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Mask scandal: Hygiene Austria: massive allegations from informants

Mask scandal: Hygiene Austria: massive allegations from informants

Serious allegations are loud: only 15 percent of the masks from Austrian production – own hall for purchased masks – injuries were reported as accidents at home – employees did not receive any money.

11:04 a.m., March 20, 2021

© APA / HANS KLAUS TECHT

On anonymized informant raises allegations against the Puls4 Mask production by Hygiene Austria. Employees had not received their wages, after injuries to machines, the scene of the accident was stated as “at home” and masks from China were located in a separate hall and then packed in cardboard boxes together with the in-house production, said the informant. According to the broadcaster, Hygiene Austria “does not want to make any further press statements at this time”.

The informant, a former employee, said that only 15 percent of the masks came from Hygiene Austria itself, the rest from China. The hygienic conditions were inadequate. Gloves and hairnets were only worn when the press or politicians were present, and there were no corona tests either. In a separate hall, 40 employees would have relabeled masks, completely separated. The relabelling denies the Hygiene Austria boss Tino Wieser in a previously recorded interview with the broadcaster, he speaks of contract manufacturing on behalf of the company.

It was important that the machines run 24 hours a day, and there was a lot of pressure for that. In three or four cases there were serious finger injuries on the machines, but those affected had to state that they were injured at home, the informant said. In one case, the police came and gave testimony, but the case had been dropped. The company itself denies that accidents have been covered up and speaks of an accident at work, after which the company called the labor inspectorate.

Similar criticism had already been reported by other media, citing former employees of Hygiene Austria. The Puls4 informant sees the error mainly in the temporary employment agencies. Wieser, who comes from Palmers, is “a great person” with a good heart, and you could talk to him.

Allegations also in the morning journal

An anonymous former employee also made new allegations against Hygiene Austria in the Ö1 morning journal on Saturday. Undeclared workers had only the task of repacking masks from China. These came in batches of 3,000 pieces each, five to ten pieces were given unpacked in Hygiene Austria boxes. From October on, more workers were involved in repacking than in production.

Again there was talk of three temporary employment agencies. One of them had already gone bankrupt and then reappeared with the same employees, the informant said. There were also several work accidents, reports the ORF.

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