Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pacific Steel workers targeted. 14 year undocumented veteran refused kidney transplant

This march is in support of workers fired from their jobs at Pacific Steel in Berkeley CA after an investigation by immigration authorities.  Pacific Steel is the  fourth-largest existing steel foundry in the nation employing an incredibly diverse group of workers, some 30 different nationalities the company's website states. The investigation and firings just happen to coincide with some serious disputes between the workers and the Pacific Steel bosses. 

In addition to the mass firings where outspoken workers' representatives have been targeted, the March is also to highlight the refusal of the Administrators at UC San Francisco Medical Center to perform a kidney transplant for Jesus Navarro due to his "uncertain" immigration status. Navarro was fired after working at the plant for 14 years .  Brother Navarro's wife has offered her kidney and he has insurance but the hospital still refuses on the grounds that his recovery may cost more.

Without a new kidney, Jesus Navarro will die. But as an "illegal" immigrant, "Medi-Cal will cover his daily dialysis -- which now costs $17,000 a month...." the Contra Costa Times reports, but, "will not pay for the immunosuppressive drugs that ward off organ rejection. The drugs cost $20,000 annually. Medi-Cal also won't pay for organ transplants for illegal immigrants. The hospital won't perform the transplant without a guarantee that the drugs and accompanying treatment will be paid for."I am consumed with anger as I write this.  Jesus Navarro  has worked for this company for 14 years, 14 years of unpaid Labor handed over to the owners of the fourth largest steel foundry in the country and this is what he gets for it.  When he stands up for his class interests against the 1% , the state sends its thugs in under the Homeland Security label and deprives him of a means of subsistence and may well expel him from a community he's lived in and contributed to for 14 years. And this is civilization?  This is madness.  It is the brutal face of capitalism.  It brings to mind Marx's description of the capitalist system he studied in depth in its rise to supremacy when he wrote:

"The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”.

In the papers this week we read of a kid in his late 20's who went to Harvard, one of the 1%'s top educational institutions where capitalist ideology is taught and who, through his connections and the class links he was born with, is about to go public with the networking site him and a couple others designed and come out of the process with $28 billion.

What a sick system this is.

And it matters not which party of the 1% is in power, “Unfortunately, deportation is higher under Obama than it was under (former president George W.) Bush,” Berkeley City Council member Jesse Arreguin told the Daily Californian.

Folks will meet at Berkeley City Hall and  march to the plant at 1333 2nd Street  Berkeley, CA.  There will also be a meeting at La Pena, 3105 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley Monday night  Feb 6th at 6.30.  Please try to come to this march on Feb 17, mark it in your calendar and bring as many people as you can.  You can also spread this information far and wide.

Pacific Steel

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