Finally! Unions begin to question 'No Jab No Job'

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Communist
Finally! Unions begin to question 'No Jab No Job'
Printer-friendly version

Just seen that many unions are no starting to speak up against 'No Jab No Job' policies. I know the ICC position is that unions are little more than organs to contain dissent, rather than express it but it can't be denied that they do at least 'respond' to the concerns of workers.

https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2021/02/19/government-seriously-consider...

I think if we're seeing unions which cover the health/care sectors speaking out against 'no jab, no job' then we're certain to see other sectors of workers reject this.

Communists have always resisted State repression which follows terrorist acts. Will the ICC reject the insane security culture of phenomena like 'no jab, no job' which is needlessly divisive?

Communist
Workers are not chattel

Surprised that no-one else thinks that mandatory vaccination of workers is worth commenting on.

I won't be taking the vaccine under any circumstances. Should I be made a second class citizen?

Have the ICC really not got anything to say on this particular issue? Something which has the potential to create a whole segment of workers regarded by the rest of society as 'the great unwashed?'

Solidarity indeed!

 

KT
Jab

Don't know about the ICC but here's my take.
Is there any solidarity for the minority of health workers who express doubts about vaccines? It's perhaps the way Communist originally posed the issue that made me pause.

Communist wrote: “Tricky one for the fake totalitarian liberals, when the minority communities they claim to care about are leading the way in vaccine refusal(my emphasis).

But in what manner is refusing a vaccine “leading the way”? Should workers lead the way in refusing anaesthetic, or brushing their teeth, just because these are activities also promoted by the state?

Let’s be clear: no medical intervention (including doing nothing, which is also a policy) is without its risks and casualties, particularly under capitalist social relations driven by profit. Nonetheless, immunisations in general are one of the gains humanity has made in its understanding of its relationship with the rest of the natural world. Vaccination has largely eradicated polio, smallpox and supressed many other diseases which preyed on populations only 50 years ago, with the labouring classes suffering disproportionately, of course.

Only in the current climate of bourgeois decay, of the rise of obscurantism, conspiracy theories and general decomposition could such superstitious attitudes towards real scientific advances reappear and multiply. So the solidarity that revolutionaries display towards the class that gave rise to them is to patiently explain, as Lenin said, what’s really going on and what is required to resolve it. In this sense, vaccines really aren’t the issue. There’s no inoculation against the deprivations of capitalism without the creation of a new society by the working class.

As for the ‘compulsory’ element Communist raises, this illustrates a typical manoeuvre, the kind in which the British bourgeoisie excels. ‘Float’ a ‘scare story’ in the press (the Daily Mail, for heavens sake) about the government ‘considering’ making vaccinations compulsory for health workers (they already are in some fields – against hepatitis B for doctors, for example but no-one raises an eyebrow over that) and wait for the inevitable ‘backlash’ to convince recalcitrant employees to fall in line ‘voluntarily’ before they are forced to by law.

Britain introduced compulsory inoculations (for children against smallpox) in 1853 but soon discovered that peer pressure and ‘popular opinion’ was a more effective method for ensuring compliance. The ‘debate’ about compulsory vaccination was stirred again in 2017/2018 when the spread of the ‘anti-vaxxer’ ideology on social media was blamed for the fall in MMR vaccine take-up amongst UK children in the last 10 years during which time, the previously supressed disease of measles re-appeared.

Some countries in and around Europe insist on mandatory vaccinations, others not. There are also different rules and regulations concerning vaccinations and travel, something that will only be exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Again, only a global community based on the needs of the producer class will be able to confront such anomalies consciously and without compulsion. But at the present time, the issue is not inoculation, compulsory or otherwise, but the failure to distribute enough vaccine to protect the world’s population due to gangsterish capitalist competition and scramble for profit between the globe’s 195 nations.

