High Decibel Social Distancing ‘Dog Collars’ for Factory Workers Deployed

Aaron tam/AFP via Getty Images

A Swedish manufacturer in France has been accused of treating their employees like dogs after the company asked its workers to wear a social distancing device that emits a high decibel sound if employees are too close to each other.

The French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT), the largest union representing workers at Essity, a Swedish global hygiene and health company, compared the device to a dog collar, saying it is “a system comparable to that which deters dogs from barking”.

The CFDT said according to the French newspaper Le Monde, that the necklaces emit a sound of 85 decibels as soon as “social distancing is no longer respected”.

CFDT union representative Christine Duguet said that “the idea is to discipline employees and call them to order,” going on to say that the implementation of the system represents “an attack on individual freedoms”.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have scrupulously respected distancing and wearing masks. We wear them all day, we are responsible people!” she protested.

Essity, which produces tissue paper, baby diapers, and feminine care products, said that the introduction of the social distancing devices was in order to “strengthen employee safety”.

“With this system, the site’s Covid referent would be able to alert potential contact cases more quickly and comprehensively,” the company said.

The manufacturer said that the devices do not have a geolocation system, adding that they would not be tied to the personal information of the wearer. Essity also claimed that the devices would be deactivated when employees are using the toilet or in the cafeteria.

Essity went on to reject the comparisons to dog collars, saying that the social distancing device is not meant to be worn around the neck but rather around the waist or in a pocket, as necklaces are banned in the factory for safety reasons.

According to Le Parisien, the company has already deployed the system in the United Kingdom and has been testing it in the Netherlands.

A company spokesman told the AFP that it is just being “tested” in France.

Responding to the story, the president of the Popular Republican Union party in France, François Asselineau, said: “The next stage will be an electric shock of 380 volts between the 2 offenders.”

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