Workers in meatpacking plants across the country are being sacrificed to what Karl Marx called capital’s “werewolf hunger for surplus labor” as packing companies try to reap the benefits of the prevailing level of automation—but substituting intensified sweated labor for the capital investment of automation. If workers die from COVID-19, the capitalist doesn’t care.
The workplace at Amazon.com is making employees physically and mentally ill which is a hallmark of production under capitalism. What happens at Amazon.com is not unusual and can be seen even in areas like healthcare, for example, at Kaiser.
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.
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).
The AFL-CIO convention reflected changed realities and the need to adopt new perspectives and goals. Delegates redefined the labor movement as more than union members. For decades the bureaucracy has become more identified with the corporations than the aspirations of the workers.