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Scandal of essential workers

Scandal of essential workers

Old Mar 30th 2020, 8:25 am
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Default Scandal of essential workers

I’m sure that everyone is aware of the significant restrictions the government have put in place in an attempt to combat Covid 19. Many of us spent 24hrs anxiously awaiting the release of the governments list of those who can continue to travel and attend their work place.

On listening to Leo Varadkar’s speech Friday evening we felt a sense of relief, going to work had been increasing our anxiety levels for the past couple of weeks. At last we could feel safe in the knowledge that we could stay safe in our own home. To be honest the 2km restriction worried us a bit as because of where we live it’s impossible to walk safely and remain within the 2km restriction zone, however a small sacrifice to make in order to protect ourselves and the community around us.

The list of essential workers was duly published late on Saturday, now our anxiety has turned to anger. The list is extremely long and is very open to interpretation by the employer. We are required to continue going to work, we are employed in a factory canteen and therefore essential in supporting the continuing manufacture of medical devices.
The reality for us now is that when at home we can go no further than 2km but it’s ok to complete an 84km round trip, mix with in excess of 100 people to basically serve tea, coffee and dinners.

As a nation we are being misled and lulled into a false sense of security. Leo Varadkar made a point of saying that this wasn’t a “lockdown” but this is how it is being interpreted by the public.I have read numerous articles in the press that reflect upon the government’s speech and portray that in general most of the general public will be living a very restricted life with An Garda Siochana out to enforce this, not realising that the list of essential workers is endless and results in an extremely high number of people continuing to go to work.

The Irish Times reported yesterday that “People have been told to stay at home in virtually all circumstances” in their article about Guards stopping people and asking them to prove their reasons for travel. This statement is just not true and is one example of many.

The general public are under the impression that the government will provide high levels of financial assistance, negating the need for people to try and balance health verses finances. Due to our work being on the essential workers list our only option is unpaid leave. That is not an option for us nor for many I would imagine.

The truth is that a significant amount of people that can’t work from home will continue to carry on with their daily routines because they cannot afford not to. The only restriction that will impact upon them will be the 2km radius from their home for exercise.

If we worked in a hospital canteen supplying staff and patients with their meals I would not be writing this. The reality is that the factory workers are more than capable to ensure that they have the food and drink that they need to sustain them through their shift. I am concerned that there is a lack of transparency and honesty within the government which intern enables employers a high level of manipulation to do what suits them and results in a failure to protect their staff and the wider communities.
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Old Mar 30th 2020, 12:48 pm
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Cool Re: Scandal of essential workers

Quite a few complaints of this too in UK along with bullying of staff and threats of redundancy etc. SPORTS DIRECT was the classic example trying to cast itself as an essential business...but that was soon blown away. All due respect to those employers embracing the rules and ensuring safe working practices. Even the supermarkets seem to have taken a lead here..could it be because they have realised that this kind of behaviour will more or less be the norm for some time to come?

Ireland and UK are not alone in this kind of behaviour. I am in NL where the rules are a little more relaxed, but even here, not enough people taking it seriously and lots of coercive behaviour and exploitation of employees who dont know if they should be staying at home or not...meanwhile the Belgians have seriously locked down..

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Old Mar 30th 2020, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Scandal of essential workers

Originally Posted by molly1664
I’m sure that everyone is aware of the significant restrictions the government have put in place in an attempt to combat Covid 19. Many of us spent 24hrs anxiously awaiting the release of the governments list of those who can continue to travel and attend their work place.

On listening to Leo Varadkar’s speech Friday evening we felt a sense of relief, going to work had been increasing our anxiety levels for the past couple of weeks. At last we could feel safe in the knowledge that we could stay safe in our own home. To be honest the 2km restriction worried us a bit as because of where we live it’s impossible to walk safely and remain within the 2km restriction zone, however a small sacrifice to make in order to protect ourselves and the community around us.

The list of essential workers was duly published late on Saturday, now our anxiety has turned to anger. The list is extremely long and is very open to interpretation by the employer. We are required to continue going to work, we are employed in a factory canteen and therefore essential in supporting the continuing manufacture of medical devices.
The reality for us now is that when at home we can go no further than 2km but it’s ok to complete an 84km round trip, mix with in excess of 100 people to basically serve tea, coffee and dinners.

As a nation we are being misled and lulled into a false sense of security. Leo Varadkar made a point of saying that this wasn’t a “lockdown” but this is how it is being interpreted by the public.I have read numerous articles in the press that reflect upon the government’s speech and portray that in general most of the general public will be living a very restricted life with An Garda Siochana out to enforce this, not realising that the list of essential workers is endless and results in an extremely high number of people continuing to go to work.

The Irish Times reported yesterday that “People have been told to stay at home in virtually all circumstances” in their article about Guards stopping people and asking them to prove their reasons for travel. This statement is just not true and is one example of many.

The general public are under the impression that the government will provide high levels of financial assistance, negating the need for people to try and balance health verses finances. Due to our work being on the essential workers list our only option is unpaid leave. That is not an option for us nor for many I would imagine.

The truth is that a significant amount of people that can’t work from home will continue to carry on with their daily routines because they cannot afford not to. The only restriction that will impact upon them will be the 2km radius from their home for exercise.

If we worked in a hospital canteen supplying staff and patients with their meals I would not be writing this. The reality is that the factory workers are more than capable to ensure that they have the food and drink that they need to sustain them through their shift. I am concerned that there is a lack of transparency and honesty within the government which intern enables employers a high level of manipulation to do what suits them and results in a failure to protect their staff and the wider communities.
There's a lot of fake news out there too. Our canteen at work (Galway) already closed 2 weeks ago and the rules are pretty clear. If your canteen is still open then you should report it.
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Old Mar 30th 2020, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Scandal of essential workers

I have to say that the rules I thought that the rules were very ambiguous, however it is very clear when reading the list put out on SaturdayAccommodation and Food Services
  • hotels or similar providing essential accommodation (including homeless, direct provision and related services)
  • food and beverage service activities in accordance with the separate the essential retail outlets list list or for supply to a business engaged in an essential service.
its the second bullet point that they say meets the criteria for a canteen to remain open.

not sure who I can report it to?
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Old Apr 3rd 2020, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: Scandal of essential workers

I'm not sure why you feel the need for "anger".
Your factory makes medical devices, presumably this is why it's "essential". Your role in that factory supports the workers producing those devices. Will you as cheerfully admit that "the factory workers are more than capable to ensure that they have the food and drink that they need to sustain them through their shift"
at a future conversation, post-Covid, when your employer is considering which staff/jobs/roles are not really needed in the new, leaner business?
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Old Apr 3rd 2020, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Scandal of essential workers

Originally Posted by tooboocoo
I'm not sure why you feel the need for "anger".
Your factory makes medical devices, presumably this is why it's "essential". Your role in that factory supports the workers producing those devices. Will you as cheerfully admit that "the factory workers are more than capable to ensure that they have the food and drink that they need to sustain them through their shift"
at a future conversation, post-Covid, when your employer is considering which staff/jobs/roles are not really needed in the new, leaner business?
Good point and if the rules are not clear, or someone wants to know why they still have to work, HR can be contacted. Unfortunately the same people who moan, will be the first to complain when they have no job later on. Right now people are complaining that the government should give more handouts, but the same people complain when they have to pay more tax. You just can't win really and it's always the government.
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