(8 March 2022) Unions gathered in front of Orpea’s head office to demand a change in the company’s industrial relations.
Following the publication of the book Les Fossoyeurs by Victor Castanet, serious scandals were revealed in Orpea’s nursing homes, the biggest operator in Europe. Recognising that care is a women-dominated sector, on International Women’s Day, unions across Europe met in a protest in front of Orpea’s head office upon CGT Santé Action Sociale’s call, with the support of CDFT Sante Sociaux and FO Santé. An EPSU delegation and the union representatives from Belgium and Germany joined the demo.
EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan said the commercialisation of care we see in ORPEA and other companies in France, UK, Australia, Canada results in lack of staff, poor working conditions and inadequate care services in many homes. In his speech, Goudriaan highlighted that commercialisation can have no place in care. Workers can not the deliver the quality care that they want to provide and elderly people deserve. Public funds must be used for strengthening public services, not private companies.
Testimonies of care workers, French unionists and international union representatives demonstrate problems related to the company’s management system. Orpea’s penny-pinching leads to staff problems and undermines the quality of the service. The company does everything to increase the profit, particularly by rationing food. A speaker for Germany mentioned during the demo, that workers and the unionists from ver.di have long been exposing the company’s union-busting and repression.
You can reach photos of the action here