Crisis-hit UK: this is not the time to stop furlough, Unite leader warns
- Thursday 30 September 2021
With a fuel supply crisis, a mounting cost of living crisis and parts of the economy still operating under Covid-19 restrictions, the general secretary of the country's leading union, Unite, says that ‘this is not the time’ to end the furlough scheme today (Thursday 30 September).
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Working people need more than platitudes from politicians. They need money in their pockets and jobs secured. Despite its faults, furlough has helped many through the crisis. This is not the time to stop furlough.
"As general secretary of Unite, I issue a warning to any bad boss who might seek to use the crisis as an opportunity to make workers’ pay for this pandemic: I will not stand by and allow you to cut the pay, terms and conditions of my members.”
The coronavirus jobs retention scheme ends today (30 September), even though over one million workers are still being paid in some form by the scheme, including thousands in aviation where the union has been urging the government to bring in fresh support measures.
Unite's assistant general secretary with responsibility for aviation, Diana Holland, said: "UK aviation still faces restrictions. It's very far from back to its pre-pandemic passenger levels and its immediate future is still very uncertain.
"Thousands of jobs have gone and many more now hang in the balance. Adapting furlough would provide support for these workers in the coming months as the sector seeks to recover.
"We are only asking for the same support that our competitor countries are providing to their aviation sectors. The UK government is allowing our sector to be placed at a huge disadvantage when it should be giving it a helping hand through these difficult months."
Unite is dedicated to protecting and improving the jobs, pay and conditions of working people.
Notes to editors:
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Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.