We are well aware that the ruling class acts only in its own interests regarding the control – or indeed the deliberate weaponising – of disease. 90 years before the UK’s compulsory vaccinations of 1853, its representative in Canada, General Lord J Amherst, conspired with other officers and traders to spread smallpox among the combative, indigenous Ottawa tribe via infected blankets and linens. During the most recent pandemic leaders like Trump and Bolsonaro lied about the dangers of Covid-19, while in the UK, some 25,000 elderly patients were turfed from their hospital beds and ‘relocated’, untested, into ‘care’ homes which became ‘super-spreaders’ of disease for patients and workers alike. The insanitary conditions in prisons and ‘immigration centres’ around Europe and America speak volumes about the ‘caring state’. It’s little different in many factories, meat-packing plants and in the hospitals themselves. None of this negates the usefulness of vaccines nor makes the refusal to use them in any sense ‘progressive’.

Finally, on the question of mooted union-led strikes by UK public health workers in response to the government’s 1% pay rise offer, it should be noted that the ‘advance warning’ given by the unions is in stark contrast to the spontaneous demonstrations launched by health workers themselves in GB last summer and I agree with the statement by Comunero in #9 when he writes: “whenever unions are involved whatever is big can only be against the working class.”. More will be written on this, I imagine.

Communist
KT wrote:

KT wrote:

Don't know about the ICC but here's my take.
Is there any solidarity for the minority of health workers who express doubts about vaccines? It's perhaps the way Communist originally posed the issue that made me pause.

Communist wrote: “Tricky one for the fake totalitarian liberals, when the minority communities they claim to care about are leading the way in vaccine refusal(my emphasis).

But in what manner is refusing a vaccine “leading the way”? Should workers lead the way in refusing anaesthetic, or brushing their teeth, just because these are activities also promoted by the state?

Let’s be clear: no medical intervention (including doing nothing, which is also a policy) is without its risks and casualties, particularly under capitalist social relations driven by profit. Nonetheless, immunisations in general are one of the gains humanity has made in its understanding of its relationship with the rest of the natural world. Vaccination has largely eradicated polio, smallpox and supressed many other diseases which preyed on populations only 50 years ago, with the labouring classes suffering disproportionately, of course.

Only in the current climate of bourgeois decay, of the rise of obscurantism, conspiracy theories and general decomposition could such superstitious attitudes towards real scientific advances reappear and multiply. So the solidarity that revolutionaries display towards the class that gave rise to them is to patiently explain, as Lenin said, what’s really going on and what is required to resolve it. In this sense, vaccines really aren’t the issue. There’s no inoculation against the deprivations of capitalism without the creation of a new society by the working class.

As for the ‘compulsory’ element Communist raises, this illustrates a typical manoeuvre, the kind in which the British bourgeoisie excels. ‘Float’ a ‘scare story’ in the press (the Daily Mail, for heavens sake) about the government ‘considering’ making vaccinations compulsory for health workers (they already are in some fields – against hepatitis B for doctors, for example but no-one raises an eyebrow over that) and wait for the inevitable ‘backlash’ to convince recalcitrant employees to fall in line ‘voluntarily’ before they are forced to by law.

Britain introduced compulsory inoculations (for children against smallpox) in 1853 but soon discovered that peer pressure and ‘popular opinion’ was a more effective method for ensuring compliance. The ‘debate’ about compulsory vaccination was stirred again in 2017/2018 when the spread of the ‘anti-vaxxer’ ideology on social media was blamed for the fall in MMR vaccine take-up amongst UK children in the last 10 years during which time, the previously supressed disease of measles re-appeared.

Some countries in and around Europe insist on mandatory vaccinations, others not. There are also different rules and regulations concerning vaccinations and travel, something that will only be exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Again, only a global community based on the needs of the producer class will be able to confront such anomalies consciously and without compulsion. But at the present time, the issue is not inoculation, compulsory or otherwise, but the failure to distribute enough vaccine to protect the world’s population due to gangsterish capitalist competition and scramble for profit between the globe’s 195 nations.

