the founding of the US, it’s in the Constitution. It enable or encouraged the Slave States to continue chattel slavery for next 80+ years. This is the sharpest form of working class exploitation. The legacy of racism from those over 400 years of slavery remains sharply with us today.

While these COVID19 anti worker decisions affected the whole population, they directly caused the death of working class people in senior care facilities; hospital and health clinics and in the corporate slaughterhouses and in urban mass transit centers.

Black and Latin workers are dying at a rate much higher than their proportion in the general population.

Over 80 trade union members of the NYC Transportation subways and buses system have died and over 3,000 tested positive to the virus. There are 40,000 transit workers in NYC.

Internationally by comparison, In Paris which has 64,000 CGT RATP members 8 bus and subway transit workers died and in London 24 RMT & UNITE died mostly bus operators.

The Trump administration is becoming the most anti working class federal administration in the country’s history. His personal anti women actions are reflected in his anti abortion and related issues facing working class women.

And since a significant percent of health care workers and industrial workers are Black and Latin; also, the most racist.

Trump initially at a critical point in February called the COVID19 virus a Democratic Party hoax, there are now over 80,000 dead which is more than all of mainland europe.

Britain, under Trump fellow virus denier Prime Ministers Boris Johnson, is a close per capita second place to the US in deaths. Johnson seems to have wised up after his own bout with COVID19.

Make no mistake about it, This is an international war on the working classes and their unions.

US 2020 Elections

While the most progressive candidate for president withdrew due to many factors,
Bernie Sanders policies remain very popular: a national health program; free public higher education; radical climate change proposals; a major tax on wealth, reduction in military budget; and a far more peaceful world.

The COVID19 crisis has made these positions even more important and popular.

But, The ultra right; fascist elements and their corporate sponsors will not fold easy. While trump may not be their preferred candidate they are stuck him. Before COVID19 Wall Street corporations were making billions with their new Trump wealth tax cut among other neoliberalism actions: privatization, dumping federal regulations, and other anti worker actions.

References to the Italian fascist Mussolini are made in mainstream television in explaining Trump’s media driven political and economic actions.

The next 6 months will be crucial to the mainstream and independent political parties and activists. It will certainly be important to our working classes and trade unions to demand: a living wage; shortening the work to 35 hours with no loss in pay and well funded federal health programs here and around the world.

Fighting for the United Nations, world peace and to significantly lower money for military industrial corporations must never be forgotten. Nuclear war option is never too far away from corporate policy possibilities.

1 Comment

  1. Paul Kaczocha

    Very good call for solidarity.

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