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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 15 - 21  > Union urges gov’t to support welfare facilities struggling to continue providing services during coronavirus crisis
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2020 April 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Union urges gov’t to support welfare facilities struggling to continue providing services during coronavirus crisis

April 18, 2020
The National Union of Welfare and Childcare Workers (Fukushi-hoikuro) on April 17 submitted to the Welfare and Labor Ministry and the Cabinet Office a written demand urging them to take measures to enable welfare facilities for children, senior citizens, and people with disabilities to continue providing their services during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

At present, the government anti-corona policy requires these facilities to stay open in principle while leaving to them the responsibility to implement measures necessary to continue providing services and prevent infections among facility workers and users.

Fukushi-hoikuro in a written demand called on the government to provide necessary equipment such as face masks and antiseptic solution to welfare facilities; draw up guidelines in case of an in-house COVID-19 outbreak; and implement financial measures that help these facilities obtain substitute workers for workers on leave. The union also demanded that the government pay state remuneration and commission charges to service providers as usual even if they are forced to close or suspend services.

Together with the written demand, Fukushi-hoikuro submitted to the government more than 16,000 signatures which were collected within two weeks after the start of an online signature campaign in support of a call for more care workers and better wages.

Among comments attached to the signatures, there was a comment of a home-visit care worker which stated, “My job is crucial for those who need home-visit care, so I have to work even if I am exhausted. I really want better working conditions in order to attract young people to enter into the nursing-care industry.”

* * *

The Japan Federation of Prefectural and Municipal Workers' Unions (Jichiroren) on April 15 submitted its urgent request to the Welfare and Labor Ministry, demanding government support for frontline workers combatting COVID-19.

The Jichiroren document stressed that it is necessary for the ministry to take concrete measures without delay by conducting a survey to asses the actual status of workers engaging in the ongoing fight to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It also emphasized the need to drastically increase the ministry’s budget to support frontline healthcare workers through various measures including increasing the number of healthcare workers.

Jichironren also demanded government measures to secure face masks, antiseptic solutions, and other vital materials, monitor the mental and physical health of frontline workers who have to deal with coronavirus stress, and increase the number of workers in the public healthcare sector.

Past related articles:
>Corona crisis casts shadow over nursing-care services [April 14, 2020]
>COVID-19 crisis illuminates anew need to solve serious labor shortage facing nursing-care industry [April 6, 2020]
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