Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coronavirus: Workers’ lives and health cannot be put under the criterion of profit

Common Position Of European Trade Unions On The Developments Because Of The Coronavirus

We Fight To Protect The Health And Lives Of Workers

The unions that we sign this text we salute the heroic contribution of workers, scientists in Healthcare, hospitals, sanitation and a series of other services who under, even life-threatening conditions, exhaustion, under-staffed and unprepared prevention systems, fight for the protection of the lives of the workers, of all the people.

The consequences of this epidemic are not accidental or a natural phenomenon. But the coronavirus situation demonstrates the tragic consequences and risks to peoples’ lives from policies that treat Healthcare as an issue of individual responsibility and as a field of enormous profitability. These consequences are a result of the under-staffing of public hospitals and services, lack of infrastructure, underfunding, a severe shortage of medical and nursing staff. The EU guidelines that have dismantled peoples’ social security, prevention and health care systems for the benefit of the big Healthcare-Insurance Corporations are political choices with tragic consequences and risks for the peoples of Europe. The Governments, instead of taking measures for the shortages in public healthcare systems, they announce funding and financial assistance to the big corporations.

Characteristic of the situation is a number of Corporations that do not take the necessary measures to protect their employees, but also the phenomena of profiteering in pharmaceutical products, which enrich the health-pharmaceutical corporations.

As trade unions, we have the responsibility to inform workers in our countries of the latest anti-workers’ developments and planning that have been promoted recently because of the coronavirus. The stance of employers and governments in our countries highlight a number of common risks and problems for workers, as in many countries are being imposed or planned similar anti-workers’ measures.

Measures that, on the one hand, will carry the financial consequences and cost of the situation for the coronavirus on the backs of workers eglayoffs, non-renewals of contracts, especially for tourism workers etc. On the other hand, employers with the support of governments find the opportunity to promote the imposition and adopt anti-workers measures and plans, such as deregulating the workers’ daily working time in line with employers’ preferences, imposing casual work, with measures such as teleworking even after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

In particular, we denounce the governments that even in these circumstances, instead of taking the necessary measures to protect peoples’ health; they are persecuting trade unions and trade unionists that defend workers’ health, denouncing the understaffed services and problems in healthcare systems.

Workers’ lives and health cannot be put under the criterion of profit. The workers paid the consequences of the crisis; they will not pay for the consequences of privatization and destruction of Public Healthcare Systems.


Staffing of hospitals and services with the recruitment of permanent medical-nursing etcstaff

Full equipment of all public services with the necessary disinfection and protection materials and also these to be provided by the state free of charge to the population to stop unacceptable profiteering.

It is the responsibility of governments to secure additional days of leave, with full remuneration and insurance:

– To those workers who are ill.

– Employees who are forced to abstain from work because of emergency preventive measures.

– Those who are called to take care of a sick child or an elderly member of their family.

– Those who are called to stay with their children at home, due to the preventive closure of schools and day care centers.
  • Immediately stop measures such as foreclosures, auctioning of homes, cuts of water supply and power due to the debts of the households.
  • Special care for refugees – immigrants and their families, to improve living and working conditions. Decent, hygienic, accommodation for the refugees -not concentration camps. Free, complete health care. Free and quality food.
  • The overall cost to be borne by the states and the various big business groups and not the workers in the private and public sector

The peoples of Europe have already paid enormously for the huge cuts in public healthcare systems, the commercialization of healthcare and social insurance, the imposition of the brutal labor relations. We do not accept to pay for the consequences of the EU-governments-business groups’ policy.

If all of the above measures are not taken immediately, then in the event of a serious epidemic or an emergency serious health event in any country, the consequences can be even more dangerous.

The Trade Union organizations

France- Federation Commerce-Services CGT
France – UD CGT Val de Marne 94
Italy – USB
Greece – PAME
Serbia – SLOGA
Spanish State,Basque Country – LAB
Spanish State, Galizia – CUT
Cyprus – PEO
Russia – Migrant Workers Union
Poland – WZZ WALKA