A view of Monday’s trip, motorists encouraged to stay off the roads | RiverBender.com.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain left EU orbit on Thursday, turning away from a surge of 48-year ties with European projects for an uncertain post-Brexit future in the most significant geopolitical shift since the loss of the kingdom.
At 2300 GMT, the Brexit transition period – which maintained de-facto EU membership after Britain officially left the EU on 31 January – ends.
Great Britain joined the predecessors of the European Union on January 1, 1973.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton
On December 8, dozens of workers at George’s Inc. poultry processing plant. out of Springdale, Arkansas, shutting down two critical processing lines and shutting down the facility’s operations. Workers raised concerns over unsafe working conditions, lack of safety and sanitation measures, and management efforts to hide the COVID-19 outbreak in factories.
The strike at the factory, which is not unionized, is the first by poultry workers in Arkansas, a state that is economically and politically dominated by meat processing giant Tyson Foods. The Tyson, Cargill and George poultry factory in the northwest corner of the state has been hotbed of the spread of COVID-19, with at least seven workers dying at the Tyson Foods chicken factory in Van Buren, about 60 miles south of Springdale.
George’s Inc. is the ninth largest poultry producer in the United States, with facilities in Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas, employing more than 4,800 workers. As of December 8, President George’s, Carl George’s net worth is $ 55.5 million.
In contrast to this enormous wealth, the workers at the Springdale factory, many of whom were immigrants from the Marshall Islands and Latin America, earned a poverty-rate salary of $ 12 per hour – about $ 24,960 per year before taxes – and worked in the most disadvantaged conditions. oppressive. Last month the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) reported more than 290 cases of COVID-19 at the Springdale plant. This was before the current surge in infections nationwide and official, updated numbers are hard to come by due to non-reporting by management and the country.
In fact, George’s Springdale factory was not listed in the Arkansas Department of Health’s most recent report on the COVID-19 outbreak at a poultry factory. The same FERN report from November noted more than 641 George workers tested positive for COVID 19 at other facilities in Arkansas and Missouri, while the number of cases at the company’s plants in Tennessee and Virginia was unknown due to under-reporting in the state.
The resignation was triggered by management’s decision to end prearranged shift times, which are designed to reduce the number of workers who come into contact with each other during shift changes. Since the company ended the program, workers have been forced into narrow aisles as they arrive and leave for work, making social distancing impossible.
The workers also accused the company of not reporting new positive cases at the factory and of not paying workers who had to quarantine or take time off to await the arrival of test results.
Magaly Licolli, co-founder of Venceremos, a local Springdale organization that helped organize the strike, spoke to World Socialist Website about conditions facing workers at George’s and other local poultry factories.
“There is a lot of hunger that occurs, because many workers who are the main providers for their families are infected with COVID and cannot work and have to quarantine them. Some of the workers were so damaged by the virus that they were in hospital for more than three months. Many of them have multi-million dollar medical bills.
“There is one worker who works for Tyson whose lung capacity is only 55 percent, so he can’t go back to work because he can’t tolerate the temperature. It is very fragile due to infection. For months, he had not received his salary and the company gave him nothing, so he would lose his house. I have been in the organization for over five years and poultry workers have been in dire conditions forever, but this year has been absolutely incredible. Lack of maintenance and lack of interest in providing the most basic protection for workers on the part of management cannot be trusted. Organizing poultry workers is tough, but this pandemic is about fighting or dying. There is no other choice.
He continued, “Workers are also rewarded. A single mother was fired for going to the bathroom without permission. Even though she constantly asked for rest, her request was rejected so she had to run away, otherwise she had to urinate like other workers did. So they fired him. She is a single mother in this pandemic. “
The majority of workers who left were in debris queues, where they used knives, scissors and other tools to remove bones from chickens at a rapid pace, which has only increased since the start of the pandemic. This is a critical step in the production process and most, if not all, further processing within the factory depends on discarded poultry. Therefore, when the workers leave and close these two important lines, most of the production comes to a standstill, making the company lose a large amount of revenue during the strike.
The increase in line speed since the start of the pandemic is due to a new program created by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), whereby certain processing plants can be issued a line speed exemption to increase production speed. George’s Springdale facility received a waiver in April, increasing line speeds to 175 birds per minute, which is 25 percent faster than the previous 140 birds per minute. Increasing speed in the processing line puts workers at a higher risk of infection, as they are required to stand closer together.
