Saturday April 4, 2020
For the road ahead

Unions calls for emergency coronavirus taskforce


The TUC, which URTU is an affiliated member, has today called on the government to set up an emergency taskforce to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The TUC says ministers should urgently pull together unions, employers and government agencies to come up with a plan for minimising the economic and health impacts of the virus.

The union body says the taskforce's main priorities should be:

  • Designing an emergency support package to prevent businesses from folding and workers losing jobs and pay
  • Ensuring public services are kept running and public sector workers are protected from the virus
  • Fixing the UK's sick pay rules so that every worker has financial support regardless of how much they earn

The TUC points to the recent example of the Carillion taskforce, established by the government, employers and unions in 2018 following the collapse of the outsourcing company.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:

"We urgently need a national task force to deal with coronavirus. This requires a joint approach.

"Getting unions, employers and government agencies around the table will help contain the damage to the public health and our economy.

"Ministers must do all they can to protect public services, workers and businesses."



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