Two safety regions in Gelderland want ministers Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) and Carola Schouten (Food Quality) to intervene at the slaughterhouses. De Leede emphasizes that the COV has long wanted employees to be tested. This after the quarantine of 600 employees at Vion in Groenlo. ‘That urgency has now been demonstrated again by’ Groenlo ‘.
An anonymous employee (*) of Vion says against Omroep Gelderland that there is hardly any communication to employees. He has no idea when he can return to work. “Everything is stopped in Groenlo. They no longer work there. ‘
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It has been tested and hears whether it is contagious today or tomorrow. ‘It is said that there are 45 infections, but that is not just Vion employees. Also people who drive the vans and stuff. ”
Shortly after the outbreak, Vion took measures in Groenlo. The employee: ‘We have to wear mouth masks during work. Screens have been placed between employees. And measures have been taken with the transport of labor migrants. For example, vans only drive to one specific house with workers. ‘
“If we only knew”
Why are slaughterhouses so sensitive to the virus? “If only we knew,” says Patrick de Leede of the COV. “We are also investigating it. How is it possible that (now with Groenlo. Ed.) Home insulation is needed, weeks after we have taken measures. This quarantine takes place much later. ” Slaughterhouses are talking to each other this afternoon. “There must be a plan of action against corona in the slaughterhouses.”
Many workers in these slaughterhouses live across the border, says Mayor of Emmerich Peter Hinze Omroep Gelderland. He is concerned. ‘Around a thousand Poles and Romanians live here who are deployed in Dutch factories. I understand that the Netherlands has too little housing, that employers cannot be landlords and that is why these people live in Germany. It is cheaper to live in Germany than in the Netherlands. ‘
Nothing has been done about houses for years, says German mayor
The living situation of the migrants is not something to write home about, the German continues. ‘The houses have not been invested for 10 to 20 years. These properties are interesting for temporary employment agencies to buy. Where a family used to live, up to twenty people now live there. That can be a cause of infections. All those people share the facilities. Those rules of distance cannot be maintained. ”
A broadcaster who has staff at the Ameco slaughterhouse in Apeldoorn says that there are no problems with his employees in that factory. “I was afraid at first with the direct contacts, but that fear is now gone.” However, according to him, there was one person from Lithuania who no longer wanted to work, wanted to go home but locked himself in his own room when it turned out that there were no more flights.
There’s more going on with migrant workers in Emmerich, Hinze says. ‘Those people are picked up at 4.00, 5.00 in the morning to work in the Netherlands. They come home late at night and then the neighbors experience nuisance with waste, alcohol and barbecues. Because those migrant workers have nothing else to do when they get home. ”
(*) The details of the anonymous employee of Vion are known to the editors.
The FNV union wants to end the situation in which employers are also landlords. According to the union, this combination leads to harrowing situations for labor migrants. ‘You can now see that the problem is very topical at the slaughterhouse in Groenlo. There, 45 migrant workers who live together in large groups have contracted corona, ‘said FNV Vice President Tuur Elzinga. “Migrant workers often dare not say anything about their living conditions, because they endanger their work because of the double cap of their employer.”