Attitudes Toward Coronavirus Protection Measures in Enterprises (on the Example of the Ulyanovsk Region)
Сand. Sci. (Ps.), Assoc. Prof., Ulyanovsk State University, Ulyanovsk, Russia. email@example.com
Lecturer of Ulyanovsk State University, Ulyanovsk, Russia. firstname.lastname@example.org
This work was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project No. 20-04-60221 «Strategies for Workers’ Behavior in the Labor Market in Difficult Epidemiological Situation».
The paper explores anti-COVID restrictions in Russian enterprises. It based on a series of qualitative interviews conducted with workers and experts as part of a longitudinal study in 2020–2021 in the Ulyanovsk region. We focus on three key aspects: quarantine, mask wearing and vaccination, showing the attitudes of workers towards these measures, the degree of their acceptance or resistance to them. We conclude that restrictions were largely ineffective, but they allowed employers to increase control over staff and led to violations of labor rights. Coercion rather than persuasion served as the primary tool for promoting anti-COVID measures. The workers did not relate the implementation of these measures to occupational safety or management’s concern about their health, but expressed a growing feeling of powerlessness. Anti-COVID restrictions are perceived to have reduced staff cohesion and caused conflicts between workers and management. Informants criticized both the content of the measures and the non-systemic manner of their implementation. The paper traces how long the anti-COVID measures lasted, and what were the reasons for their cancellation.
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