Unite regional secretary for the West Midlands Annmarie Kilcline said: “Hopefully these measures will help prevent the need for a full-scale lockdown in Birmingham, which would have a severe impact on the regional economy, put our public services under further strain and affect the mental well-being of every citizen. 

"These measures should be a reminder to all employers and organisations, if one were needed, that strict social distancing and safety measures must be maintained. 

“Unite has thousands of members across the West Midlands, from manufacturing and the food and drink sector to the NHS and local government, and any further tightening of the lockdown will have a potentially devastating impact on firms, jobs and the wider economy. We must do all we can to avoid that scenario.

“What is becoming clear is that there is not going to be an easy fix before a Covid-19 vaccine is developed. As we approach autumn and winter and the risk of full localised lockdowns increase, the government must ensure affected communities receive the help they need. 

“Unite has been advocating for the job retention scheme to be extended for a longer period of time and to include short time working provisions – as has happened in countries in Europe. As an absolute rock bottom minimum, extra support for workers who need to stop work because of local lockdowns must be available. The same goes for those facing eviction during a local lockdown. 

“There must also be no repeat of the situation in Leicester, where no additional funding from Whitehall was available during its lockdown, despite the extra pressure that was put on public services, such as the NHS and local government. 

“Unite is committed to work constructively with all stakeholders, including the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, to bring this current outbreak in Birmingham under control.”

ENDS

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.