Solidarity called upon employers today, especially during the peak of the corona crisis, to not only intensify the battle against the virus, but also the fight for sustainable business operations.
Paul Mardon, Deputy Chief Secretary, Strategy and Sustainability at Solidarity explains: “Proper risk analyses, instituting and complying with proper safety measures at work and, where applicable, continuing to work from home, will make it possible for all to work safely and healthily. The focus on safety and health measures must not be relaxed, but rather intensified.”
According to Solidarity, peak time implies increased risks and no life in South Africans should be endangered because of it. However, a collaps of the economy may claim more lives than Covid-19.
“Due to the increase of Covid-19 cases some political parties and trade unions, with slogans such as “Health above work”, demand that all relaxed lockdown measures must be withdrawn and that a total level 5 lockdown must be reinstated in South Africa,” Mardon said.
“Unfortunately, there is also another reality, namely that South Africa was already in an economic recession before the lockdown was introduced and that resuming and even continuing the lockdown will undoubtedly lead to an economic catastrophe with large-scale job losses, poverty and even a humanitarian crisis,” Mardon explained.
Solidarity argues that it is of the utmost importance for people to continue to work during the peak period of the crisis, however, that it should not be at the expense of their health. The risks of Covid-19 are known and manageable.
“As long as employees continuously consider these risks and put proper measures in place, communicate and enforce these measures, and as long as all employees and the public adhere to these measures, it is possible to allow people to work safely during this time. It is exactly the implementation of and compliance to these measures in the first place that caused the increase in Covid-19 cases to be lower than initially expected. “There should not be a choice between health and work – the answer lies in healthy and safe work!” Mardon concluded.