Unite regional secretary for the North West, Ritchie James, said: “The first and foremost priority during this crisis must be to save lives.

“If a tiered lockdown system is required to achieve that then Unite will support it, especially if the need for a blanket approach that causes even more damage to people’s freedoms, livelihoods and general wellbeing is prevented.  

“Unite has thousands of members across the North West, from manufacturing and the food and drink sector to the NHS and local government, and it is absolutely crucial that an increase in restrictions is accompanied by an increase in support for impacted communities.

“By all indicators the crisis is set to worsen over the winter months. It is essential that the government implement localised furlough schemes for all staff who cannot work from home and ban evictions for those in danger of being cast into the street.

“Extra resources must also be available for local authorities and NHS trusts, who will bear the brunt for the demand in services that new lockdowns will bring."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

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.