Today, workers in non-essential production are going back to work in Spain. With 5,000 people in the ICU, more than 17,000 deaths that keep growing at a rate of more than 500 every day and no tests to ensure that there are no pockets of contagion within the workforce, it is a truly reckless move. Even the official “advice” expresses the insecurity of the government itself and its experts. As it happened before in Italy, there is again an impulse towards strikes to keep non-essential production closed as long as the spread is not controlled to make sure that going to work is not like Russian roulette for the workers and their families.
The whole picture is a real disaster: those who were thrown into temporary layoffs are not yet receiving April’s subsidy because the administration has stalled the proceedings. Those who keep their jobs won’t be able to take any tests, and the alternative is to risk infecting their colleagues or becoming unemployed.
And the slogan of the day from the state is to celebrate 500 deaths in the last 24 hours as if it were a success while telling us anecdotes about the distribution of masks in the highway exchanges as if it weren’t a desperate measure to alleviate the fact that the conditions set by the ministry itself – two meters away from each other and in transport – are not being met anywhere.
Today, fighting against Covid means…
The priority, now more than ever, has to be saving lives, not investments. The debates and the petty squabbles between sectors of government, regional presidents, business managers… we don’t care about them. If there is no real guarantee that there will be no contagion in transport or in the workplace, and today there is no way of ensuring that, the only thing possible is to keep companies temporarily closed. Today, to fight against Covid is to do so against the rush to resume production and make investments profitable at all costs. We have to stand up in the workplaces and demand:
Closure of all non-essential production as long as transport and workplace safety cannot be ensured.
Real and sufficient safety conditions and equipment for essential workers
Immediate payment of overdue temporary layoff benefits and coverage of all unemployed for the duration of the confinement.
Testing of the entire population showing symptoms.