Unite the Union fully supports yesterday's (16 December) announcement made by the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford in respect of the new measures that will be introduced to protect the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales.

Unite members working in health and social care are reporting the pressures on them are increasing on a daily basis.  Staff are working heroically but the strain on them and their families is immense. Covid is devastating the lives of Unite members and the communities in which we live and work. The measures announced taken by Welsh Government today are therefore proportional and vital.

Richard Munn, Unite Wales Lead Officer for Health commented: “The measures are tough but are a sacrifice worth making in order to save lives and protect the NHS. Without these new measures introduced by Welsh Government our members tell us that the NHS will become overwhelmed. Years of Tory austerity and cuts to public funding mean that the Welsh Government has no other option than to implement the measures announced yesterday.

"No one wants more restrictions but the First Minister and the Health Minister are showing real leadership in making this tough call in the interests of the health of our nation. The highest priority of every trade union is to ensure workers are safe at work. The new measures announced by Welsh Government reflect this core trade union principle by making the safety of workers and the public the number one priority.

"Unite pays tribute to all of our brave and hardworking health and social care workers that will be keeping the NHS running over Christmas. This will undoubtedly be the hardest Christmas that any of them will have experienced. We can and must support them by following the rules and do everything we can to reduce our social contacts to the absolute minimum. We are appealing to all our members and the wider Welsh public to act in solidarity with workers in the NHS by asking themselves ‘should I be doing something, rather than can I do it?”

ENDS 

For further information please contact Glyn Conolly on 07974 131771.

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.