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The Need to Enforce Rights

Accountability Is a Serious Concern for Workers

Workers are seriously concerned about the lack of accountability on the part of governments at all levels for what is happening to the people. There can be no doubt that decisions that governments have taken and are taking have created the conditions for the dramatic and tragic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and safety of the people. Thirty years of anti-social offensive in health care and social services -- with massive cutbacks, increased privatization, further concentration of decision-making power in ministerial hands and the marginalization and exclusion of the experience and opinions and demands of frontline workers, have wrecked the capacity of the health care system to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The tragedy at Northwood Manor in Nova Scotia is one such example. When governments establish inquiries and commissions to look into the tragedies that are happening, they are doing so behind closed doors so as to ensure that they do not look into the heart of the matter. Such inquires consider the first-hand experience, proposals and opinions and the voice of frontline workers as an impediment to their aim which is to hold onto the power to make all the decisions not in the interest of the people but in the service of narrow private interests.

Workers reject this state of affairs and are insisting that open public discussion take place in which the causes and solutions of the problems are put on the table and publicly examined. They do not accept so-called inquiries being used as instruments to block the people from having a decisive say in all the affairs that affect them. It is absurd to claim that frontline workers who keep the health care system functioning against all odds and at great sacrifices for themselves should be deprived of decision-making power in the system. The same thing applies to all sectors in which workers keep producing goods and services that allow society to function in this terrible time of crisis. This is why workers are firmly opposing the "business as usual" dictate of the ruling elite, the "going back to normal" because that "normal" was precisely what made the crisis much worse and much more difficult to overcome and is threatening to make the situation even worse than it is.

Workers' Forum is putting its pages at the disposal of the workers to make their voices heard, to smash the silence on their conditions and on their struggle for their rights and for the rights of all, and to open the path to solving the crises that are erupting in a way which favours the people.

This article was published in

Number 54 - August 13, 2020

Article Link:
: Accountability Is a Serious Concern for Workers - Pierre Chénier


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