Latest COVID-19 Coverage from Labor Notes
The federal government squandered the time the states spent in lockdown. We still face a national shortage of COVID-19 test kits and PPE and there is no nationwide testing or contact tracing program. The United States has 4 percent of the world’s population, but about a third of the world’s coronavirus cases.
Since this article was written, apple packinghouse workers at two more companies have joined the strike: at Hansen Fruit and Columbia Reach. Six worksites in Yakima County have now seen production shut down. The county has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases on the West Coast. The strikes are women-led, multigenerational, and multiracial, according to Edgar Franks of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, a local farmworkers' union. —Editors
Part 1 of a joint series in Labor Notes and Dollars & Sense on the economics of the coronavirus crisis. Part 2, "How the Coronavirus Crisis Became an Economic Crisis," is here.
The coronavirus pandemic is not simply a “natural disaster.” How many people and which particular people will fall ill or die depends not just of the characteristics of the infection but also on the policies and institutions of the society.
Amazon logistics workers have won much attention for organizing during the pandemic. Around the country workers have signed petitions demanding protections, and in New York, Michigan, Illinois, and Washington, some have even struck and walked out.
These actions have generated support from our tech coworkers in Amazon's Seattle headquarters, politicians, and the wider public. Given Amazon’s centrality in our economy, this marks a crucial moment for the wider labor movement.