Several occupational risk prevention teams of fruit and vegetable handling centres in the province of Almería have contacted UGT to alert them about the lack of protective equipment and preventive measures to protect the workers.
In a statement to Europa Press, the provincial secretary of UGT, Carmen Vidal, stressed that these companies have kept their production going in order to supply supermarkets and stores with fruit and vegetables. She said that employees should have access to gloves, masks and hygiene gels and that they should keep a distance of one meter and a half between them and avoid crowding at the entrances and exits. "These rules are not being adhered to at many handling warehouses," she warned.
The union leader denounced that "in some cases, people are working shifts of up to eleven hours. That cannot be; it cannot be allowed, because the health of the workers and their families is at risk."
She has insisted on the call made by the health authorities and the national and regional governments to ensure compliance with the protection measures and protocols. She said that the union will report any failure to comply with those regulations to the labor authorities and even to the Guardia Civil.
"There are many complaints, but also fear of being fired," said Vidal, who is aware of calls from workers of between 10 and 20 handling companies who have warned of "non-compliance" of the protocols, especially during the first days. "I hope measures will be taken, because the workers are facing a great risk."
Source: Europa Press / lavanguardia.com