Bombers “Everyone at home? On construction sites you have to stop when you touch 33 degrees"

Bombers “Everyone at home?  On construction sites you have to stop when you touch 33 degrees"

ROME — “Are we experiencing an emergency situation? Yes. Is there an increase in deaths at work? Unfortunately. And it's not me saying it, but Istat which certifies a 15% increase in deaths. So we need to find solutions right away. Now, not in September, when the problem is over. The first answer for me is to stop working when the threshold of 33 degrees is exceeded". Pierpaolo Bombardieri, general secretary of Uil, is very direct.

In short, is it hot, everyone at home?

"Not for all. We need to consider which categories are most exposed. I am thinking of farmers, riders, truck drivers and drivers, as well as those who work on construction sites. I think of those who are exposed to the sun. If it exceeds 33 degrees the activity stops. Then you can decide whether to apply layoffs or remodulate the timetables, recovering what was lost at another time. The principle is simple: those who work in some sectors must stop during the hottest hours".

What did Minister Calderone reply to you on this point?

“We will check it on Tuesday, when the next meeting has been set. We want automatism. The redundancy fund is already there. However, he must ask the employer for it. I have doubts that this can happen for a rider or for those who work in the fields. With automation it would be obligatory”.

Have you calculated the resources needed to support the measures?

"No. Now we are talking about a heat emergency, but next year we will find ourselves in the same situation. We are facing the effects of climate change, even if some don't believe it. And the weather won't get colder as the years go by. We are faced with a structural fact. I do not pose problems of funds in the face of the need to safeguard human life, to avoid deaths, and the dignity of work. And neither should the government. Did we do it with Covid? No. Here, let's take an example from that”.

The government's idea is to make a protocol. Do you agree?

“We will evaluate on Tuesday. We have nothing against the protocols, they are fine, provided that the day after the protocol becomes a decree law. Same mechanism as Covid. We don't agree to make a protocol full of good intentions”.

Did the Minister of Labor talk about resources?

"Not for now".

Are you confident he will come to the table with concrete proposals?

“I hope so. Given how the meetings on safety at work went, another emergency, I should be skeptical. I hope that in this case the sense of responsibility prevails”.

Does the president of Confindustria Bonomi ask for layoffs and smart working?

“The redundancy fund can help, but upstream it always sees us being stopped at work, I have doubts about smart working. Anyone who picks tomatoes, rides or patches the roads can't do it from home. We have to think about who is exposed to the sun. It doesn't seem like a concrete measure in this case."

Could the lost hours be made up for in the evening or at night by limiting overtime increases?

“We are ready to discuss everything, but not all jobs can be done in the evening or at night. We can talk about it anyway."

What did the employers' associations propose in the first meeting with the ministry?

“They asked to do something, but it was not understood what. They were talking about protective devices, but those are already planned. With a hat and sun cream you don't go very far”.

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