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#CGT calls for indefinite strike at Airbus, an industry with over a thousand people affected by #covid19

Image above: Entrance of the Airbus Getafe site. Image by CGT.

Spanish territory. March 25, 2020. The CGT union denounces the lack of health conditions in Airbus’ workplaces, where thousands of people attend every day.

Originally published by El Salto. Trandlated by Enough 14.

The Airbus staff of the plants in Getafe, Illescas, Barajas, Tablada and Albacete are called for an indefinite strike from next Monday March 30th. In a statement, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) explained that the decision to go on a total strike at the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer has been taken due to the attitude of the employers regarding protection measures during the coronavirus health alert.

Last week, between March 16 and 20, pressure from the workers led to a stoppage of production but, since Monday 23, the shifts have been running at the usual pace. “We are working as if it is a normal day”, denounces Miguel Fadrique, general secretary of the State Federation of Metallurgic Industry Unions-CGT.

The number of infections at Airbus, a company with thousands of workers, is very high: 120 in Getafe, another 18 in the other plants and 17 at the subcontractors. There are more than 800 workers in quarantine and more than 150 people working for subcontractors. Getafe is also one of the municipalities with the highest level of saturation in the university hospital.

Despite the impact that covid19 is having on the workforce, the company has not made sufficient protective equipment available to the staff, complains Miguel Fadrique. There is a lack of bio-sanitary containers and personal protection equipment. In Getafe alone, 12,000 people enter the factory every day and “it is impossible” to keep a safe distance in the factory in order to maintain the health and safety conditions required by the state of emergency. The works council, he explains, called the labour authority in response to the passivity of Airbus management, but “we are still waiting for the response from Labour,” says Fadrique.

The CGT tried to involve the rest of the workers’ committee in order to paralyze production, but the other unions decided not to call an indefinite strike. “Producing planes is not essential at the moment”, denounces Miguel Fadrique, for whom, only 1 or 2% of the workforce would be needed on such occasions to work on the maintenance of the factory’s machinery.

The trade unionist denounces how Airbus’ management is forcing staff to go to work while less than a month ago it was planning to lay off 370 people in the Region of Madrid: “On one hand, you shoehorned people at work and on the other, you tell me that you have too many employees, it’s inexplicable”, Miguel Fadrique summarizes.

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