Labor Notes #499

A group of teachers marches on the sidewalk in downtown Andover, Massachusetts.

The pandemic has made me see more clearly why it works when workers get together to solve problems collectively.

With no public health system to access and a disorganized, inept, and neglectful response from the government, individuals have been cast out alone to deal with the pandemic. Decisions about working—and risking one’s health and safety—have become individual.

Workers at home are isolated and workers at worksites are afraid.

21 adults in masks outside a school. Together they hold "CAUTION" tape. Handmade signs say "100% remote start," "no mas muertes," "ready or not," "we demand safe schools," "no more martyrs for the DOE #Remote until it's safe" and "people got sick in this buidling."

The push to reopen schools and campuses is hitting educators with a brutal fact: your employer will place you in deadly danger for the sake of the economy.

You knew this already if you worked in a meatpacking plant, an Amazon warehouse, or a construction site. But until 2020 you didn’t think a school or university job might kill you.

And you thought it couldn’t get any worse!

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