Daily briefing 12/5/20

News

As workers face going back to work tomorrow without proper health and safety protections, now is the time to join a union, if you are not already a member, and to encourage your friends and family to do so. If you’re not sure which one, the TUC has a handy Unionfinder tool.

A group of workers has put together this handy leaflet on your legal rights to a safe workplace and what you can do if you believe it isn’t safe.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have set up a dedicated email inbox for trade union reps to report any concerns to around coronavirus at work.

Drawing attention to s.44 of the Employment Act 1996, which protects workers who refuse to come to a workplace they believe to be unsafe, Shadow Employment Secretary Andy MacDonald argued that this situation could be obviated if employers were mandated to register and make public health and safety risk assessments after consultation with health and safety representatives.

The NEU tells its members that it is not safe to return to school on 1 June.

17 members of the Socialist Campaign Group, including Jeremy Corbyn, decried Boris Johnson’s statement as “a thinly veiled declaration of class war.”

So, stay home, save lives—JOIN A UNION!

Events

The World Transformed and Momentum team up for their weekly zoom call tonight at 6:30pm to ask “Why is Coronavirus hitting BAME communities hardest?”—with Suresh Grover (Director, The Monitoring Group), Shavanah Taj (acting General Secretary, Wales TUC), Roger McKenzie (UNISON), and Dr. Sonia Adesara.

New articles, podcast episodes, and resources

Richard Burgon speaks to Tribune about the Coronavirus fallout and the cost of 40 years of neoliberalism.

For Novara economist James Meadway writes that “Sunak’s Furlough Rollback Shows the Government’s Priorities Are All Wrong.”

Writing in the Guardian, economist Simon Wren-Lewis sets out why “we can’t restart the economy until we get the Coronavirus under control.”

Yesterday marked the launch of the Progressive International, a global initiative with a mission to unite, organise and mobilise progressive forces around the world.

At the Virtual Social Centre

If you have a suggestions for resources we should post, especially about health and safety in workplaces, or for questions you want answered, please let us know. Also get in touch if you have ideas for political education events you’d like to host or stories you’d like to tell about workplace or social struggles.