Britain  •  Industrial  •  UNISON union

Motion: Workers’ action against the covid-19 pandemic

27 March 2020

Lambeth Unison Branch Committee met on 17 March, some online a few in person, to discuss our response to the Coronavirus crisis. The following motion was passed unanimously, though there were many additional points and acute problems of under-preparedness and poor (or no) advice from Government, the Labour Council and Unison and the TUC raised in the discussion.

Three days after it was passed and after days of being ignored, library staff walked off the job, citing Section 44 of the Economic Relations Act 1996, which allows workers to leave a site they believe to be unsafe and not to return until it is made safe. Within days, the Tory government closed all libraries: shame on the Progress-led Labour council.

In schools we have largely won payment of agency workers, massive reduction in the working week and staff control over working conditions, but there are still pockets of Heads and CEOs who are seeking to claw back money at the expense of their workers’ livelihoods. Worse has been the attitude of private contractors and we have been forced to call for immediate bringing in-house of those that do not agree to pay their workers in full.

Emergency motion on Coronavirus-2019

This Branch Committee notes:

  1. That Covid-19 is a deadly disease with 20% of cases needing hospital treatment, 5% intensive care and 1-2% who will die.
  2. That many millions in the UK are on the long list of ‘vulnerable’ people and that the poor and those in ill health (and health workers) will be among the most vulnerable.
  3. That the spread of the disease can be drastically slowed down – and health services thereby more able to cope with demand – with mass testing, closure of schools and other mass gatherings, enforcing home working where possible.
  4. That Johnson’s populist Tory government’s policy, at odds with nearly every European government, is to delay such measures, thus ensuring the peak of the disease comes sooner and is higher, both with callous deadly consequences.

This Branch Committee believes:

This Branch Committee resolves:

Lambeth Unison is campaigning for full sick pay for laundry staff. Please help by signing the petition

Tags:  •   •   • 

Class struggle bulletin

Stay up to date with our weekly newsletter