Extraordinary times

NHS workers demonstrate over PPE
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We are living through extraordinary times and Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an unprecedented challenge for the country and workers in every sector especially in the NHS, Social Care, Passenger Transport, Bin and Waste Collections, Supermarkets, cleaning etc. 

I would like to take a moment to remember all those who have lost their lives to Covid19. Some of these workers are our families, friends, colleagues and members of Unite. 

While we must do what we can to spread hope and strengthen workers everywhere during this most difficult of times, it is very important that we reflect on all those lives that had been lost in the call of duty – and also demand a full inquiry into the devastating impact of Covid19 on Black and Asian Ethnic Minority (BAEM) workers.

Every step must be taken by those in authority to address this devastating disparity. 

It’s important that we study the available data in order to have a detailed understanding of how and why Black and Asian Ethnic Minority (BAEM) were at the receiving end of the pandemic. There have been speculations about the reasons, but what is certain is that Covid19 has further highlighted the inequalities faced by BAEM communities. 

BA plan to slash 12 thousand jobs

As I am writing this, another devastating piece of news was announced – British Airways (BA) plans to slash up to 12,000 jobs due to a collapse in business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Poverty is already decimating our communities, and these job losses will impact yet further.

The BA announcement is very worrying and I hope it won’t become the trend in the coming days as other employers also take advantage of the crisis to cut costs and realize a long-standing agenda to stop workers from organising. 

We as a union cannot accept that these job losses are the solutions or the way forward. We must fight it and we need to look at what can be put in place to stop this in order to sustain jobs. Our key strength as a union has always been our togetherness – our unique sense of solidarity. 

Susan Matthews 

Unite EC BAEM Representative