Unite the union
11 June 2020
Issue 11
New Unite, Here For You film
Throughout this pandemic, Unite has been campaigning for the safety, jobs and pay of workers. Your union will not stop fighting for all those things as the lockdown loosens, more people return to their workplaces and we try to rebuild the UK economy.
WATCH and share our new short film, voiced over by general secretary Len McCluskey, about how Unite is here for you.
Unite stands in solidarity with protestors in response to George Floyd’s murder
Speaking in response to protests in the UK, US and across the globe, Len McCluskey called on the labour movement to be clear in its opposition to racism at all levels.
Pointing to the unequal exposure to Covid-19 by BAEM workers, he pledged that Unite would look at what further steps we must take to ensure the voices of our BAEM members are heard and acted on and to build on Unite’s anti-racism work.
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.
‘Class and race’ biggest factors for victims of coronavirus
Unite has called for a raft of policies to tackle the ‘systemic failures’ that has led to the disproportionate death toll amongst the BAEM communities and also the poorest groups in society.
Commenting on Public Health England’s report Disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19, which highlighted the groups hardest hit in terms of mortality due to coronavirus, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said the report shone a “searing light” that revealed the pandemic in the UK is intrinsically and disproportionately linked to class and race.
New BAEM-sensitive risk assessment considerations
Unite is issuing new risk assessment guidance for health and safety reps that is specific to BAEM workers. Risk assessments need to incorporate and take into account any additional controls that would assist in reducing the burden of Covid-19 on the BAEM workforce. Employers have a duty to consult union representatives on all health and safety matters, including how they manage elevated risks to BAEM employees from Covid-19.
Stay up to date with coronavirus work rights with our dedicated webpages here
Government announcement on face coverings for public transport welcomed
Unite welcomed the government’s announcement that passengers on public transport will be required to wear a face covering before boarding and throughout their journey, from 15 June. We lobbied ministers to make this move and continue to call for maximum bus capacity to be reduced to protect drivers and passengers, as has already happened in London and Yorkshire as a result of our negotiations.
Meanwhile, Unite Wales called on the Welsh government to shift from recommended to compulsory in its position on face coverings on public transport.
Financial support urgently needed for aviation as a result of new quarantine rules
Unite has repeated its calls for urgent government support for the aviation industry to save jobs, communities and airports, as it faces the impact of the quarantine rule just as many airlines were preparing to start flying again.
The aviation sector was already one of the most severely affected parts of the UK’s economy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s action will now directly delay its ability to recover.
Oxfam jobs axe threatens fight against global poverty
Unite is fighting to save hundreds of jobs at Oxfam which has been hit hard by the pandemic. And we have renewed our calls for the government to be more generous in its support for the charity sector, which needs a £4 billion support package but has received just £750 million so far.
WATCH and share this video of our regional officer Jesika Parmer appealing for funding to ensure that Oxfam can continue in it’s global fight against poverty. Please email your MP asking them to call on the government to do more to help struggling charities. 
BA Betrayal campaign seizes the airwaves
British Airways workers and Len McCluskey have featured on several media channels since Unite launched the ‘crisis leverage’ campaign against the airline's plans to sack more than 42,000 people and rehire just 30,000 on draconian contracts.
We’ve gained support from many high profile celebrities, while MPs from all political parties took part in a parliamentary debate on the future of our aviation industry, which saw BA’s actions condemned across the chamber.
LBC presenter Iain Dale summed up BA's financial situation in this question put to Willie Walsh on his show on Monday: 
 Local government pay – email your councillors
Unite continues to campaign for council workers to get the pay rise they deserve. We’re calling on all members to email your local councillors and ask them to put pressure on the national employer, the Local Government Association. You can email them using this link

We also want to hear from council workers with their stories of working and living on low pay throughout this pandemic, and everyday. Please get in touch here
Unite in the community
Solidarity not charity

Find out how support from Unite in the East Midlands has enabled the Broxtowe Community Hub to support the local community through Covid-19.

And how our London and Eastern region is helping Bangladesh's biggest garment workers federation to provide emergency food supplies during the pandemic. 🔽
To catch up with all Unite’s statements, stories and actions on #coronavirus go to our News and Events page HERE

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