Most Dutch employees afraid of getting Covid at work: Trade unions
The majority of Netherlands residents who can't work from home are afraid of contracting the coronavirus at the workplace, according to surveys by trade unions FNV and CNV among their members. "It really has to improve," FNV vice president Kitty Jong said to ANP. "Almost 18 percent of people become infected at the workplace."
FNV surveyed over 10 thousand of its members. 65 percent of those who can't work from home are afraid of contracting the coronavirus at work. 45 percent believe their employers are not doing enough to protect them from the virus. A common complaint is that employers tell employees to come in if they have mild symptoms. Lack of social distancing is also a frequently mentioned problem.
CVN surveyed 1,200 workers with a physical occupation that can't be done from home. 71 percent of respondents said they feel unsafe at work with regards to the coronavirus. 63 percent noticed that coronavirus measures are getting less and less attention at work. 70 percent say they have an increased risk of contracting the virus at work.
"These are worrying results," CNV chairman Piet Fortuin said to the news wire. "It is impossible that we have been in this crisis for ten months, but millions of Dutch people still feel unsafe at work." According to him, these are the people who keep the Netherlands running. "Day in, day out, they are ready to help the Netherlands through the crisis. They cannot safely work from home, but because of their work they run an increased risk of infection."
According to FNV vice president Jong, more workers now worry about getting the coronavirus at work than in the previous survey in November. "Probably because of the new variant. It turns out that the government cannot just leave a safe and healthy workplace up to the employers. Sending the labor inspectorate here and there is really not enough. I expect the government to steer this more strongly, but I only hear about working from home."
CNV would like to see more unannounced inspections on workplace safety. "If safety is not in order, a fine follows," Fortuin said. The union also called on employees who feel unsafe to report it to the Social Affairs and Employment inspectorate.