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The health crisis in India

May 29, 2021

India is in the throes of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first reason behind the health crisis is a chaotic vaccination campaign and the second reason, which has impacted the first, is the augmentation of neoliberal healthcare over the last decades which has subjected the health sector, its institutions, systems and services to a severe process of erosion.

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Health worker speaks

April 29, 2020

As a healthcare worker in a community setting, I see that the response from clinic administration to COVID-19 has been but a microcosm of Trump’s: rooted in denialism, optimism, and the capitalist-realist ethos (fetishizing production while denying the possibility of an alternative world).

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II. The true pandemic war

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part II. The true pandemic war: A. The capitalists’ class war; B. Subjects of revolution fight back; and C. Pandemic class war reveals the social structure.

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Mental health strike

March 17, 2020

Four thousand mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente HMO held a five-day strike, once again calling attention to a serious lack of resources to provide timely care.

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Healthcare workers strike!

December 31, 2019

On Dec. 16, 4,000 mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente HMO in Oakland went on a five-day strike, calling attention to a serious lack of resources to provide timely care.

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Nurses on strike

December 14, 2018

Licensed practical nurses and supporters rallied at the University of Illinois Hospitals during their unfair labor practices strike.

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Inauguration of neo-fascism faces widespread revolt

January 23, 2017

The lightning move by Republicans in Congress to prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—before Donald Trump even took office, with only the vaguest idea of what is to replace it, and with full knowledge that a large majority of Americans oppose the repeal of its most important provisions—gave a sign of how far the new single-party government intends to roll the clock back, with dizzying speed.

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Workshop Talks: Why allow Assad to kill the sick?

September 7, 2016

Healthcare worker Htun Lin takes up the relationship between workers in healthcare in the U.S. who are told “not everyone can be saved,” and what is happening in Syria where the Syrian government, Russia and Iran are bombing civilians including–or especially–hospitals and healthcare workers.

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Workshop Talks: Reclaim our labor

March 7, 2015

Working in healthcare has been transformed in a very alienating way. The workplace is drowning in fancy hi-tech machines. Cadres of bureaucrats spend their working hours promoting the product of healthcare with marketing campaigns. The rank and file hear daily admonitions to smile more and are told, “Just be glad you have a job.” Bureaucrats preach “customers come first,” while cutting service and staffing. Hospital and HMO executives are in a race to eliminate labor as much as possible in their “product.”

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Workshop Talks: Ebola fearmongers

November 21, 2014

In the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, only one person, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died on U.S. soil from the virus. But millions have been led to panic. Irresponsible politicians like Gov. Christie of New Jersey created a climate of fear. Ebola spreads only by intimate contact with biological fluids, but Christie called for mandatory quarantines on healthy healthcare workers like Kaci Hickox returning from West Africa….

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Let Intersex children decide for themselves

August 31, 2014

From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters

South Carolina parents Mark and Pam Crawford, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Advocates for Choice filed federal and state lawsuits against South Carolina’s Department of Social Services and the healthcare workers responsible for the genital normalizing surgery performed on the Crawfords’ adopted child, known [=>]

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Workshop Talks: Nurses vs. Kaiser

August 29, 2014

Contract bargaining has begun between the California Nurses Association and Kaiser Permanente. CNA has steadfastly rejected management’s demand to hold negotiations in closed sessions.

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WORKSHOP TALKS: Veteran Affairs care is for data

July 5, 2014

Healthcare reform took cost-control ideology to a whole new level. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been transformed into its opposite by the HMO industry which sacrifices the lives of patients and workers alike for the sake of fiduciary health.

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Measured to death

May 11, 2014

Reliance on metrics in healthcare has become a new Taylorism, or management by time study. Everything in the hospital workplace is now tracked by sophisticated computer programs, down to every last pill, gauze and penny, and down to every last motion. This vast pool of information becomes Big Data.

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Let RNs give care

February 11, 2014

On Jan. 6, RNs from the California Nurses Association (CNA) picketed a new state-of-the-art facility at Kaiser Oakland to protest increasing restrictions on access to care while decreasing frontline care staff. The opening was timed to coincide with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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January-February 2014 News & Letters online

February 4, 2014

The January-February issue of News & Letters is online. Rampant U.S. surveillance slouches toward totalitarianism; Tahrir three years later; Charles Denby, worker-editor; Syrian revolution ‘brought us together’; Communization theory’s missing link: dialectical mediation; what happens after; Language and death in Juárez; Let RNs give care; …

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Job makes us sick

November 18, 2013

Kaiser imposed added staff cuts in the same breath as it announced the “Total Health Incentive Plan” campaign. While it is promoted as voluntary, the program hides the reality of the health of workers and patients sacrificed daily in the name of cost efficiency. Workers realize they risk their own health and the health of their patients when they come to work sick. Yet we are called into disciplinary meetings when we exceed the company set limit in the number of sick days.

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November-December 2013 News & Letters online

November 11, 2013

The new November-December 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 6
November – December 2013

Lead
The Syrian Revolution as the test of world politics

On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. [=>]

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Judging workers for control and profit

May 6, 2013

The phenomenon of human beings losing a race with machines is especially pernicious in the healthcare workplace. The computer has become the virtual boss of everyone in the shop, by setting the pace of everyone’s job.

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Some cuts don’t heal

March 20, 2013

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

As Congress’s latest self-imposed sequestration crisis makes clear, not all cuts are the same. A campaign slogan of California Nurses’ Association (CNA) goes: “Some Cuts Don’t Heal.”

The looming full launch date of Obamacare in 2014 has the HMO industry imposing cuts, patient care be damned, in a race to the bottom to [=>]

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Patient, heal thyself!

February 7, 2013

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

Banks that were rescued because they were deemed “too big to fail” after they caused the 2008 economic collapse want to sue the government for trying to regulate their reckless behavior. The unspoken corporate motto where I work at the nation’s largest Health Maintenance Organization is, “We’re too big to care.”

Our CEO [=>]

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NYC May Day march

July 27, 2012

New York—There was a large May Day rally and march in New York City—but you would not have known it from reading The New York Times. The march of around 10,000 was a convergence of individuals, organizations, and participants in actions earlier in the day, primarily targeting sites of labor disputes and financial headquarters.

Although the [=>]

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Workshop Talks: Making teachers redundant

February 8, 2012

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

Over a billion dollars has been spent in the last decade to comprehensively computerize the workplace at the nation’s largest HMO, where I work. For the executives, it’s as if the line between the virtual and the real has finally been eliminated. Not so for us rank-and-file workers, trying to provide real [=>]

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Class enemies in union clothing

November 27, 2011

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

The spreading Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has gripped the attention of the country. Some signs in these tent cities say “Occupy Everything!” The police continue to look for leaders while city leaders try to figure out a way to remove the tent cities.

The California Nurses Association (CNA) declared its support for [=>]

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Grocery workers rally

August 13, 2011

Los Angeles–On June 14, 1,000 mostly young grocery workers and their supporters gathered and marched for a fair contract at the East Hollywood Vons Supermarket. They represented 60,000 workers of the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) at Vons, Ralph and Albertson Supermarkets who have been without a contract for over three months.

Management has demanded [=>]

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Workshop Talks: Who lost to SEIU?

November 23, 2010

From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters:

Workshop Talks: Who lost to SEIU?
by Htun Lin

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced the results of the recent union election at Kaiser Permanente in California. The media declared that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) had won a “decisive victory” to continue to represent some 45,000 [=>]

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