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Militant inquiry into the ‘white factory’ (hospital) – Part one – Wildcat April 1988

The Angry Workers of the World translated this article as a general framework for discussion. In 1988 comrades in Germany were inspired, in part by the nurses strikes in the USA and the UK during the same year. The age of the text sets limits for its current applicability, but it can help with discussing long-term changes in the sector. It also allows us to share the serious debate of that time. We can think about if the hospital can indeed be classified as a ‘white factory’ or what kind of fundamental differences there are between manufacturing and modern health care. We can also see how many work tasks were pushed down the pay hierarchy towards the lower paid ranks since this article was written. The text mentions that ‘only doctors are supposed to take blood samples’ and that nurses went on a ‘syringe strike’ – today it’s increasingly the job of health care assistants to perform these tasks. Anotherseemingly dated aspect is the horror with which the comrade saw ‘nursing paperwork’ at the time. They would probably not have dreamt of the fact that today nurses spend their day documenting the ins (medication) and outs (physical measurements) of patients.

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Argentina under Covid – A report from comrades

Angry Workers of the World asked comrades of Cuadernos de Negación from Argentina some questions about the local conditions during the pandemic.

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#UK: ‘Only the pigs remain’ – A moderate winter of discontent on #Covid Island – Winter 2020/21

The UK has been hard hit by the Covid crisis, both in economic and in human terms. When we started writing this article in January, the numbers of people who died with Covid passed 100,000. In 2020 the UK economy experienced a slump of nearly 10%, a 300 year record. The reasons for the severity of the crisis are pretty obvious: decades of austerity and outsourcing of public services, which leaves departments that are supposed to track and trace Covid cases with outdated Windows Excel programs, resulting in thousands of results getting lost; a similarly degenerated political class which is incapable of holding the complex web of public and private departments of the science and health sector together and instead dishes out contracts to their similarly incapable public school-mates; an increasingly failing local state, which survived recent years through ever tighter entanglement with the real estate bubble, and which now has to continue sacking front line staff such as social and community workers; last but not least, a fractured working class, on low wages and one of the most meagre sick pay regimes in developed countries. This forces many to continue working despite the health risk. Here, the health and economic crisis are joined at the hip. An economy that depends heavily on a regime of long hours, low wages and low productivity is fragile and increases social inequality by keeping on squeezing. People living in poorer areas of the UK are 2.5 times more likely to die with Covid. The lockdown regime has further accelerated social inequality: while the household savings ratio increased by a record 20% amongst the middle- and high-income strata, debt amongst the working class escalates.

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Born in the Wild West of West London – An Interview with Angry Workers

“We are not calling for a new organisation, but for a new political practice and coordination.”

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#London, #UK: Workers act now or pay later tune in and sick out

Naming and shaming bad employers is de rigueur in the times of Corona. Just last week, the bigwig at my former workplace, a ready-meals factory in west London owned by Bakkavor, was secretly recorded threatening workers with the sack if they stayed at home ‘on sick leave.’ [1]

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A message from #China: “If you love your life then don’t mingle” – “Strangers are hidden dangers”

What follows is a letter written by Gustav, a comrade from China, about the authoritarian and discriminating measures by the Chinese state in times of the coronavirus.

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Working under the #Corona regime: The current struggles are taking first steps towards workers control

UK. March 24, 2020. While many on the left waited around and asked the government to tell them what to do, many workers around the globe have taken limited, but real steps towards workers’ control. Spontaneous strikes have spread from car factories in Italy to Canada and the US; a series of call centre strikes erupted in Brazil; Amazon workers in Spain and France and New York walked out; public cleaners and mining workers are on strike in Peru; garment workers in Bangalore refuse to enter the factories without protective gear.

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#COVID19, #UK Supermarkets: The food supply chain from a workers perspektive

UK. March 23, 2020. Coronavirus. Everyone is complaining about empty supermarket shelves. Lots of people are now asking themselves how they get filled in the first place. But hoarding and panic buying is a relatively minor issue – with highly calibrated ‘just-in-time’ production, shelves can be bare with only take a £6-10 increase in the normal shopping spend per household. Even if people are buying much more than this, it’s not just ‘selfish individuals’ who are to blame. We have to look at the political issues around the individualisation of working class communities over the last few decades, as well as rational responses to a government recommending self-isolation for 14 days if a family member has symptoms. More importantly though, we have to look at the structural constraints of the food supply-chain. Below you can find a few thoughts about this in particular.

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#London: Workers’ power at #Heathrow airport – a Report

A friend works as a maintenance engineer at Heathrow airport. You can read about working conditions and organising efforts below – a shorter version will be distributed to Heathrow workers in WorkersWildWest no.9. If you want to get involved in our modest organising efforts in and around Heathrow, drop us a line: angryworkersworld@gmail.com

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