Germany: Berlin protesters call for improved health worker rights amidst COVID crisis

Berlin Action Against Employer Injustice [BAGA] protesters gathered in front of the Vivantes hospital in Berlin's Kreuzberg district on Labour Day, Friday, as they demanded improved labour rights for health care workers amid the coronavirus crisis. Protesters appeared on land and in boats on the water, holding signs with messages such as «100,000 health care workers for our health, instead of 800... Еще tanks for your war,» and «Socialize the health system,» as they demanded a «public service collective agreement [TVoeD] for every hospital on the Spree.» A spokesperson at the protest said newly released public financial aid should be made available to health care workers. «'There is no money for more staff.' For years, this mantra was heard and now we're seeing due to the corona crisis that all at once several hundred billion euros have been made available,» he said. «But this money must be provided where it is needed. It must be put at the disposal of workers in hospitals,» he added. The protesters gathered in front of the Vivantes clinic, where health care workers have been «fighting against precarity, demanding higher wages» and «safer places of work,» as the spokesperson said. «We need collective agreements and good working conditions, in order to jointly strengthen our response to this crisis. We don't want this to set us back,» he concluded. As of Friday, Germany has reported 163,009 coronavirus cases and 6,623 related fatalities, as data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows.

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