We are well aware that the ruling class acts only in its own interests regarding the control – or indeed the deliberate weaponising – of disease. 90 years before the UK’s compulsory vaccinations of 1853, its representative in Canada, General Lord J Amherst, conspired with other officers and traders to spread smallpox among the combative, indigenous Ottawa tribe via infected blankets and linens. During the most recent pandemic leaders like Trump and Bolsonaro lied about the dangers of Covid-19, while in the UK, some 25,000 elderly patients were turfed from their hospital beds and ‘relocated’, untested, into ‘care’ homes which became ‘super-spreaders’ of disease for patients and workers alike. The insanitary conditions in prisons and ‘immigration centres’ around Europe and America speak volumes about the ‘caring state’. It’s little different in many factories, meat-packing plants and in the hospitals themselves. None of this negates the usefulness of vaccines nor makes the refusal to use them in any sense ‘progressive’.

Finally, on the question of mooted union-led strikes by UK public health workers in response to the government’s 1% pay rise offer, it should be noted that the ‘advance warning’ given by the unions is in stark contrast to the spontaneous demonstrations launched by health workers themselves in GB last summer and I agree with the statement by Comunero in #9 when he writes: “whenever unions are involved whatever is big can only be against the working class.”. More will be written on this, I imagine.

 

To clarify, when I say 'leading the way' I meant only that vaccine hesitancy is higher amongst minority communities. Which is true. Whether a person actually chooses to get a vaccine or not, I make no moral or political distinction whatsoever. 

The thing is, these moves that employers are making with regards to 'encouraging' workers to take the vaccine are already causing divisions. I have people close to me who work in hospitals who are being harassed on a daily basis about this and it is causing a lot of distress. I don't think that's unimportant. I feel that political types always talk in very general terms about systems and this causes them to view the actual lived experience of workers as secondary.

Likewise, these vaccine passports pose a massive problem if rolled out internally. If a person is no longer allowed in bars, events, restaurants, or their workplace without one, presumably backed up by a whole technological apparatus which will mean more state surveillance and widespread mistrust, then that's really not a good situation. Or perhaps, people are OK with that? (Serious question - no sarcasm intended)

As for the benefits of inoculation in general, nobody is disputing that. I just feel that healthcare in general isn't something to be imposed on the people - perhaps it is an unthinkable thing to say, but I think the individual has the right to be selfish with their own body regardless of what 'science' says. If we were living in a communist society I'd feel the same way.

And as for 'Lockdowns' - well lockdown was the excuse with which last night the police saw fit to 'disperse' (attack) those who attended a vigil for a young woman who had been murdered by a police officer. Lockdowns, and the associated culture of suspicion and surveillance, are now just one more weapon of the ruling class to control dissent. Does that statement make me a conspiracy theorist?

The ideology of social distancing is, in my opinion, completely contrary to an ethic of solidarity, and only strengthens the capitalist state. Notice how they call it 'social' distancing, and not 'physical distancing'. All of us are now even more atomised than ever before. This is typical of the lazy 'activism',  and obsessive intellectualism of modern politics, doing the right thing consists of 'staying at home' ie sitting on your arse at home and having 'key workers' deliver things to the door.

 

KT
Clear - brief response to Communist

The previous post makes much clearer and more concrete (to me at anyrate) the valid concerns that animate the comrade, particularly the divisions being sewn at many levels amongst and between workers. Like him, I hope others can contribute to furthering the discussion.. 

Communist
KT wrote:

KT wrote:

The previous post makes much clearer and more concrete (to me at anyrate) the valid concerns that animate the comrade, particularly the divisions being sewn at many levels amongst and between workers. Like him, I hope others can contribute to furthering the discussion.. 

Thanks for understanding. If it wasn't already clear, just wanted to say that I am genuinely engaging in the conversation in good faith, and my 'missives' towards the ICC are that of a sympathiser, not an opponent.