Following the breakdown of talks with the government on Friday, the country’s main trade unions, the OGBL, LCGB and civil servants’ representation the CGFP, on Sunday issued a statement that delivered an ultimatum--change the covid law or face workplace and legal action.
On Monday parliament is likely to vote in the new covid law that will allow employers to introduce CovidCheck status as they see fit - it could be used to access the entire workplace or specific common areas, for example. But the parallel scrapping of self-tests, meaning only that certified rapid antigen tests, taken at a pharmacy for example, will be valid in addition to PCR tests, is another cause for concern as it will leave employees out of pocket.
In its statement, the unions reiterate that they entered Friday’s talks with employment minister Dan Kersch, health minister Paulette Lenert and education minister Marc Hansen in good faith. The made it clear that they are not opposed to the government’s vaccination campaign and, indeed, advocate voluntary vaccination. “However, the objective must not be to make life a living hell for the unvaccinated, just to increase the vaccination quota for better or worse,” the unions wrote.
They argue that the government’s approach is counterproductive and that, despite saying at the start of the pandemic that mandatory vaccination was not going to be a policy, by exerting pressure on those citizens who, “for whatever reason did not take up protective vaccine…ultimately, mandatory vaccination is being introduced through the back door.”
The unions warn that the new law is causing uncertainty and anxiety for both employers and employees and that it also risks creating human resources bottlenecks.
“The CGFP, LCGB and OGBL firmly believe that no one under the rule of law should treated as a second-class citizen merely because of their personal conviction,” the statement continues. They cite Luxembourg’s recent election to the UN Human Rights Council, saying “it would be unfortunate to herald this honourable premiere immediately with a false start.”
The say the law was drawn up in haste without creating a clearly defined legal framework, and that by not containing any details of possible sanctions it is open to abuse. “The introduction of the 3G concept in the workplace” has placed the coalition on “very thin ice, both legally and in terms of data protection,” the unions say.