The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Wealthy L.A. County Sacrifices Workers to Profit

Jul 13, 2020

Workplaces have become an epicenter of new COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles. One company, Los Angeles Apparel, has operated its three factories on a 24-hour-7-day-a-week schedule, with multiple shifts, each with more than 100 workers.

Workers reported a lack of social distancing during multiple shifts throughout the pandemic—even as they worked to churn out masks and gloves for the safety of consumers. After 150 workers tested positive for coronavirus, these factories were shut down.

When Los Angeles Apparel tried to reopen its factories in July, COVID-19 infections flared again, resulting in the shutdown of the factories. Los Angeles Apparel’s only concern was making money off of the masks it manufactured to exploit the epidemic for profit purposes.

Warehouses and meat processing plants were also Los Angeles hot spots for new COVID-19 cases. In May, 104 workers out of 500 in a Ralph’s warehouse in Compton got infected by the virus after complaining about shortages of protective gear and material. Also in May, Los Angeles County reported that 153 of the 1,837 workers at the Smithfield-owned Farmer John’s meat processing facility had contracted the coronavirus.

So, one of the richest places in the world and one of the most advanced in technology and medical care, Los Angeles County has become the epicenter of this deadly disease, reporting the highest numbers and deaths in the state.