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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire UCL - press release, Covid-19: Women workers on the front line (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:29:10 +0300

Whether they continue to work or whether they are at home, women are on the front line in the fight against the pandemic but also the first victims of the current health crisis. ---- The crisis highlights the essential role of certain sectors of activity (health, education, early childhood, care professions, agro-food and distribution, cleaning, social work, transport and delivery, etc.). Yet it is women, most often poorly paid and precarious, who mainly work in most of these sectors. ---- With this crisis, the population is rediscovering socially useful professions, those which cannot be done without and which meet the essential needs of all. ---- The caregivers give without counting ---- Women, the majority in health, are on the front line among hospital nursing staff, but also in nursing homes, IMEs, ESATs. Poorly paid (the nursing assistants receive the minimum wage at the start of their career, the nurses € 1,700 gross), disparaged and clubbed when they mobilized to improve the public service and their working conditions and remuneration, they do not count not their hours today giving up their holidays and their family life. The government, which keeps repeating how much we must be grateful to them, does not, however, talk about raising wages or massively recruiting essential staff.


In March 2019, wearing the "pink vest", they were fighting to have their rights recognized. They play an essential role. cc Arthur / UCL Gironde
The proffes ensure the social bond
In national education, the personnel (also mainly female, especially in the 1st degree) respond not only by ensuring educational continuity but also by contacting families who do not have access to digital technology. They take regular news of students, support them in homework, answer questions from students and their families throughout the day, even in the evening and at weekends. Something that seems to ignore Blanquer who begins to communicate on a shortening of the summer vacation. Administrative staff, AEDs, APs and AVS also provide a link with families, especially those most in difficulty in monitoring their children.

The cashiers are there
In mass retail, employees (mainly women there too) are asked to respond to fill the shelves and work at the cash desks, most often without suitable equipment to meet the barrier measures.

Cleaning continues to be provided in offices (most often empty !), Stations, hospitals, hotels, etc. by precarious employees (part-time work is the norm in the sector). Poorly paid and in a poorly unionized sector, they therefore have limited means in terms of collective action and knowledge of their rights.

Supermarket cashiers
Refueling the population is also them !
Double punishment for women
In all of these sectors, women workers face a double penalty. Not only must they continue to work, at the risk of being contaminated and contaminating their family, but also the users or customers, due to the lack of adequate protection and clear hygiene instructions. But they also struggle in managing the care of their own children because of the atypical hours and even more when they are in a single-parent family.

Women workers will not pay for the crisis
We can say it now: female workers are out of the question for this crisis. Neither by the massive return of women to the home, nor by the relaxation of the labor code. Our collective struggles must be up to this backlash from patriarchy!

Libertarian Communist Union, March 25, 2020

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