In the midst of a health crisis, job insecurity has skyrocketed and “professional tension” among workers has doubled. It is one of the main conclusions of a survey carried out between the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the CCOO union made public this Wednesday in Madrid where data are collected from 20,328 salaried people from April 29 to May 28.
According to the report, two out of three essential service workers admit to feeling insecure for fear of contracting covid-19 or for fear of infecting people around them. Two concerns that, on the other hand, are not minor considering that 70% of respondents admit to having worked without protection measures. For CCOO, this shows the lack of means of protection.
In addition, the study also shows that 13% of employees said they had gone to work with some symptom. Most are health workers, mostly nursing assistants, but are closely followed by other professions such as supermarket or home workers and caregivers. Twice those who have claimed to go to work with symptoms acknowledged having a salary that only “sometimes” allows them to cover basic needs. A fact that reaffirms what different social voices point out months ago: the crisis does not affect everyone equally. In addition, the study also indicates that the axes of inequality, as warned on Tuesday by the Bank of Spain, have not only remained, but “have increased.”
The results also show that half of the workers have been afraid of losing their jobs and that 75% are worried about the difficulty of finding a new one if they become unemployed. “These are dramatic data,” said CCOO Secretary General Unai Sordo. This has led to an increase in insecurity and a doubling of “work stress”, which means that workers have seen professional demands increase and, on the contrary, have lost control over their activity. Anxiety to which are added changes in schedules, which more than half of employees admit to having suffered, and work tasks.
The study shows that insecurity also stems from concern about a reduction or loss of salary. In fact, 70% of workers admit to having been concerned about this, especially employees with lower wages.
Regarding the destruction of jobs, according to the data collected in the report, 5.7% of respondents have seen losing their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic. The figures, segregated by age, gender and labor sector, show that men have been “slightly more affected by the destruction of jobs than women”. And, in terms of age, young people have been the most affected, to the point that among those under 25 the loss of work has reached 17%.
The consumption of tranquilizers is doubled
The study also shows that the number of people who have had to consume tranquilizers or sleeping pills during the pandemic has doubled. Of these, more than half are new consumers, while those who have already used them before have either increased their dose or taken a stronger drug. In fact, both the UAB and CCOO warn of the need not to forget that working conditions intrinsically affect people’s health and that, therefore, “when we talk about occupational health, we also talk about public health.”
From CCOO emphasize that “the pandemic has taken the Spanish labor fabric very little prevented.” They also warn that although “the situation has improved in the last month with more protection measures, the problem remains latent.” That is why, with the data in hand, they call for “more preventive culture” given that “the impact on the health of the population is enormous.”