A workers letter from BIC's factory in Greece.
The situation inside the BIC factory in Greece has hit rock bottom. At this point our health is at serious risk. With their stance, the employers are revealing in the cruellest manner that they have no regard for our lives when their profit is on the line.
Nothing has changed in the production process. We keep working with no room to swing a mouse lacking every means of protection (masks, gloves, etc.), putting ourselves and our families at high risk. The factory management not only chose to keep the factory open, but also to make the workers work overtime and to increase the production. They are acting as if nothing is wrong and are asking from us to be “calm” and “patient” without taking into consideration the risk they’re putting us at.
The management is closed off in its’ office, forbidding us workers to get inside. They have ordered the high level executives to keep away from us. They treat us as lesser humans, as if we do not exist. For the management, the workers’ lives are nothing but disposable; they are of worth only as long as they are useful in production.
The factory employs are approximately 1.200 people. In every factory building there are three daily shifts of 80 workers each, all of whom are using the same machinery and items. The only and ridiculous protective measure taken is the provision of three liquid antiseptics (!) that are there to be used by about two hundred workers. The liquid antiseptics are also placed outside of the production site. One must move far away from their post in order to use them (if they aren’t already used up). In such conditions, the fact that the buses for our transportation were doubled in number means nothing. The measures are lacking and those that are implemented, are done so in such way so that the production remains unaffected.
There are many workers over 60 years old working in the factory, and many others belonging to vulnerable groups. The company has done nothing for them either. The management did not even ask which workers are at high health risk in order for them to stop working.
During the last days we are hearing about many of our colleagues getting sick, possibly with the covid-19, but the management is indifferent. They act as if nothing is wrong. It is almost certain that if the protective measures are not taken now, we are all going to be infected. The company bears the sole and criminal responsibility for this.
At a time when the government is enforcing a curfew and advises us to stay at home and keep a minimum two metre distance from each other, it allows for factories such as BIC to keep workers crowded without any means of protection. They have no regard for the workers’ lives, the lives of people producing everything in this world. For them we are not humans, we are instruments that make their profit. It is clear that this pandemic is bringing to the surface the upper class’ most inhumane side. They do not hesitate to commit mass murders just to ensure that the capital’s profits remains unaffected.
The workers’ justified anger should target the ones truly responsible. There is a great need in urgently demanding for the means of protection. We must be provided with suits that protect us from the virus. The machinery where workers have literally no space between each other must be shut down. There should be fewer workers in the same space. We must demand daily disinfections in the factory. Our co-workers in vulnerable groups must be protected without losing their payment and their rights even if they have to stay at home. NO ONE IS TO WORK WITHOUT THE NECESSARY MEANS OF PROTECTION. The working class should not be sacrificed again at the altar of profit. Only if we place trust in our power and act collectively can we defend our rights and our right to live.
WE WILL NOT BE DISREGARDED!
WE WILL DEFEND OUR LIVES AND OUR RIGHTS!