May 1st Day speech at a demonstration called to show solidarity with workers.
Ladies and gentlemen
Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a very happy and joyful Labor Day. I would also like to thank Revolutionary socialist for arranging the march and giving me the opportunity to bring forward the torture and violations of workers’ rights by Nemlig management.
Today’s labor day March is at a time when we see an uprising of workers and oppressed nations around the world. Though it has always been the tactics of oppressors who have either built their ego over their wealth and/or military power to disperse workers and oppressed people, but they have always failed ultimately.
Today again workers have come forward in one or the other way to express their grievances especially in recent months in Denmark the brave Nemlig workers who have exposed the arrogant Nemlig CEO and senior management.
For the last few years I have been very close to Nemlig employees who have suffered a lot. I have been hearing their stories almost every week as how They’re tortured, mistreated and fired without any reason. I would like to draw your attention to the following facts which will let you know how deteriorating the situation is in Nemlig.com. I have only focused on warehouse workers not drivers or sub-contractors and here are some facts.
1. Temporary Contracts (TKVs)
Temporary workers are hired on part time contracts with 15 hours per week. These workers and then pressed to work fast in a bit to get more hours and a permanent contract. These temporary workers work full time for months but they are not given permanent contracts and usually are fired with zero day notice. One girl has been fired after she worked for Nemlig for over 8 months and she said her performance was also in green that is how Nemlig has divided workers according to their performance in Green, Yellow and Red. She did cry in front of the supervisor but she was fired on spot with zero day notice.
2. Breaks: On average each packer takes around 20,000 steps each day while they are packing and pushing around 50 kg trolly filled with products. Work normally starts at 6 am and the only and first break is at 10 am after 4 hour of running, picking products and packing them. During this time they have to maintain their high performance i.e. picking a product within 9-14 second. If anyone is required to visit the toilet or washroom their time does not stop. Many usually drop their visit to the toilet just to keep their performance which results in various psychological and medical problems for them.
3. Military Managers and military like situation: Each of the senior operation managers is an ex-military officer who is especially hired to look after packers performance. Jonas Rolandsen the logistic director posted on his Facebook on 4th of April 2020 that he wants 2-3 army officers to look after the performance of employees. These military officers shout at employees and proudly say that we are hired because we don’t listen to others but just to give orders. There are Senior Managers, managers, supervisors, vice supervisors, performance managers and supervisors all looking after packers to make them run and pack. There are painkillers tablets with each supervisor who give to packers if they feel pain after an incident or just normally instead of telling them to go home and rest or to the doctor. One army officer sent an email to one of the employees that I have been working for 17 years in the army but never have been sick so why are you sick. That is how the situation is in Nemlig.
4. Performance Management Teams: There are separate performance measurement supervisors with their iPod who call employees after each round if their performance is slow. In case they keep working slow they are thereafter fired. These supervisors’ job is to be on the shoulders of packers to keep them running.
5. Injuries at work: Injuries at work are mostly not recorded. The packers are told to either continue work or leave. In some severe cases employees are paid for their injuries while other incidents are ignored. Most of the employees have back pain especially packers at cool areas where temperature is 2-5 and at frost areas where temperature is -20.
6. Covid-19: During this pandemic employees were told to continue their work despite having a positive COVID test. Last summer when the Corona crisis was at peak, one employee got positive and the next day he was at work because he was not feeling any symptoms. The packers protested and thereafter that employee was sent home.
7. Firing employees: Each month a couple of employees are fired. Even if you have a guarantee of a month or three month notice in your contract, they will fire you if you ask them something or demand your basic right by blaming your behaviour. After these reports last week one vice supervisor was fired. I don’t blame the vice supervisor who just obeyed the orders. I would say if anybody is to be fired, it should be the Director himself or the Logistic Director who proudly calls for military officers for jobs at nemlig and looking after packers performance.
To sum up, I would say that this torture, misbehavior, psychological pressure and painful experience must stop. I would recommend,
1. Full time contract for any employee who has been working full time hours for three months.
2. Paid 15 minutes break for warehouse workers after every 2 hours.
3. All the military officers hired with an intention of making Nemlig warehouse their military barracks or those who are behaving like military officers should be fired and sent to their barracks or home.
4. Employees should be treated as human beings not machines. Performance measures should be realistic and they should not be overlooked and definitely not when they are going to the toilet.
5. Safety first must be observed. Any injury or about to be an injury must be recorded. Those injured whether on part time contract or full time contract should be compensated.
6. All the COVID-19 SOP guidelines by the authorities should be followed.
7. Firing employees without any reason just for their ego must stop. Firing supervisors just to calm down the current situation is not enough. If anyone has to be fired, that should be the Director himself or Jonas Rolandsen who calls for military officers to join Nemlig to measure performance.
I would request the organizers of today’s march to include these points in today’s demonstration resolutions.
Thank you wish everyone a happy Labor Day.
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