The economic crisis is making work more dangerous in Spain and the government’s plans to casualise employment will aggravate the health safety risks to workers, unions say.
Latest figures show a 15% rise in fatal accidents at work in January compared to a year earlier in what is looking like a reversal of a longer term trend of improving safety in workplaces in Spain.
The figures are all the more worrying because record unemployment means fewer people are at work so the fatal incident rate (number of fatalities per 100,000 workers) is increasing.
While fatal accidents are on the increase other injuries are still falling, but that’s because workers, concerned about losing their jobs and with increased workloads, are no longer reporting them, argues Comisiones Obreras, the trade union central (CCOO).
Workers losing their jobs workers and losing their lives
‘In this crisis we are facing,’ says Peter Linares, CCOO occupational health secretary, ‘in addition to losing their jobs workers are losing their lives because of the deterioration of working conditions and lack of preventive measures and policies.’
‘The crisis and fear of unemployment are sweeping away the rights of workers and the figures show they are being forced to take risks.’
‘The introduction of the Popular Party’s labour reforms,’ says Linares, ‘is deepening the destruction of rights and will inevitably result in a further loss of life at work. ”
Comisiones Obreras and UGT have called a general strike on March 29 in a bid to reverse the deregulatory measures that will be make it cheaper and easier to fire workers.