The Workers Union is urging the government to look after working people as lockdown restrictions ease.
The response came as the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, outlined a further relaxation of the rules at Tuesday’s press briefing. From the 4th of July, pubs, clubs and restaurants will be able to reopen in a ‘Covid-secure’ way. Elsewhere, the entertainment industry will experience a partial reopening – although some indoor activities remain closed.
Mr Johnson also announced that he was scrapping the ‘2-metre separation rule’. People will be allowed to socialise at ‘1-metre plus’ and encouraged to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to mitigate risk.
The changes apply in England only, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland making their own policy decisions. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said that she is not ready to scrap the 2-metre rule. The Scottish First Minister wants to wait until her Scientific Advisory Group have examined all the evidence.
The Workers Union says
The Workers Union chief spokesman said: ‘Of course we applaud the government’s drive to reopen our economy. But it must go hand-in-hand with a deep-rooted commitment to protecting working people. Let’s not turn this into case of sacrificing personal safety to keep the gods of money happy.’
Mr Morgan went on to outline the steps the union believes will help the transition back to working life.
‘We’ve been campaigning for weeks for the government to force company chiefs to publish their Covid-19 recovery plans. This should include a detailed breakdown of personal safety measures. It should also outline flexible working options and give bosses the power to use their discretion in future working arrangements.
‘The government were slow to establish a clear direction at the start of this crisis. Now the pressure is on to get the economy moving and minimise the risk of another spike in the disease. The news that Matt Hancock’s ‘track and trace’ app has been shelved at a cost of 12 million pounds to the tax-payer does not inspire confidence. If the government cannot get this right, can they be trusted to deliver a sensible return to work plan?
‘Publishing risk plans on a voluntary basis is simply not good enough. We need to see action on this to safeguard workers in every industry.’
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union