Campaigning for jobs
Sector deal demands
Unite continues to press the Treasury and BEIS for sector deals, including focussed extensions to the Job Retention Scheme at least until 2021, and for an industrial strategy to recover and rebuild the economy out of this crisis. We have met again with chancellor Rishi Sunak and business secretary Alok Sharma, who listened to our arguments about the need for immediate action to save jobs, and for long-term investment support.
However, the government has so far refused to provide sector specific support or to extend the furlough scheme beyond October, which would prevent the tsunami of job losses that we fear.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey responded to the prime minister’s “build, build, build” speech in Dudley this week by saying a “bridge” to the new economy was urgently needed to avert a jobs abyss.
“Do not abandon working people now, in their hour of need”: read Len’s Daily Mirror article, calling for a JRS extension, here on UNITElive
Don’t abandon UK Aerospace
Our campaign for support for the aerospace industry launched this week. Please ask your MP to help keep UK aerospace world leading by using their influence to persuade ministers to support a comprehensive financial package for UK aerospace to prevent tens of thousands more highly skilled jobs and quality apprenticeships being lost.
France and Germany have stepped up to protect aerospace. The UK government must do the same.
You can use the form and model letter on the aerospace campaign page here
Flying into the future
Meanwhile we continue to press for sector specific support for aviation, which was the first hit and among the worst hit sectors by coronavirus, using our Blueprint for Aviation
strategy as the basis of what we expect.
Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved here
Alongside that, the British Airways legal and crisis leverage campaigns continue to shine the spotlight on BA’s betrayal of its loyal workforce.
Write to your MP asking them to sign our pledge to strip BA of its lucrative landing slots if they don’t step back.
Keeping you safe
Updated COVID19 guidance
Unite’s health and safety team has updated the guidance for officers and reps on our specialist COVID-19 web pages.
We also have a new social distancing policy setting out employers’ responsibilities and how they must work with trade union safety reps to assist with the safe opening of workplaces.
Access all our guidance here
COVID19 personal injury advice line
Unite has set up a specialist legal team to advise and represent members who have suffered injury as a result of Covid-19.
If you have suffered injury from developing Covid-19 or have tragically lost a family member to the condition, then please call Unite’s Covid-19 personal injury team on 020 8799 4023.
Meat industry reform call
Unite has called on ministers and industry to commit to a root and branch reform of the meat processing sector. The dire working conditions, low pay and insecure employment that blight the industry and have now come back to bite the nation’s efforts to defeat the coronavirus, must be addressed.
Action and events online
Happy birthday NHS
The NHS is 72 years old on Sunday, and some of our health sector members have recorded birthday messages and talk about their hopes and fear for the service’s future. Watch them here
We’ve warned of the irony of weeks of clapping and warm words from ministers for dedicated NHS workers when the government is now increasing the risk of demands on ambulance and A&E departments by opening pubs in England the day before we should all be celebrating our health service. The prime minister must be held to account for his “gung-ho mixed messaging”. Social distancing remains vital.
Why BAEM workers should be trade unionists
Our Facebook Live event on Tuesday was an opportunity to discuss what further steps Unite must take to ensure BAEM workers join trade unions and that their voices are heard and acted on and what needs to be done to achieve representation of BAEM members throughout our structures.
Thank you to our brilliant panel of speakers and all those who joined in to ask questions.
You can watch it again here
The Durham Miners Gala and Tolpuddle festivals were never going to be silenced by Covid-19. Both events, which are annual landmarks in the trade union calendar, are moving online.
The Gala online – the Second Saturday – takes place on 11 July and the centrepiece of the day will be a concert streamed to Facebook and YouTube at 1pm, featuring new videos and archive footage from the Gala’s long history, brass band music, messages from key workers who’ve been dealing with the pandemic, and contributions from leading labour movement figures.
Tolpuddle’s online festival runs from 17 to 19 July and will be packed with debates, campaigns, history, films, music, comedy and will even feature a virtual procession.
Both events are free but donations are welcome.