Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fukushima workers: exploited, no rights, extreme conditions

That is what former worker Saburo Kitajima declared to Democracy Now!:

SABURO KITAJIMA: [translated] The workers at the Fukushima plant are currently working under extreme circumstances. To be more specific, the wages are extremely low, and there are no rights being observed at the moment. In spite of being exposed to radiation, the levels of wages run to about maybe $100 a day, more or less.
AMY GOODMAN: And exactly what were they exposed to, and what continues to happen at these plants? I mean, in the United States, we know very little about what’s happening in Japan.
SABURO KITAJIMA: [translated] In the course of our work, the type of work where people are exposed to the highest levels of radiation would be maintaining the water pipes that are being put in place to cool the reactor. And, of course, the entire site is extremely contaminated, and there is radiation that is coming from the ground.
AMY GOODMAN: What workers decided to go into—back into the plant afterwards, knowing how great the exposure would be?
SABURO KITAJIMA: [translated] We’re talking about workers who have always worked at perhaps the most marginalized jobs and who oftentimes are not aware of the risks and had no other choice but to go back.
AMY GOODMAN: You have been speaking at anti-nuclear protests in the United States. What is your message?
SABURO KITAJIMA: [translated] There’s two sides to it. And, of course, I would like the people who I met in New York to understand the situation in New York, to communicate what is exactly happening. At the same time, I would like that the people here support and stand with us in our struggles in Fukushima.
AMY GOODMAN: And what is your struggle in Fukushima? What are you calling for there?
SABURO KITAJIMA: [translated] For the moment, the workers at the Fukushima plant are demanding that they be compensated for exposure to radiation, which is not happening at the moment, and also kind of a compensation and being looked after, after working in these plants, since they must leave in a very short period of time.
AMY GOODMAN: And that short period of time is—what is the kind of levels of exposure they have right now?
SABURO KITAJIMA: [translated] Those exposed to the highest levels of radiation must leave the plant in a period of under two months.

Source: Democracy Now! (found via EneNews).

Working till maybe your death for a few thousand bucks, that really sucks! The less they could do is to pay super-wages for people doing super-work. Never mind workers' rights and all that.

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