Coronavirus update, Europe

This 7 April 2020 video says about itself:

Sky’s Adam Parsons looks at how the coronavirus is affecting the French village of Cornimont.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 10 April 2020:

Greek health workers protest

Health workers in Greece protested outside 28 hospitals across the country Tuesday against the right-wing New Democracy government’s failure to provide adequate protection against the coronavirus pandemic. Worker demands include increased funding for hospitals, personal protective equipment (PPE), access to free medical treatment and tests, no redundancies and special sick leave for health workers.

At the beginning of the month, staff at the Sotiria public hospital in Athens issued an open letter to the government complaining they had been supplied with defective masks for use against coronavirus.

The government is continuing the attacks on public health care … inflicted by brutal EU austerity measures for four years from 2015.

Refuse collectors in Wirral, northwest England, walk out over coronavirus concerns

UK refuse collectors employed by waste management company Biffa in the Wirral, Merseyside, walked out on Tuesday. The Unite trade union members were protesting the refusal of management to provide adequate safe-distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic. They opposed the employer’s demand that three workers share the small confined space of the refuse collection lorry cab.

The workers collect domestic waste on behalf of Wirral council. They have been demanding Biffa take action over the last two weeks and finally walked out when their appeals were ignored.

Refuse collection workers at UK councils force concessions over COVID-19 sick pay

Refuse collection workers employed by outsourcing company Amery at various local authorities across the UK forced concessions over sick pay. The GMB and Unite union members will be able to claim full sick pay for 7 or 14 days if self-isolating over coronavirus. Workers with underlying health conditions will be able to claim full sick pay for 12 weeks.

Initially, Amery claimed COVID-19 was not a severe illness and workers would only be entitled to statutory sick pay. The resulting outrage voiced by the workers led Amery to revise its stance.

Waste disposal workers in southeast England given protective equipment after strike threat

Refuse collection and street cleaning staff working for subcontractor Norse Medway threatened strike action if they were not given protective equipment against the coronavirus. The company, which provides services to Medway council in Kent, provided the equipment following threats of industrial action by the Unite union members.

Walkout over coronavirus fears at distribution warehouse in Swindon, UK

Around 80 staff, GMB members at retail Marks and Spencer’s Swindon warehouse distribution centre, walked out on April 2 over safety concerns relating to the coronavirus. They had walked out on two previous occasions in March.

The warehouse is run by logistics company DHL. Management has refused to listen to workers concerns over protective equipment and safe-distancing measures.

Strike by Belgian supermarket workers over COVID-19 fears

Supermarket workers at six branches of the Carrefour supermarket chain in Belgium held a strike during the morning of April 3. Carrefour is a French-owned multinational retail outlet.

The CSC union members are demanding more protection during the COVID-19 pandemic and a pay rise. All supermarkets are seeing a rise in revenues as a result of bulk buying in the lead-up to the imposition of lockdowns in most European countries.

UK government ignored scientific advice and treated COVID-19 as a public order issue. By Robert Stevens, 10 April 2020. Behavioural scientists played an extraordinary and unwarranted part in determining government policy, compared with the input of medical professionals.

Lack of ventilators in UK means patients left to die. By Margot Miller, 10 April 2020. “Doctors have to explain to patients over 70, with no underlying health issues, that the doctor has to make a decision to sign a do-not-resuscitate order, because there are no ventilators”—NHS doctor.

COVID-19 has claimed almost 2,000 lives in the capital and 8,000 across the UK, with bus drivers demanding urgent safety measures to prevent more deaths: here.

London bus drivers speak out: “They are doing absolutely nothing to protect us!” By Laura Tiernan and Michael Barnes, 10 April 2020. London bus drivers told the World Socialist Web Site that the lack of basic safety being enforced by the private bus operators, Transport for London is putting lives at risk.

By Ben Chacko in Britain, 10 April 2029:

Making sense of the crisis: Trade unionists raise front-line workers’ struggles in People’s Assembly webinar

PEOPLE’S Assembly national secretary Laura Pidcock joined trade unionists representing front-line workers last night to discuss the impact of the coronavirus emergency on their members.

Ms Pidcock said unions were at the forefront of the fight to get workers proper protection and would need to be at the heart of shaping what “our new society should look like” when we emerge from the pandemic.

GMB regional organiser Helen O’Connor, intensive care nurse and Unison executive member Jac Berry (in a personal capacity) and Communications Workers Union general secretary Dave Ward all raised horror stories reported by their own members having to work without adequate personal protective equipment and being denied the mass testing that experts agree is needed to prevent the spread of the virus, which official statistics said claimed another 881 lives Wednesday-Thursday.

Some of the participants in the People's Assembly webinar

NURSES at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, north-west London, were forced to wear bin bags because of a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and as a direct result all three have tested POSITIVE for coronavirus: here.

Nurses at Northwick Park Hospital in bin bags because of lack of PPE

Deaths from COVID-19 mount in German elderly care homes. By Markus Salzmann, 10 April 2020. The large number of deaths stems from the failure to implement timely countermeasures or follow them, a shortage of staff, overworked personnel and the absence of personal protective equipment (PPE).

HUNGARY’S FAR-RIGHT LEADER CONTINUES PANDEMIC POWER GRAB Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban gained sweeping powers when the country’s parliament passed emergency coronavirus measures that allow him to effectively rule by decree, suspend by-elections and grant authorities the ability to jail people for spreading disinformation. There is no time limit on when these new powers end. And now, Orban has begun using these new powers to assert control. [HuffPost]

Industrial and manufacturing enterprises are reopening in Russia, even as thousands of new infections are reported daily: here.

2 thoughts on “Coronavirus update, Europe

  1. Pingback: Coronavirus disaster update, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: ‘Doctors will strike if no coronavirus PPE’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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