The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Workers in the Heat Wave

Aug 7, 2023

The heat wave experienced in Chicago the last week of July was so severe that several workers suffered on the job. The heat index was around 115 degrees but for workers working in warehouses, inside wagons loading and unloading trucks it was worse. Like Paramount EO, an electrical supply store in Woodridge, or in places like Walterscheid Company, a powertrain parts supply for John Deere. This company has giant fans on the ceiling, but under those conditions and the humidity they just blow hot air.

In many cases, workers were suffering dizziness, headaches and many other problems.

In places like WeatherTech Inc., which makes floor mats for cars, it was so miserable that people were going through a hellish experience. This place has ovens to treat the floor mats that have to be set around 500 degrees and some have to work around these ovens. Exactly that week, a worker could not resist the heat. She lost consciousness and had to be hospitalized, but could not be saved.

These are just a few examples that workers had to go through during the heat wave in the Chicago area.

Companies don’t care about these conditions. They try to comfort workers with Gatorade in some cases. But many workers cannot drink it: workers who suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure. Some bosses just come around the working areas asking people if they are OK. They should give extra breaks, slow down the work, and install A/C in the workplaces. But they won’t spend money for the workers. Workers have to force the companies to do it by banding together.