Category Archives: 2020 UK

UK: A moment of silence is the very least that we can do – Unison

Blog: A moment of silence is the very least that we can do

by Dave Prentis, Genreal Secretary, Unison

… the nation will fall silent at 11am to honour and remember all of the health, care and other key workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

It’s an opportunity for us all to take a moment to pay our respects and give thanks to for the lives of those who saved lives, kept key services running and the rest of the country safe. It’s also a further opportunity to show our love to their families, and to remind everyone of the real danger that key workers are placing themselves in to keep our country going and our communities safe.

Our union has been leading the calls for this commemoration which takes place on International Workers Memorial Day. Every year, this is an important date for our union – but never more so than this year. The risk of death should never be something which any of us have to consider as part of our working lives, but for too many workers that is the ongoing reality of the fight against COVID-19.So while we pay our respects to those who have lost their lives, we continue to fight for better protection at work for everyone who needs it – whether those at risk during the current crisis, or any worker whose life is put at risk by their working conditions.

This virus has had a profound impact on all of our lives, but there are clearly those who are particularly affected. This virus has had a disproportionate impact on older people, Black communities and those with prior health conditions. It has also had a huge impact on those whose vital work means they cannot stay at home, including so many UNISON members – taking care of our loved ones, educating our children, keeping our streets safe or making sure that vital food and supplies are delivered – who are putting themselves at risk to protect us all.

Every minute this pandemic continues, people are making extraordinary sacrifices to keep us safe and run our vital services.

That’s why we’ve issued this call for the whole country to take part and remember the sacrifices key workers have made. So wherever you are – at home or at work – please join us in a moment of silence at 11am tomorrow. To say thank you. To remember. To show our solidarity. To remember the dead, but also on International Workers Memorial Day, to fight for the living.

After all that key workers have already given to us all throughout this crisis, it is the very least that we can do.

Blog: A moment of silence is the very least that we can do | General secretary’s blog, News | News | UNISON National

UK: Coronavirus – Remembering all the workers who’ve died after exposure to Covid-19 at work | TUC

28 Apr 2020

Today is International Workers’ Memorial Day, when trade unions around the world remember workers who lost their lives and commit to keep the living safe.

This is the story of Peter, Mary, Cheryl, Zeeshan and Emeka – five UK workers who were taken by Covid-19.

Today is International Workers’ Memorial Day, when trade unions around the world remember workers who lost their lives and commit to keep the living safe.

This year we especially remember the frontline workers who lost their lives to Covid-19 while looking after our loved ones and keeping our country running.

We will be forever in debt to the workers who have died during this pandemic – our nurses, doctors, care staff and other essential workers.

Remember the dead, fight for the living.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/coronavirus-remembering-all-workers-whove-died-after-exposure-covid-19-work

UK: Stop the pandemic at work, say retail workers – USDAW

Every year April 28 is International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD). This is the international trade union day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. The focus this year is of course the global COVID-19 pandemic. While everyone is affected by the crisis, many workers are on the frontline.

For #IWMD20 Usdaw is highlighting the risks many frontline workers are taking to help keep the rest of us safe and healthy. Healthcare workers in particular are risking their lives doing their job to take care of the sick. Many others like Usdaw members in supermarkets and delivering the food supply chain are providing essential services and deserve our thanks for everything they are doing. We urge the public to observe a one-minute silence at 11am on 28 April to remember those workers we’ve lost to Covid-19.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “More people are killed at work than in wars. They die because their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. So on 28 April we ‘remember the dead and fight for the living’ by highlighting our all year round campaigning for better health and safety at work.

“Shopworkers and their colleagues in the retail food supply chain are on the frontline of feeding the country during the current crisis. They are providing an essential service in very difficult circumstances, working long hours in busy stores, facing abuse from customers and of course concerned they may contract Covid-19.

“This year we should take time to recognise the heroic efforts they are making in very difficult circumstances, alongside many other frontline workers. We particularly want to pay tribute to the brave healthcare workers and the extreme risks they have to work with. A one-minute silence at 11am tomorrow for those we’ve lost would be a fitting tribute.

“Usdaw continues to work with employers to improve health and safety for staff, particularly those dealing directly with the public. We also call on customers to stay calm, respect shopworkers and practise the necessary hygiene measures to help limit the spread of the virus. We all have to work together to get through this crisis.

“Strong unions are the best protection for workers. Workplaces that have strong union representation typically have much lower fatality, injury and ill-health rates than those that do not. Research in this country and abroad has shown repeatedly that unions make a difference.”

Workers’ Memorial Day – Stop the pandemic at work: www.ituc-csi.org/28April2020

TUC campaign: www.tuc.org.uk/workers-memorial-day

USDAW – Stop the pandemic at work and remember those we’ve lost says Usdaw on International Workers’ Memorial Day

UK: Preparing for the return to work outside the home – TUC

Preparing for the return to work outside the home

Summary of recommendations

This TUC report, Preparing for the return to work outside the home: a trade union approach, sets out what we believe the government must do now to ensure a safe transition from lockdown, looking at how to safely return to work outside the home, the enforcement measures needed to protect workers, and how best to protect workers’ livelihoods.

  • The government must ensure that workers’ mental health and wellbeing is prioritised alongside physical safety.
  • The government must run a public information campaign to ensure working people can be confident that health and safety at work is a priority as they return to work.
  • Every employer must carry out a specific Covid-19 risk assessment.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided where necessary, and no-one should be asked to re-use PPE inappropriately.
  • Government must provide specific advice and protection for those groups most at risk.
  • The EHRC must ensure that the return to work strategy seeks to prevent this disproportionate impact and complies with the public sector equality duty.
  • Unions should be consulted when the government prepares sector-specific guidance, and when employers seek to implement it.
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must act quickly to sanction employers that do not risk-assess for Covid-19 or fail to provide safe working arrangements.
  • The HSE must run a public information campaign to ensure workers know their rights.
  • No worker should face a sanction for refusing to work in an unsafe workplace.
  • Government must ensure the job retention scheme continues to protect jobs.
  • Those who lose their jobs must be protected by a strengthened safety net.
  • We need decent sick pay for all
  • Government must ban zero-hours contracts, tackle false self-employment, and guarantee all workers day-one employment rights.

    read full list of recommendations

Download full report (pdf)

https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/preparing-return-work-outside-home-trade-union-approach

UK: Minute’s silence to remember workers who have died of work related injuries and diseases – Prospect

This year will be even more significant as we honour those who have died from #coronavirus.#IWMD20 #NeverForgotten pic.twitter.com/5nbPNRAyAj