– Hundreds of unions ask Guy Parmelin to give in
Switzerland’s opposition to a temporary patent suspension for coronavirus technologies is “criminal”, according to more than 350 unions. They published an open letter.
Posted today at 09:55
More than 350 unions are asking the President of the Confederation Guy Parmelin to reverse the opposition, “criminal” according to them, from Switzerland to a provisional suspension of patents for technologies against the coronavirus. They accuse him of favoring the pharmaceutical industry.
In an open letter published Thursday by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), these unions, which represent more than 10 million employees in 113 countries, criticize states opposed to a patent suspension for prolonging the crisis in terms of supply . “You have no more excuses,” they add again.
According to recent estimates, vaccine inequality could cost the global economy $ 5 trillion (roughly 5 trillion francs) in the coming years. Recently, leaders of international transport umbrella organizations called on political leaders to guarantee supply arrangements around the world.
And in their letter, besides Guy Parmelin, hundreds of unions appeal to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “You need to approve a provisional patent suspension without delay,” says the ITF general secretary.
The unions note that the United States, where pharmaceutical companies are important, have shown their support for a provisional lifting of patents in discussions at the World Trade Organization (WTO), a new meeting of which was held in Geneva on Wednesday. . Vaccine inequality threatens “our security and the resumption of our activities,” they also said.
NGOs or active parties
They deplore that their employees, especially sailors, have sometimes been stranded for months. According to them, these workers were three times more likely to die from the coronavirus than the general population.
Wednesday evening, a demonstration called for by a collective supported by left-wing parties and Geneva unions also called for this patent suspension. This has been demanded for many months by actors such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Switzerland, like the other opposing countries or the international umbrella of pharmaceutical companies (IFPMA), believes that this device would not make it possible to manufacture an additional dose of vaccine. Rather, it wants licenses on these technologies and an extension of production capacities in developing countries.
Posted today at 09:55
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