WFTU STATEMENT ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

NO WORKER MUST LOSE HIS JOB! The World Federation of Trade Unions, on behalf of its 100 million members all over the world, expresses its support to the workers around the globe, who are facing consequences on their health and risk on their working rights, because of the Coronavirus outbreak which now records a large number of cases and deaths. We urge the governments to immediately  take all necessary measures to ensure life and health of workers, as well as the protection of their labor rights. Our large class-oriented trade union family underlines the heroic contribution of health care workers and scientists, inside the hospitals and  other services, who are striving to protect the lives of workers and all people under exhausting conditions and in poor and inadequate health systems. We are finding out the very big gaps in Health Systems as a result of states’ underfunding and commercialization policies, that do not consider Healthcare and Prevention as a global right but as a commodity generating  immense profits for Health and Pharmaceutical industries. The miserable and even non-existent Health Structures in African, Asian, Latin American countries expose workers to a serious threat due to the pandemic. The workers must not pay the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak on the global economy, with measures such as layoffs in sectors like tourism, work from home, and even more flexible  working hours.   We demand: Recruitment of permanent medical and nursing staff as well as creation of new public health structures. All public services must be fully equipped with the necessary disinfection and protection material, provided by the state for free to the population. Additional days off work with full remuneration and insurance must be secured to: Workers who are ill. Workers 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 have to stay with their children at home, due to the preventive closure of schools and nurseries. Substantial and adequate protection measures in all workplaces. The profiteering of multinationals and monopolies against the popular strata must be crushed. In the age of rapid technological development and advancement, there are all the scientific and productive possibilities for the effective tackling and protection of the peoples from epidemics. Instead, workers and the popular strata are suffering from the consequences of the barbaric capitalist system, and are exposed to risk against their own lives and the survival of their families. We demand that all states, governments and international organizations assume without any delay complete and substantial measures for the prevention and protection of health and life of workers and the peoples, as well as for the protection of their working rights by the effect of measures that are announced. THE SECRETARIAT