There is a high correlation between processing plants that have received lightening connection speeds and the spread of viruses in the industry. This was recognized by the CDC, which in April “recommended” to Smithfield Foods, the country’s largest pork packer, that “changes in production practices (eg, reduction in line speed) may be necessary to maintain proper distance between employees.”
Increased speed also puts workers at higher risk of work-related injuries, such as injuries, neck and back pain. Despite such suggestions, line speed continues to be an industry-wide problem as the George processing plant pointed out.
After the strike, George’s management retaliated by threatening to fire the striking workers, telling them they had to go back to work or go home. Supervisors tell workers that they will tackle their problem “one on one”. But the workers were unmoved and shouted, “We will not leave until you fulfill our request!”
The following day, management agreed to temporarily reactivate the staggered shift program, although workers had expressed skepticism about how long these concessions could last. All other demands, including greater transparency in reporting COVID cases by management, more comprehensive safety and sanitation precautions, and higher wages have not been addressed by companies.
The pandemic was particularly brutal for the 15,000 Marshall in Northwest Arkansas who came to the US under the Compact of Free Association signed after 67 nuclear test bombs dropped by the US in the mid-20th century contaminated its native Pacific islands with radioactive pollution. , according to a article in Facing South. More than half of the working-age Marshall population in Arkansas work in poultry factories, many also living in multigenerational households where they can pass the disease on to elderly relatives who do not qualify for Medicare in Arkansas, leaving many with health insurance.
As many as 48 residents of Northwest Arkansas who were residents of the Marshall or Pacific Islands have died from the virus, accounting for about 12 percent of the region’s deaths. Northwest Arkansas Democratic Gazette reported earlier this month.
Across the United States, there have been more than 65,611 cases of COVID-19 in the meat-packing industry and more than 308 workers who have died, according to FERN on December 16. As WSWS reported in late November, recent research shows that there is a close correlation between outbreaks in meat-packing factories and the wider spread of the virus in neighboring communities, with the industry being linked to more than 8 percent of coronavirus cases in the opening phase of the pandemic.
New Zealand Head of Tourism Stephen England-Hall said his country must be careful not to incorporate all liberty tents.
He has a new job as head of the Queenstown group’s Wayfare tourism business
Some could be a wealthy family who spent two weeks staying in a luxury inn and then had the freedom of two nights camping somewhere to experience nature.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said he would vacate the “seat” but would never “betray the country” by giving the NRO – a concession – to the opposition as anti-government protests of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Lahore escalated.
In an interview with a private news channel on Saturday, which was tweeted by the Prime Minister’s Office before the broadcast, the Prime Minister said the government would not give the opposition permission to hold a public meeting and any cases that were revealed would be brought against. general meeting facilitator.
“We will file the FIR (first informational report) against everyone – from the Wala Chair (chair supplier) to the sound system handlers – but we will not stop them (opposition leaders) from going there,” Khan said.
The December 13 public meeting in Lahore was organized by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Although the local government refused permission for public gatherings due to the second wave of the coronavirus, PDM has so far hosted two political events – one in Peshawar and one in Multan. According to Geo’s news, the Deputy Commissioner of Lahore refused to give permission to the PDM to hold a rally in Minar-e-Pakistan due to the ongoing health crisis in the country.
Answering another question, Khan said the opposition was not interested in the country. “The only thing they want is an NRO. I will leave the chair (PM’s Office) but never betray the country by giving them an NRO, ”he stressed.
Meanwhile, Punjab president PML-N and lawmaker Rana Sanaullah vowed that the rally in Lahore would be a “public referendum against the government”.
Speaking to reporters after appearing before the anti-narcotics court, he said people would express solidarity with the PDM in Minar-e-Pakistan’s “full house”, adding that people from all over the country would attend the meeting. “Now Imran Khan is hiding behind the corona virus. But the corona hiding in the Banu Gala will be taken out, and its treatment will be finished. “
Sanaullah said: “For the last two and a half years, Imran Niazi has said that he will not spare anyone, now Imran Niazi must listen: the opposition will not spare him and will send him to prison.”
He also said party leader Nawaz Sharif committed at an all-party conference held on September 20 that if the PDM decides to resign from the assembly, the PML-N will follow. “If the PDM decides [to do so], PML-N is ready to submit resignation from the assembly, “he added.