The Workers Union has called for the government to publish its return to work guidance. Chief spokesman Jonathan Morgan said that employees were ‘no closer’ to understanding the way forward. He also described Boris Johnson’s taped address as ‘full of muddle and make do’.
Government opens up rifts
On Sunday evening the Prime Minister announced that key health messaging will be replaced. Instead of ‘stay at home’ the emphasis will change to ‘stay alert’. The sudden switch of tactics wrong-footed the regional governments, with Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, saying she ‘doesn’t know what stay alert means.’
Union sends clear message to PM
The Workers Union is sending Boris Johnson a message that the country needs a roadmap out of this crisis – fast. Johnathan Morgan said: ‘The government’s change in policy has had two main effects. One it breaks the united front that has held up well during the crisis. Two, it confirms our suspicion that the Tories think economic considerations are more important than dealing with the health crisis.
‘It’s clear that company chiefs are being encouraged to get people back to work. But how can this be done safely and legally when we’re still waiting to read the government’s guidance?’
Coronavirus in the workplace
The Workers Union members have reacted to the Prime Minister’s address with dismay. One hotelier said that the ‘limited’ information coming from Number 10 means that it’s ‘impossible’ to know when he can reopen. At the same time, membership officers have received hundreds of queries from people worried about going back to shared work environments.
Mr Morgan said: ‘The lack of the leadership on this crucial issue means we cannot support a return to work. The governments needs to clearly state its expectations of employers and employees in this process. Leaving the key decisions to execs means that there will no national standard of implementation. This is obviously unacceptable to us, and unacceptable to the engine room of this country’s success – the workers themselves.
‘The best way way out of this mess is to make dialogue with organisations such as ours a priority. We’re ready and waiting to help in any way that we can, but we won’t surrender our principles for a quick headline. The safety and security of our members is of paramount importance.’
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union