Speakers: UCU Birmingham, nurse from the Pay Campaign, school support worker- GMB, gas worker- GMB, Coventry University rent striker, Strike Map.
Eventbrite Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/workers-fight-back-against-covid-injustice-tickets-140795472047
The pandemic has shown how little the government and employers care about workers. Next to nothing has been done to ensure Covid-secure workplaces. The government has left it in the hands of employers, who of course put their profits before safety. In this third lockdown, the government has given further powers to employers to decide whether their workplace is ‘essential’. This has meant millions of people going into work: risking the health (and the lives) of both themselves and their families.
The other problem is that many people, especially those in jobs with no security and/or zero-hour contracts, cannot afford to stay home. They have to choose between being safe or having an income. Many, including care workers, have no adequate sick pay and others in industries like construction would not be furloughed if the workplace closed. Students have a different but similar situation. They are safe, because their workplace is closed, but they are still paying out for fees and accommodation so will still be amassing debts without getting the full benefits of what they are paying for.
However, workers are resisting. It may be a localised level but every struggle is a step towards a generalised movement for no safety, no work and for adequate income for all those who need to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus.
This meeting will highlight some of the heroic efforts of people who are fighting back, either insisting on no safety, no work with furlough, or if they are key workers, demanding fair reward and adequate sick pay.