Coronavirus Crisis

The profiteering of big pharma

In what should be positive news it looks like Remdesivir, an antiviral drug developed in the wake of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, could be used to help treat patients with severe cases of Covid-19. The drug has not been proven to be a cure, but it can alleviate the worst effects of the disease. Remdesivir was developed with at least $79 million of US government funding according to a paper published by KEI.

Capitalism and the pandemic: Why the system has failed

Covid-19 proves that workers are the real “wealth creators” in society; look what happens when we stay at home. The capitalist class, on the other hand, has proved fragile. Without massive public intervention and public funds, countless businesses would have gone bust. What happened to the robust and efficient capitalist system? What happened to all the rugged and fearless innovators and entrepreneurs? Two weeks of social distancing, and they are on their knees.

Covid crisis: Precarious conditions of agency workers exposed

Early last week, word began filtering out that agencies which are employed to fill vacancies across the public sector – namely Grafton and Premiere – had sent emails to their workers telling them, “In the event of your workplace closing, your placement is finished”. Furthermore, agency workers were told that, in the event of them falling ill or choosing to self-isolate to protect themselves or loved ones, they would receive only the meagre statutory sick pay (SSP) of £94/week, as opposed to the full pay that had been guaranteed to permanent public sector workers.

Moy Park & ABP workers walk out: Essential workers must have protections!

This morning, around 1,000 workers at Moy Park in Portadown and 80 staff at ABP Meats in Lurgan have walked out over inadequate health and safety conditions. Both workforces in these very profitable firms are organised by Unite.The union had put forward proposals regarding social distancing, PPE and sanitation procedures to both employers.