Claudio Dellecarbonara, a subway worker, a reference for the PTS in the FIT and a member of the AGTSyP Executive Secretariat spoke this Wednesday with Jorge Fontevecchia on his Net TV program. There he was able to give all the explanations about the plan to fight that they are carrying out against asbestos and for the reduction of the working day
Dellecarbonara began by explaining that “what we are justly denouncing is a health crisis underground due to the presence of a mineral that is prohibited and highly carcinogenic, asbestos. Unfortunately, it already had consequences on the lives of the workers: we have three deceased colleagues, eighty-five affected (six of them with cancer). We have also confirmed the affectation of users. And that is the situation, a mineral that puts the health of millions of users and thousands of workers at risk that should have been withdrawn as of 2003 when it was banned and that not only did neither the governments nor the company withdraw it concessionaire but they also did not warn us of the presence of this mineral and forced us to work in these conditions”.
He added that they are asking for it to be withdrawn, that the law be complied with, that the judgments of the Buenos Aires justice be complied with so that the fleets that are contaminated are changed. He said that “obviously we are demanding a reduction in working hours to minimize the effects of all health factors, among which are asbestos, in our work environment.”
The referent indicated that asbestos began to be prohibited in different countries since the end of the last century precisely because it was found to be highly carcinogenic. And he did not hesitate to make it clear that there are many countries where, as in Argentina, it is prohibited, that it cannot be manufactured, it cannot be manipulated, it cannot be manufactured, it does not have to be in contact with people.
“We have presented a collective protection. The Buenos Aires Justice determined the risk, confirmed it and is intimidating the company to remove it from contact with users, with workers, with anyone, ”he said.
To exemplify what happens in the rest of the world when faced with this material, he explained that “the closest case we have is that of the Madrid metro. We just found out that the trains that were bought in Spain from 2011-2012 and brought here, announcing them as new when they were scrap, had asbestos in their composition. The workers of the Madrid metro had already been fighting for them to withdraw from circulation. They managed to get this done but also with tragic consequences because they had many deceased workers affected and even relatives of the workers because one can carry the fiber in their clothes and then it can end up affecting another person who does not work or does not use the subway”.
“We verified the presence of asbestos that the workers themselves had to do through state universities. We demonstrated to the company the presence of this that they already knew and denied for more than a year. Imagine if they are not criminals. When the evidence was irrefutable, they said ‘well, we’re going to start doing something to get him out, and they got him out.’ The little that was taken out due to the presence of our organization and due to the pressure because if one does not control them, the companies do what they want ”, he declared.
Dellecarbonara clarified that the City government, which is the owner of the subway, and that “the concession company that is Metrovías-Emova (it changed its name but it is the same economic group) tries to hide all this underground despite the redundancy. What’s more, now, it directly launches an extortion campaign against the workers so that we stop denouncing them. He sends us telegrams with threats of totally unjustified sanctions and unjustifiably and illegally deducted work days from our salary”.
Given how incredible it sounds to hear his words over and over again explaining how the company and the Buenos Aires government are determined to produce a crisis underground, he said: ”We no longer know how to explain this. Even Buenos Aires justice has determined what we denounce. The ART that the company hires determined that there is asbestos, that it is risky and has 2,100 workers under constant surveillance to see when we are affected or develop cancer”.
“That is the situation that leads us to carry out the measures we are carrying out. We always try to do it outside peak hours, without affecting all the lines together for a short time because what we want is to alert the general public to this situation. But, above all to the users because the users have to together with us demand that this change. You cannot continue working and traveling in these conditions, ”he concluded.