Masked Madrid health workers sing, weep and call for job security

Healthcare workers and supporters protest to demand the protection of Spain’s public health system, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain, June 29, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) – Health workers in scrubs and face masks gathered in central Madrid’s Puerta del Sol Square on Monday, demanding better terms for work in a system that was overwhelmed by one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the coronavirus.

In a gathering called by a group representing 10,000 contracted health workers in the Spanish capital, they waved banners reading, “Who will look after the people who look after you?”

Ivan Zanon, who works at the emergency unit of Madrid’s Gregorio Maranon hospital, said they wanted social and financial recognition for their work.

“Since the pandemic started I have signed three different contracts in less than two months. My biggest fear is my future, which is like lots of other people’s,” he said.

“It’s fear of instability. Where will we be in two years, when will they give us fixed contracts?”

Some in the crowd wept as they slowly sang, “I Will Resist”, a 1980s pop track that thundered from balconies during a lockdown imposed in response to an outbreak which has killed more than 28,000 people.

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