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Utopia Talk / Politics / A Swedish company in France
Thu Jan 21 11:32:58
The result:


French factory workers could be forced to wear social distancing devices that emit a loud noise like a dog collar if they stand too close to each other

Badge worn around the neck or waist would go off if 2m distance is not observed
Hygiene company says it could help contact-tracing with its factory workers
But a French union condemned the 'dog collar' as an 'attack on individual liberty'

Plans for factory workers to wear social distancing 'dog collars' that go off like an alarm if people stand too close to each other have caused an outcry in France.

Worn around the neck or tied around the waist, the 'badges' would make a loud 85-decibel sound and possibly vibrate or light up if the two-metre distance is not observed.

Swedish company Essity, which makes hygiene products and has around 2,500 employees in France, is said to be planning to introduce the gadgets - which it claims would make contact-tracing easier in case of an outbreak at the plant.

But a French union has condemned the plans as an 'attack on individual liberties' which 'infantilises' the factory workers, and said the tags won't improve contact tracing because they do not track wearer's locations and all data is anonymous.

The company, which makes products including tissues, nappies and hand sanitisers, defended the proposal by saying it was meant to ensure employee safety.

The devices would not be used to pinpoint people's location and it would be inactive in the toilets and the canteen, the firm's management said, according to RMC.

Company health inspectors would be able to 'alert potential contacts more quickly and exhaustively' in case of an outbreak, the firm claimed.

But Christine Duguet, a delegate of the CFDT union, cast doubt on that claim by saying the company had insisted the devices would be anonymous and only distinguishable by a serial number.

The union issued a statement describing the devices as 'intrusive and infantilising' and comparing them to 'collars' used to 'discourage dogs from barking'.

Describing the badges as an 'attack on individual liberties', Duguet said the devices would likely 'end up in the bin or stay in their boxes, it's nonsense'.

Duguet added that the contraptions were 'anxiety-inducing' and said there were no known cases of infection among the workers.

She also voiced fears that the company would seek to keep the system in place for 'security' even once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Essity said that exact details were still to be worked out, with one report saying that the device might be configured only to vibrate rather than emit light or sound.

The gadget's Belgian manufacturers, Phi Data, reportedly said that 90 or 95 per cent of the workforce would need to wear the devices for them to be effective.

Phi Data also advertises a similar product where employees would have an electronic tag that they themselves could activate to alert their colleagues to danger.

One factory which could be affected is a plant in Chatellerault, in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine where around 1,200 people are in hospital with Covid-19.

Around 160 of these are in intensive care, with the number of seriously ill patients ticking up again across France after falling during a November lockdown.

France has already brought forward a nationwide curfew from 8pm to 6pm in order to stem the gradually rising infection numbers.

From today, anyone travelling to France from outside the EU will have to show a negative test result and self-isolate for a week upon arrival.

'These measures were necessary given the situation,' prime minister Jean Castex said in a speech.

'While worsening, it remains relatively better than many countries around us, but I took them because the context, notably with the evolution of the virus, means we have to have utmost vigilance.'

The government has also been criticised for the sluggish pace of France's vaccine rollout, which has so far been one of the slowest in the EU.

Only 422,000 vaccine doses had been handed out as of Sunday, compared to more than a million in Germany and Italy and more than four million in Britain.
Thu Jan 21 11:43:56
"But a French union has condemned the plans as an 'attack on individual liberties' which 'infantilises' the factory workers,"

Who cares about individual liberties? This is a pandemic for God's sake!

As nimatzo and others here have made clear, Covid has proved that individual liberties need to be eliminated for the greater good.

If you believe the state has the power to tell you how to live your life (stay in your house, don't hold a job, don't meet with friends, don't have sex with your girlfriend), then you are already being "infantalized." So I see nothing wrong the the factory similarly infantalizing its workers.
Thu Jan 21 12:17:04
Why don’t they let people work from home instead?
Thu Jan 21 12:17:45
At a factory? How would that work, P?
Thu Jan 21 12:41:34
That would be a bit difficult of course.
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