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High-Speed Train: the most lethal works in the Basque Country

  • On October 2nd a worker on the High-Speed Train works died in Zizurkil (Gipuzkoa). It is the second death in these works in just a few days and the ninth in recent years. According to the main Basque trades union the reason of the large amount of deaths is poor working conditions.

Urko Apaolaza Avila @urkoapaolaza
2018ko urriaren 05a

The worker died in the tunnel between Zizurkil and Andoain. After leaving the concrete mixer truck, the vehicle started to move –one of the hypotheses is that he failed to put the parking brake on–, and the worker was caught against another truck.  

Abdel, a 30-year-old Moroccan, was well-known among the crane workers. He worked for Tecnolevers and Mobile Cranes SL, which works for Comercial Urratz outsourcers in the High-Speed Train works which will connect the main Basque cities.

In 2012, the Basque Government gave the task of building that railway section to the Amenabar, Comsa, Isolux-Corsan and Dragados multinationals’ business alliance. It cost 180 million Euros and is facing a delay of at least two years.

According to workers’ sources, over recent days they had been working very hard putting cement inside the tunnel and 4,500 meters underground. ELA trade union members were there and explained that at the moment Abdel died four mixer trucks were working in the same place.

He is the second worker to die on the High-Speed Train works in the last few days. On September 23rd a 46-year-old worker died after feeling discomfort due to the heat wave that day. He, too, was also working for an outsourcing company and doing one of the hardest jobs in the works: bending and putting up iron for the shuttering.

Poor working conditions rule on the long list

Officially nine people have already died in recent years at the largest Basque public works, and other hundreds have been injured, some of them severely. As ELA trades union denounced, there could be more dead workers not on that list, but as the majority are subcontracted immigrants there is scarcely any information.

In the Zuloan book (literally, In the hole), ARGIA magazine, helped by ELA trades union, exposed labour exploitation on the High-Speed Train works. Due to pressure from the people in charge of the business, workers are operating in very poor conditions; they work for long hours, with no vacation or days-off. Consequently, there is a terrible lack of security.

 

This article was translated by 11itzulpen; you can see the original in Basque here.

ARGIAn egiten dugun kazetaritza independenteak bultzada merezi duela uste duzu?

Informazio askea lantzen dugu ARGIAn, langileok gara proiektuaren jabeak eta gure informazioen atzean ez duzu sekula multinazionalik, bankurik edo alderdi politikorik topatuko. Gure ustez, burujabetza guztien oinarrian dago informazio burujabetza, ezagutzen dugunaren gainean pentsatzen eta erabakitzen dugu. Horregatik diogu kazetaritza independentea dela demokraziaren oinarrietako bat.

Aldizkaria paperean etxean edo e-postan PDFan jaso nahi duzu? Pozik hartuko zaitugu ARGIAko komunitatean. ARGIAkoa izateko, nahi eta ahal duzun ekarpena egin dezakezu, eta bueltan egoki ikusten duzuna eskatu. Indartu dezagun indartzen gaituena!

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