Wigan trade unionists demand people before profit in Covid-19 recovery

Wigan Trades Council has endorsed a number of actions the People Before Profit campaign is demanding the government takes to improve its response to the novel coronavirus.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 7:00 am
Wigan Trades Council is backing the People Before Profit campaign

Trade unionists have slammed ministers for handling the first wave of Covid-19 poorly and fear the continuing presence of the virus in the country will mean mass job losses, businesses closing and people struggling to find work and make ends meet.

To prevent this happening the campaign has come up with eight policies it wants to see implemented, a plan which is being fully backed by Wigan Trades Council.

The emergency programme of measures calls for the furlough scheme to be extended for at least 12 months, for unions to be given the job of signing off whether workplaces are Covid-secure or not and for a top rate of tax of 83 per cent to be put in place.

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The campaign also wants an end to outsourcing and services such as mail, health, water and energy brought back into public ownership, a programme of green investment to produce a million climate jobs and the scrapping of the controversial Universal Credit and the so-called Bedroom Tax.

The final points are for a strengthened trade union movement and policies of unity and equality opposing discrimination on grounds of race, gender, sex or disability.

Wigan Trades Council’s endorsement of the plan, proposed by Dave Lowe, said: “We face an avalanche of job losses, more austerity and more attacks on pay and conditions.

“We need a fightback across workplaces and communities to demand that ordinary people won’t pay for a crisis that is not of their making.”

Barry Conway from Wigan Trades Council said: “We want to bring people together to talk about the issues affecting them in schools, in factories and offices, or worries about their jobs.

“We can make demands but governments and institutions only listen when people start to take action and something is building on the ground.

“We think too many politicians are not taking a lead on this and it’s something we should be doing.

“Some people will say these things we are campaigning for are pie in the sky, but we are just asking if they are demands people would like to see. If they are, then they are worth fighting for.”