Trade union intervention has guaranteed that many jobs will be saved, but thousands more will be lost because of Chancellor’s dithering and delay and gaps in support - Unions will now organise to ensure employers step up to the plate
Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement of a short time working Jobs Support Scheme, STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“While the UK Government’s dithering and delay has cost thousands of jobs, today’s announcement is better late than never. Unions have continuously warned against the furlough cliff edge and we have no doubt that the TUC will have driven the hardest possible bargain.
“However, this announcement still leaves real dangers in store for our economy. In areas like the arts, aviation, and hospitality, where 40% are currently on furlough, we are likely to see massive job losses.
“The announcement is only worth a fraction of the furlough scheme. In parts of the economy, there is a real risk of rogue employers firing and rehiring staff on poorer terms and conditions.
"The trade union movement will vigorously guard against this and hold companies to account. Now more than ever workers who are not in a union should join one.
“For many eligible workers, four fifths of their wage will be a bitter pill to swallow after a decade long squeeze on living standards. As a bare minimum, we call on employers and Government to ensure this is topped up to a real living wage.”
Commenting further, Foyer said:
“It is welcome that large employers will have to show covid-detriment in order to claim. While we await to see the detail, it appears there may be some controls on executive profiteering. It would be a travesty if companies claimed this while paying out dividends to shareholder.
“The Chancellor talked about viable jobs, but we need clarity on this. The truth is that, while covid-19 restrictions are in place, we can’t tell what’s viable.
It is well within the Chancellor’s power to power to create good, viable jobs by investing in clean infrastructure, retrofitting, green investment, skills and public services. Yet there was nothing in this statement about any of these measures. It is clear that we will need to see further measures from the Chancellor in the coming months.”
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