Unemployment figures must not trigger panicked rush to reopen workplaces says STUC
A panicked rush to re-open workplaces could cause a second spike in infection rates followed by a double dip recession the STUC said, in response to today’s unemployment figures.
The STUC said that the figures showed that the Government Furlough scheme was limiting the increase in unemployment and should be extended. It said it was particularly worried about young people's unemployment. STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said that today’s figures should not be misused to prompt a rushed return to work or to cut back on health and safety precautions in the workplace
Instead it called for use of current government support schemes combined with extended support and investment to map a sustainable return to work. STUC General Secretary Designate Rozanne Foyer says:
“Hundreds of thousands of Scottish workers are understandably worried about their jobs. No one more than us wants to see a return to work as soon as it is safe. But this has to be achieved safely and sustainably, with a public transport system that limits the spread of the virus, a massive increase in testing and adequate contact tracing. Tearing up the play book now could be a disaster causing cases to spike with all the suffering that would entail.
“Government concerns over extending the furlough scheme have to be looked at against the immediate impact on public funds of a massive increase in the cost of social security and the economic threat of a return to lockdown.
“Government needs to extend the furlough scheme, particularly for the most affected sectors; create a Job Retention scheme to support continuing employment and prepare to invest in shovel ready clean infrastructure as lockdown continues to ease.”
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