Wednesday, September 19, 2012

No rights nor security for Fukushima Daiichi hero workers

Before we get into substance, I must remember that, even if their work is ultimately pointless or much less useful that would be desirable, the liquidators working at Fukushima Daiichi's nuclear disaster site are working for the future of us all, in Japan and elsewhere on Earth - because radiation knows no borders. 

These people who should be acknowledged like heroes and given the best salaries and conditions possible are instead just your usual victim of Capitalist exploitation: without alternatives they are sent to probably die in a pointless exercise of kicking the can a bit further in conditions that would be deemed unacceptable in a much safer and meaningful sector. 

It has been known now that one of the workers, Tetsuya Hayashi, has filmed for a whole year this nightmare of post-apocalyptic Capitalist circus of greed and abuse. The film (15 mins) is only in Japanese language so far but you can read a synthesis in English here

From the synthesis:

The nuclear cleanup workers at Fukushima Dai-ichi are inexperienced day laborers gathered from all over Japan, including minors who are 18 to 19.  The subcontractor system below TEPCO is multi-layered, involving seven subcontractors in this case. They are given “supposedly blank” resumes with work experience already filled out. After a one-day seminar on radiation, some workers are obviously anxious.  They are told by one of the subcontractors that the exposure dose isn’t cumulative and even if they are exposed to 1 mSv of radiation a day, it will be halved daily, reaching zero in 8 days.

In February 2012, Tetsuya Hayashi applied for a job repairing the covering for the reactor 3 building. He was asked to begin work in April 2012.  However, the work was postponed, and he was told in early June that he could begin work immediately doing the checkout and checkin of equipments as well as conducting a radiation survey.  He was asked to fill out a resume which was pre-filled with a falsified work experience.  He was told that his actual work was going to involve changing the agitator inside a decontaminating machine by Areva, a French company, in a high radiation area.  He was told that APD (alarm pocket dosimeter) was going to be set for 6 to 9 mSv and 5 alarms would mean 9 mSv.  He will switch with someone else after 3 alarms, which means the actual work time will be 5 to 10 minutes.  He asked them about the high radiation level, and he was told it was fine because 1 mSv exposure would be halved daily, becoming zero in 8 days. He was told that everyone was exposed to about that much radiation.

He and other workers complained, and they were given a different work.  On June 19, 2012, he removed glass pieces so that a new pipe can be put into the reactor building. He complained to his immediate supervisor about the discrepancy in job description. After work he was called to one of the subcontractors and reprimanded for complaining to a higher-level subcontractor without going through the appropriate channel.  He was unfairly dismissed.  There were 4 to 5 layers of subcontractors between him and the actual employer, and kickbacks were taken out of his wages.

And this is only the first page.

Source: EneNews.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Comment moderation before publishing is... ON