We were recently informed of the sudden termination of the weekly Workers on Wednesday (WOW) labour show by SAFM management. No substantive reasons were given, nor discussed with us – the show’s co-producers, a non-profit NGO, Workers’ World Media Productions (WWMP). This comes as a great surprise to us because the show has been running successfully with great listnership and participation for 15 annual seasons. The show was the product of an agreement between the SABC and the trade union movement during 2004 and was the only dedicated labour show on all the SABC radio and TV channels. Yet business has so many dedicated slots as well as features in current affairs and news broadcasts.
The historical irony is that the WOW show’s cancellation comes at a time of the COVID-19 pandemic when dedicated labour shows are even more necessary. This high-handed action is unacceptable. Moreover, it has caused us to revisit our concerns about the failure of the SABC to meet its public mandate and the exclusion of dedicated labour shows our immediate issue.
Despite claims by SASSA that it has dealt with the influx of grant applicants at its Khayelitsha office, those seeking help continue to sleep outside the building hoping not to be turned away the next day.
An appeal against the Khosa judgment on police brutality seems imminent after Police Minister Bheki Cele tried to do a deal with the family of Collins Khosa, who was killed by police, through their lawyers. FRANNY RABKIN | M&G
Ekurhuleni metro in Gauteng, eThekwini metro and iLembe District in KwaZulu-Natal, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay metros in the Eastern Cape as well as the Cape Town City metro and the Cape Winelands district in the Western Cape have the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the country. KYLE COWAN | NEWS 24
The right-wing teleology paraded by the Democratic Alliance and its partners of opening the economy to save jobs and businesses instead of lives should be challenged and the right-wing’s propaganda machinery held accountable. TINYIKO NTINI | M&G
The Minister of Basic Education on 19 May 2020 addressed the country on the re-opening of schools and the state of readiness to receive teachers and learners back at school. Teacher unions conducted their own “National Baseline Survey of Principals on School Readiness” 16-18 May 2020. SADTU, PEU, NAPTOSA, SAOU, NATU
The teacher trade unions released a joint statement on Wednesday, saying that if PPE was inadequate and schools were not adequately cleansed by Monday, teachers would not return to work. TZINT;E MAHLATI | IOL
A growing number of retail stores have been forced to temporarily close after frontline staff tested positive for Covid-19. This has led to questions around these stores’ pay policies, access to the UIF TERS salary assistance and the financial and physical wellbeing of employees affected by the outbreak. SHANI REDDY | DAILY MAVERICK
The Informal Settlement of Singabalapha at 414 Main Road, Observatory has recently been continuously harassed by the City’s Law Enforcement. The Cape High Court granted us an urgent interim interdict that prevents the City from harassing us and removing our property. SINGABALALAPHA INFORMAL SETTLEMENT PRESS STATEMENT
Market research company, Ask Afrika, has found that food security at a household level is low, and that one in three adults went to bed hungry as they did not have enough food to eat in their homes. RIAAN GROBLER | NEWS24
Prominent corporate law firms representing major businesses in the United States, Italy, Spain, and other nations are openly discussing the possibility of companies using a secretive and notorious legal process to sue countries over future profits lost due to government efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
are sailing right next to the Iranian territorial waters. One mistake, one false move, and war could erupt, engulfing the entire region in flames. Iran is a proud nation, and it takes its independence extremely seriously. Right now, the country is facing one of the most unjust embargos in human history and US battleships on its doorstep. ANDRE VITCHEK | JOURNAL-NEO
Tehran has issued a formal warning to Washington over threats to five of its tankers currently en route to Venezuela. On Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister summoned the Swiss ambassador representing US interests in Tehran, vowing that any hostile action would be met with a “quick and decisive response.” LUCAS KOERNA | VENEZUELA ANALYSIS
Last week the COVID-related strike in Washington state’s Yakima Valley quadrupled in size, as workers walked out at three more apple packinghouses. At the center of the stoppages are two main demands for those who decide to continue working during the pandemic: safer working conditions and an extra $2 an hour in hazard pay. DAVID BACON | LABOR NOTES
Some nurses have traveled across the country to hot spots like New York City to find work, unsure if they’ll have a job when they return home. But even there, hospitals that were once swamped are finally coming up for air and administrators are now reckoning with the financial impact of the pandemic. FADEL, ANDERSON, STONE, BENINCASA | NPR
Demanding McDonald’s prioritize public health and worker safety over profits, hundreds of employees at the fast food chain went on strike Wednesday, a day before the company was set to hold its annual shareholders’ meeting.
According to a recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies, America’s billionaires saw their wealth shoot up by $282 billion in just 23 days as the country was sheltering in lockdown. Overall, U.S. billionaire wealth grew by nearly 10% at the same time over 20 million people filed for unemployment. MILES KAMPF-LASSIN | IN THESE TIMES
Recent data out of New York City shows a large number of people with COVID-19 have largely been staying home. Governor Andrew Cuomo called this a “surprise.” But capitalism is forcing working-class people to spread the virus. MIKE PAPPAS | LEFT VOICE
A new hero has emerged in the wake of measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus: the essential worker. A global crisis like the one we are facing now raises our awareness about how essential care and food are for human flourishing. The underlying logic is very simple: essential workers are life-making rather than product- or profit-making. KARIN ASTRID SIEGMANN | GLOBAL LABOUR UNIVERSITY
Venezuela’s Central Bank has launched legal action to force the Bank of England to release more than $1 billion in gold held in its coffers to battle the Covid-19 outbreak – stories of El Dorado still ply the Orinoco. RT
South African officials believe Tuesday’s summit is evidence that the Mozambique government is, at last, acknowledging the seriousness of the threat the insurgency poses not only to Mozambique, but to other countries in the region. PETER FABRICIUS | DAILY MAVERICK
No U.S. community has been hit harder than low-income minorities. Places like Detroit, Chicago, and St. James Parish in Louisiana, plagued by decades of economic inequality and pollution in impoverished neighborhoods, have experienced some of the country’s highest mortality rates from the virus. KATHERINE BAGLEY | YALE ENVIRONMENT 360
Our government is going to great lengths to convince us that the economy suffering is as bad as people dying from the virus, that it’s bad for us and not them and the interests they’re working to protect. SHABBIR LAKHA | COUNTERFIRE
As social distancing measures persist across the country, corporations are setting in a “new normal” where most people are safely squirreled away in their homes, with paradigm-shifting implications for the working classes.
Rather than sacrificing people for the economy, we need to rethink what we mean by “the economy.” No one needs to be killed for us to have a healthy economy. We live in a world where there is enough of everything we need for us all to live well and to do so within the ecological limits of the planet.
At this critical moment, where Israel has announced its intention to annex Israeli settlements on the West Bank with the support of the Trump administration, we must speak out and resist this blatant violation of international law and the right of Palestinians to self-government.
This poem was written by Allan Kolski Horwitz, from South African Jews for Peace, in commemoration of Ghassan Kanafani and of the Nakba. SAJFP
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