Coronavirus: unions call for a relaxation of occupational disease criteria

The leaders of the CGT, FO, CFE-CGC and CFTC wrote to the Prime Minister to ask him to review the mechanism for recognizing Covid-19 as an occupational disease listed in the decree of September 14.

Nursing staff with Covid must have needed at least respiratory assistance to benefit from the recognition of an occupational disease.

“A real obstacle course which will limit access to a very small number of employees”. The numbers one of the CGT, Force Ouvrière, CFE-CGC and CFTC wrote together to the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, to ask him to review the mechanism for recognizing Covid-19 in occupational disease which entered into force mid -September. Only the boss of the CFDT was missing, the union stressing that it has already stepped up to the plate on this issue many times.

“The health crisis calls for the consecration of real reparation for all workers mobilized to ensure the smooth running of the country and the functioning of the economy”, recall Philippe Martinez, Yves Veyrier, François Hommeril and Cyril Chabanier, in this letter revealed by AFP. But for them the account is not there.

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The decree of September 14, which specifies the device, is “Supposed to allow recognition” of Covid-19 for health workers but also for employees who continued to work away from home during confinement. But it does not respond to the “Reality of the situation”, deplore the trade unionists.

Field too narrow

Caregivers, hospital and city workers, workers with vulnerable people, at home or in nursing homes, will benefit from automatic recognition through the creation of a new table of occupational disease, but on the condition of having suffered from a acute respiratory illness “Having required oxygen supply or respiratory assistance or resulting in death”. This excludes “A good number of employees who have developed other impairments”, denounce the leaders of the four trade unions. For these employees, a special committee, made up of a medical adviser from the Sickness Insurance Fund and a hospital practitioner or an occupational physician will decide on a case-by-case basis.

They also criticize the too narrow scope of application of this automatic recognition, which excludes “second lines”. For the latter, who will also have to go before such a commission, ” the gratitude […] presents almost insurmountable obstacles ”, they regret.

Lack of dialogue

Philippe Martinez, Yves Veyrier, François Hommeril and Cyril Chabanier see in the problems posed by the decree of September 14 the result of a lack of dialogue with the trade unions, in and outside the organizations obligatorily seized on the subjects of occupational disease. And this without this being justified by the urgency. “This project only appeared several weeks after consultations with trade unions and employers” and “It appears from reading the decree that none of the proposals made by the trade unions have been taken up by the government”, affirm the trade unionists who call on the executive to modify the device in the « respect du dialogue social ».

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