Workers generally should follow the example of the Royal Mail staff in Derry. We have a legal right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions, without penalisation. However, in order to make that right a reality, we need the power of collective organisation.
Covid infection rates are on the rise across the country, with some areas experiencing levels of infection five or ten times what would have triggered intervention a couple of months ago.
The most glaring of these contradictions is that, while we can no longer visit friends and family in their homes, we can meet them in a cafe, pub or anywhere else there is a till, alongside countless other people. Meanwhile, most of us are in close proximity with others in workplaces, schools and on public transport on a daily basis.
It’s not new that people feel that society is being run in interests other than their own. Historically, recognition of this fact – that bosses and the rich dictate what happens in our lives, even in supposedly democratic societies – is why working-class people organised in trade unions and workers parties to fight for their own interests.