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Argentinian union condemns LafargeHolcim for exposing workers to COVID-19

2 April, 2020According to IndustriALL affiliate Asociación Obrera Minera Argentina (AOMA) Holcim (of the LafargeHolcim group) is demanding that employees continue work as normal, in violation of the emergency decrees adopted by the Argentinian government to protect against the corona virus.

AOMA general secretary and IndustriALL Global Union Executive Committee Member Héctor Laplace sent a letter to Holcim's Director of Human Resources Cecilia Glatstein, saying that the cement company is ignoring the mandatory social isolation decree.

In compliance with the provisions, the union had accepted that the minimum number of guards needed to protect machinery and facilities would continue to work.

Laplace pledged to continue discussions and that work currently in progress was to be completed. Despite the union's willingness to engage, the company decided to appeal to the local authorities.

"Holcim asked the Argentinian Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Labour of the province of Córdoba to intervene, demanding that production continue without interruption with a view to maintaining full output,"

says Laplace.

Holcim managed to get the authorities to waive the isolation requirement for all workers at the Malagueño cement plant in order to pursue its business activities, without any thought for the health and safety of its workers.

“We are outraged by the decisions made by the provincial authorities to authorize the Holcim to continue producing at 100 per cent. Neither the union nor our members are prepared to be exposed to the dangers of the pandemic.

“The only thing Holcim cares about is to make money and carry on its business,”

said the AOMA general secretary.

Mario Vani, IndustriaALL regional secretary, says:

“While the country is facing an emergency and is doing everything it can to save lives, the company’s number one priority is to keep its profits flowing and to preserve its capital.

“We stand in solidarity with the workers and our affiliate. We hope that the local authorities will comply with the presidential decree, and that LafargeHolcim shuts down its operations immediately and in so doing shows that it is protecting the lives of its workers."