YESTERDAY the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its report breaking down the number of deaths from Covid-19 in 2020 by occupation.
The key conclusion from this report is that men in the working age population in low-skilled jobs – in the care sector or other service jobs – are most at risk and three times as likely to die from Covid as those in professional occupations.
Men working as machine operatives, restaurant managers, chefs, taxi drivers, nursing assistants, local government administrators, nurses and bus drivers all had higher Covid-19 mortality rates.
Women working as machine operatives, sewing machinists, care workers, home carers, social workers, sales and retail assistants, nursing assistants, nurses and national government administrators also all had higher rates of death due to the virus.
These figures will come as no surprise to workers who have experienced the complete disregard for their safety from bosses desperate to force a return to work regardless of the cost in life.
Research published by the Observer on Sunday revealed that one-in-10 of those doing insecure work, such as zero-hours contracts and agency or gig economy jobs, said they had been to work within 10 days of a positive Covid test.
The largest workplace outbreak of the virus has taken place at the government’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) office in Swansea.
Over 500 cases of coronavirus infections have been recorded, with staff complaining that those with symptoms were ‘encouraged’ to return to work, and requests for home working by vulnerable staff were turned down.
Contagion experts are now investigating whether this massive outbreak of coronavirus at the DVLA centre is responsible for the rapid surge in infections throughout the city despite the latest national lockdown.
On the railways, the RMT union has revealed a surge in Covid-19 deaths and illness amongst railworkers and condemned the ‘complacent and callous’ approach by the employers to workers’ protection.
The RMT says feedback it has received reveals the number of deaths and illnesses due to coronavirus amongst railworkers have at least doubled since November.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘A more infectious and now it seems more deadly variant of the Covid-19 virus plus an increase in passenger numbers is a lethal cocktail threatening rail workers, with deaths and illness doubling since November. But instead of responding to our call for an urgent national review of all risk assessments we are being told it’s business as usual – this is as callous as it is complacent.’
The TUC responded to the ONS figures saying they exposed ‘huge inequalities’. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘People working in low-paid and insecure jobs have been forced to shoulder much higher risk, with too many losing their lives.
‘The government urgently needs to beef up its workplace safety guidance and get tough on employers who put their workers in harm’s way.’
The Tories have no intention of beefing up anything except their attacks on workers. Not a single employer has been issued with an enforcement notice for Covid safety breaches since the start of the latest lockdown, let alone prosecuted for breaking Covid safety rules.
While the police are scouring the streets for people breaking the rules, the bosses and government are tearing up all the rules protecting the working class from the pandemic as they drive to reopen business and industry to get the profits rolling again.
The Tories are only interested in the profits of British capitalism not the lives of the working class. Workers must deal with the trade union leaders who restrict the unions to the role of begging the Tories for help, by removing them and replacing them with a new leadership that will organise a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government.
A workers’ government will expropriate the bosses and bankers and build a planned socialist economy. Only by overthrowing capitalism and advancing to a planned socialist economy can the Covid-19 crisis be eradicated.
Only the WRP is building this revolutionary leadership – join today.