Our initial target was £6000, which thanks to you, our readers, we blew out of the water after just 4 hours. Some money has already been spent on urgent food and hygiene supplies.
"We are gobsmacked because we thought we were going to get about 2000 euros,” Nour at SOC-SAT Union in Almeria told us just before the Crowdfunder closed, “and we're now on around £20,000! This international solidarity is what is making a difference."
Providing food, hygiene supplies and solar panels for migrant workers
The organisations have already been able to distribute over 400 food and hygiene packages in settlements in Almeria and Huelva. Through your solidarity, workers received pasta, oil and sugar as well as other basic food and hygiene supplies.
Meetings of workers are taking place to decide what the next installments will be spent on. In Huelva, SOC-SAT and Collective of African Workers plan to install solar panels.
This means that workers living in the settlements will have lighting and be able to charge phones and other devices - particularly important while their movement and access to other electricity sources remains limited during the crisis.
Spanish government to increase labour inspections and Covid19 support
The additional pressure that the campaign put on the authorities also seems to have paid off.
The Spanish government has now made clear its plans to provide greater Covid19 relief including food and hygiene equipment in the settlements.
The agricultural minister has also issued a plan to send more work inspection teams out to farms, to check for national insurance fraud, among other things. The increase in inspections is a clear step towards monitoring and improving the conditions for those in the region.
Companies in the region have issued a statement criticising the move and the “external attacks” that they say have helped to spur the change as they feel the heat from unions, workers and campaigners both in Spain and throughout Europe.
The government announcements are significant victories for the workers and those who have helped expose the crisis in the region. Thank you to everyone who contributed to and shared the Crowdfunder, for adding your voices in the call for urgent change.
“It feels like at last the message is getting through and that things are changing,” says Delia. “There are so many people out there who care that this is happening.”
Maintaining pressure on supermarkets
Over the next few months, Ethical Consumer will continue to campaign on issues in the region. We continue to ask supermarkets to put proper processes in place to ensure that they are addressing the problems in the area and allowing workers’ complaints to be heard.