Covid-19

Videos: Socialist commentary on the Covid-19 crisis

Watch videos giving socialist commentary on the Covid-19 crisis below. Many are subtitled. Click in the top right of the video, for the contents of the playlist, and to watch other ones. See Workers' Liberty's channel for other playlists and videos.

Morrisons cuts sick pay

Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, with over 120,000 workers, is cutting sick pay for those who need to self-isolate if they have not been vaccinated. Despite Morrisons saying they will make exceptions, the announcement has sparked outrage — particularly because the chain’s chief executive has been open about their cost-cutting motivation. Justifying the cut, chief executive David Potts cited the “biblical costs of managing Covid” and other increased costs facing the company. Morrisons’ profits have fallen, but they were still £105 million in the six months to 1 August. It is due...

Workers' Liberty conference moved to April 2022

We have decided to put our Workers’ Liberty conference planned for 27-28 November back to April 2022. We had our last conference, on 24-25 April, online. We managed well, considering, but decided to schedule a next conference in-person sooner than we otherwise would, in November 2021. The success of the vaccine drive made that seem workable. The Delta variant has upset our calculations. It can spread even with high vaccination, though that vaccination keeps death tolls much lower than before. The two weeks since schools restarted have seen, contrary to predictions, a slight fall in cases...

The Covid winter and the Tories' bias

So far the USA has donated 77 million vaccines doses to Covax, the WHO-backed Covid-jabs scheme for poorer countries. Britain has donated five million, France four million, other countries few. China has donated over 20 million jabs, mostly direct country-to-country as part of gaining influence. The figures look large. They are tokens on the scale of the six billion jabs given so far, the 30 million being given each day, and the billions needed in the next few months to stem the deaths (nearly 10,000 counted each day, officially 4.5 million counted so far, probably in fact 15 million). The...

Forced back into the office? (John Moloney's column)

Many of our members have been in the workplace throughout the pandemic. A majority, though, have home-worked. We have always known that these members will return to the workplace some time. Our argument is that they should only do so when safe. In September last year, the government made a concerted push to get everyone back to the workplace but that failed. This September, the concerned push has been replaced by an expectation that staff will return to the workplace for one or two days a week either this month or in October. The union is opposed to any moves to force staff back. Our...

Expropriate big pharma! Vaccinate the world!

Worldwide, “serious and critical cases” of Covid in hospitals stand at 105,000 and increasing, only just below the all-time high of 114,000 on 29 August. The counted death rate per day has decreased a bit in recent days, and is now 50% below its peak in January 2021, but is still higher than at any time before mid-November 2020. The real figures are worse than the counts. More of the deaths and serious cases recently have been in poorer countries which have looser counts and where severe cases are less likely to reach hospitals. In India, the death rate is now falling, but scientists reckon...

Malaria kills more than Covid in Africa

We wrote recently about the first effective vaccine against malaria, which should be widely available in a few years. However, malaria continues to take a terrible toll, 409,000 deaths in 2019, 94% (384,000) in sub-Saharan Africa (1 in 600 infections).

Free Yang Kyeung-soo!

On 3 July, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, South Korea’s national union federation, organised a rally of 8,000 workers in Seoul to demand measures to protect lives and save jobs in the Covid-19 pandemic. (South Korea has had a relatively good record on Covid, but a relative case surge since the middle of June.) Now KCTU President Yang Kyeung-soo has been arrested (2 September) for organising the rally, which the authorities are saying was in violation of Covid-control regulations. The KCTU was surrounded early in the morning and police in riot suppression gear smashed their way in...

Increase pay, training, and open borders

The Confederation of British Industry is concerned about labour shortages, especially in areas that could impact on food supply. They want the government to make it easier for migrant workers to come to those jobs in the UK. The government’s response is that they should hire British workers. But, even leaving aside the nationalism here, the work talked about most in the press is HGV drivers. The other jobs the CBI identifies labour shortages in are butchers, construction workers, engineers and IT specialists. None of those jobs can be done by someone immediately. Some jobs listed as having...

BEIS strike 22-24 September (John Moloney's column)

Outsourced workers at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will strike again, unless a deal is found, from 22-24 September, demanding pay increases and the reinstatement of annual leave entitlement. The last day of that strike coincides with a global climate strike; that’s significant as BEIS is a key department in terms of the UK’s climate policy. We’ll make the picket line at BEIS a focus for mobilising union members across London, and will be promoting the union’s climate policies as part of that. PCS is balloting our driving examiner members for industrial...

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