America says it respects front line workers. These grocery workers tell a different story.
“If history teaches us anything, it is that big money interests do not just give you anything,” the senator said in support of the union drive in Bessemer. “You’ve got to stand up and you’ve got to fight for it.”
Although Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that American workers are “thriving” during his presidency, this contention rings hollow. The mishandled coronavirus pandemic, of course, has created levels of unemployment, hunger, and misery in the United States not seen since the Great Depression. But even in the years before the pandemic, when Trump claimed he had More
Organized labor led no mass opposition to Trump’s presidency or the December 2017 tax cut or the failed U.S. preparation for and management of COVID-19. Nor do we yet see a labor-led national protest against the worst mass firing since the 1930s Great Depression. All of these events, but especially the unemployment, mark an employers’ class war against employees. The U.S. government directs it, but the employers as a class inspire and benefit the most from it. More
Republicans want to help businesses kill workers. They want to force employees to return to Covid-19 hotspots, like slaughterhouses, by depriving them of unemployment checks if they don’t clock in. In addition, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell wants to give these businesses and others, like nursing homes, legal immunity for deliberately exposing workers to a deadly plague. On May 26, he announced such legislation. Make no mistake: McConnell’s liability protection is a license to kill. He’s gone from being the gravedigger of democracy to just being a gravedigger.
The difficulties caused to workers by record unemployment during the pandemic are a product of capitalism. Most of the time, employers decide to hire or fire workers depending on which choice maximizes employers’ profits. Profit, not the full employment of workers nor of means of production, is “the bottom line” of capitalism and thus of capitalists. That is how the system works. Capitalists are rewarded when their profits are high and punished when they are not. It’s nothing personal; it’s just business. More