The Workers Union has issued a statement of support for the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s (APPG) report on the government’s response to Coronavirus.
The APPG found that the government had failed to provide access to adequate personal protective equipment for frontline workers. It also highlighted the punitive effects of the pandemic on their mental health, and said that the wider social-care community must have similar access to protective equipment and sickness benefits (such as Statutory Sick Pay) as their NHS counterparts.
The report reserves its strongest criticism for the failure of track and trace and the garbled public health messaging.
The findings will heap more pressure on Boris Johnson’s cabinet, as the country gears up to face the double whammy of a COVID Christmas and the possibility of the Brexit talks ending without a deal.
The Workers Union Says
With the stakes so high for our country, it ill-behoves any of us to say ‘I told you so’. However, the Workers Union’s been drawing attention to these issues for the last eight months. We took the government to task on PPE. We wrote extensively about the effects of the pandemic on the mental health of workers. We called out the inadequate SSP provision. And yet here we are, with 2021 just a matter of days away, commenting on the same old failings.
This government is out of excuses and out of time. Working people want evidence that cabinet politicos understand what they have been through, not tired platitudes from the lips of millionaires.
Most of us outside the Westminster bubble know that soothing words are not the same as affirmative action. Understanding this distinction is crucial as we enter a new age of technological development that will either reveal a gilded future, or create new dangers for the livelihoods of working people.
So, for anyone with sufficient vision to grasp this moment, there is a rare vacuum in the flux of history. It happened before, when a new consensus was forged in the aftermath of devastating conflict. It would be both disingenuous and offensive to compare our times to that all-consuming conflagration, but a similar opportunity presents itself to politicians of our age.
The question is, have they the wisdom to take it?
The Workers Union – supporting working people everywhere