Editor’s note: Below is a statement from an employee of call centre KM2 Solutions, based in Union. In the statement, the employee makes reference to the working conditions that led to a number of staff being hospitalised earlier this week. Efforts to get an official statement from the company have proven futile.
We work in a place like no other.
Nothing was formally said or explained to us. We guess that we do not deserve to know what happened.
All that was said was, “If you’re asthmatic, have breathing problems or if the smell is affecting you, please leave the production floor.” But weren’t we ALL breathing in the fumes? Though those with asthma or respiratory problems would be affected sooner and more severely. Everyone was breathing in whatever this chemical was.
We were told the alarm would go but it’s just to open the emergency exists. Not that anyone would move. We work in a place, when the fire alarm goes, everyone remain seated and calmly continue working. That is what has been instilled in us. But within minutes, OUR co-workers started feeling ill and dropping one by one. Ambulances started whisking them away by twos and threes.
Eventually, the staff bus was called to help, others were taken by privately-owned vehicles to the hospital. The panicked shouts and screams, fainting, hyperventilating just added to the chaos in the lobby. The staff downstairs were instructed to remain working because the issue was upstairs. So they were oblivious to what was going on (the norm).
It’s a scary thing – not being able to breathe. Feeling your throat closing up, dizzy, and the room closing in. But again, it is not taken seriously. We were given injections, some were put on drips, yet the following day nothing was said.
At the end of the day it is all about money.
“We are all replaceable.” That is one of the things that we all know. Our lives could be measured in the form of dollars and cents, whether it be $64, $74 or $80.
There is a saying amongst us staff which goes, “one of us have to die inside of here for things to change or get better.” We aren’t butchered meat, we are human beings. Life is worth more than $8 an hour.
– A Caring Christian