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COVID-19: safety at work: join a union


Angela Rayner MP, Boris Johnson, speech, 10 May 2020, return to work, Coronavirus, pandemic, safety at work, join a unionThis is the text of the email sent from Angela Rayner to Labour members this afternoon.

Last night I sat shocked on my sofa as Boris Johnson spoke to our country. Workers who can’t work from home were encouraged to go back to work – but given no guidance on how to stay safe.

Millions of jobs are impossible to do while two metres apart. Millions of us have been given no protective equipment. But, we don’t have to sit on our sofas and take this.

When I was a care worker on a zero hour contract and poverty pay, I joined a trade union. With my union, alongside my work mates, I won better working conditions.

Labour MPs will always fight for workers’ interests, and you can do the same by joining a union.

Are you a trade union member?

This crisis has proved the strength of workers when we unite – whether you’re a construction worker or a care giver. It’s proved the power of having a trade union membership card in your pocket.

Trade unions fought for and won the furlough scheme. It is trade unions who are making sure thousands of workers don’t get laid off during this crisis. In retail, healthcare, catering, building and beyond, union representatives are sorting safety measures like protective equipment, hand washing facilities and enough space to social distance. ​But we can’t rest until every worker does their job in safe and fair conditions.

The Labour Party was founded when working people came together to win. As one movement, we won a five-day week, equal pay for women and a minimum wage. Together, we will win again.

Angela Rayner

Deputy leader and chair of the Labour Party

A version of this article appeared on the LabourList website on 11 May 2020.

If you or your friends been forced back to an unsafe workplace, click here to find which union can best represent or help you.

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