Stizano (Bergamo) – No, this double L-shaped path that runs around the entrance and winds between the totem scanning the green pass and the camera to measure the temperature is not the “Maldives Pass”. It’s a less awkward lane, but a safer one. “I was overwhelmingly vaccinated, a welcome Super Green Pass and the compulsory vaccination,” Tmis Ionel, 34, says at the end of the shift. Romanian father and mother from Naples, responsible for mobile stations, “low voltage” department. “I’ve been here for seven months on a fixed-term contract.” If you ask him what he thinks about the vaccination commitment and the Enhanced Green Certification, Tmis says, “It’s the only way to convince No Vax. Otherwise, because of them, we all keep taking the same risk, we’ll all be in the same swing boat.” Which? , stops ten or fifteen others who have been in contact with him. For me, for all of us, work is life: if work stops, life also stops.
Welcome to Schneider Electric in Stezzano, six kilometers in traffic from Bergamo. The first of the five production site opened by the French giant of electronic components in our country. More than 750 employees: 300 workers work in the two departments on which production depends, low intensity and medium intensity. With the other poles – Casavatore, Padua, Belluno and Venaria – there are almost 3,000 people. Mario Genago, a 46-year-old employee, from Messina. “We are fortunate to work for a company that has made a central topic of rigor and awareness on the issue of Covid. There has been a huge appetite for the vaccine. There is clearly no shortage of No Vax here either, but they are an increasingly small minority. Now I hope with new government regulations they will give in.”
Schneider is one of those factories that never stop: and it has never stopped since the outbreak of the epidemic, which in its first wave in these parts, in the Bergamo region, caused a massacre: more than ten thousand deaths. Here is the beast resting by the ring road, a stone’s throw from the busiest section of motorway in Europe, the A4 between Brescia and Milan. Two in the afternoon: Shift change. Akim Sammouni, 23, Moroccan, wears a pail with the company’s logo on it. Smiling face despite work on holidays. “I have been in contact with a positive person who is now at home, when I got vaccinated, I got a swab and everything is fine. As far as I am concerned, it is only right to enter the factory if you have been vaccinated. Otherwise, we will not get out of this nightmare anymore.” He is also a temporary worker, Akeem. At the end of January his contract will expire and he hopes they will renew it because he likes to switch and then because “At this moment you are committed to work more than anything else. Work, health, health, work. Then the rest comes by itself”. Speak like a unionist. “Do you know what bothers me more than those who don’t want to be vaccinated?” Who pretend to work anyway knowing full well that they are endangering the health and work of those around them. I get angry when you talk to some colleagues.”
Schneider’s mixed workforce. At LV, 70% of the employees are women. “It takes skill and precision, and we are way ahead of this,” Tamara and Sarita, 42 and 27, smiled. They have both taken the second dose and are waiting for the third. This allowed them to continue on the right path, assembling production: «We take 1,500 euros, with an additional 2,000 wages. There are more than fifty colleagues who have not been vaccinated. The government has done well to enforce the obligation: now there can be no excuses.” In the factory only with the vaccine? “Of course, it should have been like this from the start – Mario Ginago is still the reason -. My freedom ends where the freedom of others begins. Or not?” Ginago, who is also a Fiom CGIL Rsu rep, has been home from work for ten days. “I did get infected despite the double dose. I had to do the third in January, but now, after the positive, it has been pushed back to June. I have experienced first-hand what it means to be a forced worker. Yesterday I was queued for five hours for the “checkout” store. Now I’m negative, as did my wife and son. If all goes well, I will start again on January 10.”
It is estimated that in Schneider 85%-90% of workers are vaccinated. The company’s regulations have contributed a lot. Last summer, unvaccinated people were forbidden to eat in the canteen. They provided the fanatics with a set of takeaway, sandwich and a drink to take out. Many have been convinced of this and have rethought it. “They discriminated against us,” No Vax’s enthusiasm explodes. Between New Year’s Eve and Befana, the plant’s night shift (22-6) was abolished. Holidays, diseases and pluses. Paola is responsible for the production line. “The Super Green Pass allows us to get back to normal. That is, at the moment, the most precious thing. Let the enemies of the vaccine keep it in mind.”
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