The Workers Union has issued a stern rebuke to the government, accusing it of ‘dithering while jobs burn’.
The announcement came as official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that redundancies have risen at their highest rate since records began.
227,000 people were made redundant between June and August. Meanwhile, the unemployment figures had swollen to 4.5 percent in the three months to August, a startling increase of 0.4 percent since July.
The news will be less than welcome in Westminster, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is already fighting a rearguard action to defend his handling of the pandemic.
The Workers Union Says
The ONS report only hints at the human suffering behind the figures. 4.5 percent may not sound like a lot. But in real terms, it means 1.5 million workers are worrying about paying their bills.
There was a way to prevent this. Throughout the crisis we’ve been arguing that the government should extend furlough. They dithered and dallied and allowed businesses to commit to a mass programme of redundancies, when some extra reassurances would have saved jobs and built confidence.
Now Rishi Sunak’s Job Support Scheme is trying to tackle this issue – 4 months too late.
So we say to the government, this jobs implosion could have been averted. If they’d shown the collective will to employ a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown and extended furlough, many workers would still be on a payroll.
To claw back some credibility, we need to see clear and decisive leadership that puts the welfare of workers at the front and centre of the debate. So let’s invest in our people by bringing back furlough and scrapping the Job Support Scheme. Anything else will rip deep scars in the working landscape of the UK for a generation.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union.