Mike Davis: As Workers Face Dangerous Conditions Amid Reopening, We Need Unions & Medicare for All
Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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Workers at (meat) processing plants…have protested conditions as coronavirus outbreaks have created a public health crisis…Trump….declares meat plants as critical infrastructure. Dozens of meatpacking workers have died from COVID-19. More than 5,000 have tested positive… Mike, you write, “A volcanic rage is rapidly rising to the surface in this country and we need to harness it to defend and build unions, ensure Medicare for all, and knock the bastards off their gilded thrones.” Talk about the social distance protests, the mass organizing that’s taking place…
Well, you’ve had a strike outbreak and workplace actions from mid-March…about 500…workplaces… You had a big national day of action by the nurses in mid-April. You, of course, had the May Day essential workers’ general strike. But you’ve had strikes in all kinds of places — a really heroic struggle by sanitation workers in New Orleans. In the Yakima Valley of Central Washington, which is Grapes of Wrath country, if people know anything about that area, there are some strikes going on right now of people who work in the fruit-packing houses and the seasonal workers who live in the dormitories, because their conditions are very similar to that of people working in the big pork and beef processing plants, and, of course, then also a lot of protests in the poultry plants throughout the South.
People are not going gently into Trump’s good night. They’re fighting like hell. But the problem is: Have you read about this very often? Have you heard about it even on CNN? And you haven’t, because there’s not been any kind of decisive action from the Democrats to support the protests, or by progressives to build a national movement in solidarity.….everything is tied up in negotiations with Biden and passing legislation in the House… under the iron thumb of… Pelosi which contain massive concessions…. it looks like one of the things that may be given away is removal of any liability from private companies and, above all, from the nursing home industry….(I think) by the end of the year that probably about 40 to 50% of the deaths in this country have occurred in nursing homes…
(S)ome people seem to believe it’s all a matter of (Trump’s)…incompetence…I don’t think that’s really true. I think, from very early on…they’ve embraced this theory…to rely on herd immunity, let people get infected… strategy …absolutely parallel with that of Prime Minister Johnson…. And that seems to be the kind of neo-Nazi ethic that’s running through the Republican Party right now…
(P)eople fight for what is necessary and for what is right. And the necessary very often is not the realistic. And I think the test of a true radical is always choose the necessary, what is humanly essential to be done. And it’s essential right now that we rally to the cause of workplace safety, to the labor revolts that are going on. You know, we need to be out there. And we need to be calling for some kind of national coalition and a national day of action, because people, particularly the kids in the Sanders movement, I mean, tens of thousands of people who volunteered, were active organizers, they’re sitting at home for instructions that haven’t come yet, and they may never come…
May 25, 2020 at 6:15 PM #318971EnthusiastParticipant
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Kicked and recommended!
I would like to remind you that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man receiving an undeserved cut of "FREE MONEY".
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