April 29, 2020 Blog

Decent pay and safe conditions for all workers must be secured as we come out of the Covid-19 crisis

At 11am on Tuesday 28th April I joined the health unions UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives in observing the one-minute silence for International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Between them, these three unions represent more than a million NHS and public service workers, including porters, refuse collectors and care staff. In the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we must take some time to appreciate the invaluable work these workers are carrying out day by day and remember those who have lost their lives while keeping us safe.

It means understanding the complications of social distancing in these roles, and the additional danger this places on workers. It’s why the right PPE should be available at all times to all staff who need it. And it’s why the testing, testing and testing advised by the World Health Organisation must be put in place now.

Too many workers in hazardous conditions are also on low pay. If it wasn’t already clear that this must change, Covid-19 has thrown this into sharp perspective. Emerging from this pandemic we must continue to demand decent pay and safe conditions for all workers.