Our health is precious, our rights too!
International Labour Day is an opportunity to remind us that the fight to preserve our rights is essential and permanent. Of course, we are far from the working conditions of our forefathers in the 18th century. But still… In a world that is changing ever more rapidly, dominated by new and increasingly sophisticated technologies, where humans must constantly adapt, we need appropriate protection.
Since March 2020, our lives have changed completely. The global economy has experienced unprecedented shocks. The health crisis has forced us to adapt and be resilient in order to continue living.
Teleworking, long reviled, has proved its worth and allows for “near-normal continuity” of business, especially in the financial sector. In other sectors where teleworking is not possible or where business is curtailed by government-imposed measures, companies are suffering. We give them our full support in these turbulent times, which we hope will soon become a bad memory.
Despite the fact that telework is well perceived by a large majority of employees, we are increasingly noticing that it has its limits. Isolation, stress caused by the crisis and the upheaval of work organization, control and recognition of hours actually worked, etc., have added to an already busy balance, breaking the already fragile balance of workers’ private and professional lives, and leading to a number of burn-outs. One of the keys to avoiding these scourges of our society is prevention. The role of the Health and Safety Representatives present in the workplace is to detect the warning signs, pass them on to management and find a solution.
We are also questioning ourselves about the impact of the health crisis on the mental health of employees, because let’s not forget that many have lost one or more family members because of COVID, were either lonely and isolated, lost their jobs, etc. We expect behavioural repercussions from the crisis. We expect behavioural repercussions. In order to prevent and prepare, we call on the Government to oblige employers to offer psychological support to employees who express the need for it. The health of employees must be the priority.
The world of work today and tomorrow will have a different face. That is obvious. Remote working may become the norm. This new form of employability will need an even better-defined framework and rules than today.
One thing is certain: without adaptation, resilience, and active participation of employees, we would not be where we are today.
Bravo and thank you all for your courage and your investment.
We are and will remain at your side!
We wish you a very happy International Labour Day.
Trade unionistically yours,
President of ALEBA