Corona crisis in the USA: walkouts and fear of new unemployment

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Strikes

Emergency Aid for the Unemployed: How Much Will the Next Checks Be?

mistrust

A speculation

The “back to work” easing is criticized. The extra unemployment benefit expires at the end of July

Business has to start again, not only Donald Trump adheres to this slogan, the goal is also pursued by Democrat politicians. Due to his office, his appearance and the presidential election in November, Trump is more exposed to criticism that the recent increase in infection rates in the United States with the Explain “back to work” campaign. “The number of cases is increasing across the entire area of ​​the USA,” said the New York Times, “including in the states that were among the first to open again.” For example, Florida and Texas are meant.

Last weekend, workers at two Fiat Chrysler plants in Detroit, Michigan, where the infection rate was also high climbwho suspended production. The reasons given for Covid-19 illnesses in the workforce and the lack of protective measures for the safety of workers. Three working shifts in a row refused to produce in the Fiat Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP), which employs 5,000 people. Also in another Fiat Chrysler plant, the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) with 7,300 employees, production was shut down on Saturday after workers learned of a positive material supplier who had contact with production workers.

“We don’t know how long this person has worked and spread the disease,” said a SHAP worker at the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) quoted. As background information against rash evaluations of this statement, it is worth noting that the plant has so far killed 5 workers among workers in connection with Covid 19 disease, the socialist website reports.

WSWS provides more detailed information about production stops in the two Detroit car factories (here and here reported; there were also smaller reports in the Local press (also here). At this does not or hardly occurs, which the capitalist critics of the socialist website notice very well: that the Fiat Chrysler workers also oppose the position of the union – United Auto Workers – decided to stop production And: that there is interest from many sides to keep these incidents publicly as low as possible and to report them as little as possible.

Not only WSWS authors claim that, but also that Economic Policy Institute, in German: “Economic Policy Institute”. There are striking restrictions on the disclosure of data when it comes to strikes: “It is impossible to know the full extent of strike activity in the United States,” writes a think tank who Represents the interests of the lower and middle classes, in one Post that appeared last week: The Statistical Office of the Ministry of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS) is very restrictive with the data collection.

Data on strikes in companies with less than 1,000 employees working in a shift would also be not included “like strikes directly related to the corona pandemic”. But there were in some companies, including at Amazon, McDonalds or FedEx. That was in May.

In late March and April, the US public became aware of several strikes, so that the left-liberal magazine The nation the hope grew, after which the Corona virus strike wave could improve workers’ situation – “for good” : better wages, more rights, more say. Back then, in mid-April, it was just discovered in the richer western countries that there were systemically important workers that had not been noticed before.

Now the view has changed. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) warns that the emergency aid program for the unemployed in the corona crisis is striking. The $ 2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) law, which was passed in late March, will expire in late July. “By far the best part,” said the EPI, “was the significant increase in unemployment insurance by $ 600 a week.” The last extra payment will be made in the week ending July 25th.

Trump quit another stimulus packagewithout specifying “how high the check will be for the unemployed”. Considerations so reports the website of the investor community The Motley Fool Republican discussions tend to reward workers more through tax breaks.

Most recently, the Trump administration made headlines with its plan to further dismantle the Obama administration’s “Affordable Care Act”, which, according to press reports, could result in roughly 20 million without health insurance, “without the Republicans would have provided an alternative “(Slate).

Accordingly, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is suspicious of the continuation of extra unemployment benefits. One warns of the consequences of a loss. This would not increase the incentives to look for a job (keyword: more money makes lazy – America’s unemployed now like to stay at home), but that would mean less demand and therefore fewer jobs.

Extending the extra weekly payment of $ 600 a week to the unemployed would increase gross domestic product, according to the EPI argument, which they back up with multiple graphs, tables and estimates, and stopping aid would increase the number of unemployed even more than in the crisis years at the beginning of the 1990s and 2000s (however, surprisingly, this is also commented on by the fact that “it doesn’t have to happen”).

How narrow the gap is between better prospects and a deepening of the crisis is shown by the note, according to which 20 million unemployed in the US, 15 million classified as “temporarily unemployed” become. If the rise in corona infections continues in the USA, the risk that the temporary unemployment lasts longer. A lot depends on Trump’s success in the November election.

(Thomas Pany)

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