Hazards Campaign calls for the UK government to adopt immediately a zero-Covid19 policy with prevention of work-related infection and transmission a priority – or the resignation of the Prime Minster
Press Statement For Immediate Release 31/7/20
Hazards Campaign demands the Government implements a policy of zero Covid-19 transmission to drive down infection rate, save health and lives and ends it’s knee jerk reactionary responses to the transmission which blames individuals rather than its own incompetence.
The Government has created a chaotic and irrational response to the continuing transmission of the virus, ignoring work as a major site of infection and transmission, which will inevitably lead to deaths and more people left with debilitating health conditions. It will also prevent any return to normal life.
Last night’s 11th hour announcement in Greater Manchester, parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, for a partial return to lock-down is causing community mistrust and anger as it comes just a few hours before Eid and affects many Asian communities. It shows panic and lack of consultation and planning, and will lead to confusion about the rules and mistrust of following them.
The government lockdown came too late, and eased restrictions too early in a race to return to work when it had not met even its own five tests, let alone Hazards Campaign and teaching union more stringent requirements. Government failures on test, track and trace left local councils and public health authorities without sufficient information such as where people work. It has deprived them of the tools needed to stop outbreaks fast and to communicate concerns with their communities about the continuing track to returning to restricted living.
For Government policies to work, they have to have the trust and confidence of the population but this Government has failed to gain that support. In fact through actions like the ‘Cummingsgate’ saga, they have destroyed and sabotaged the support they need to protect lives. Stupid announcements that accuse ordinary people of failings while at the same time exonerating officials and ministers who fail to act in accordance with their own laws, is putting the return to work and lives at great risk .
The UK and in particular England has one of the worst death and transmission statistics in the world. This isn’t because we are unlucky but because the Government has failed to act, failed to protect and failed in its job to put the health of its people before profits. Workers health is public health. The Government failed to prevent transmission and spread of Covid-19 at work. By not providing good information, support and enforcement action for workers it is creating environments for the virus to spread at work, amongst workers’ families and into the whole community. This is nothing less than ‘social murder’.
The Hazards Campaign calls for Government to immediately adopt a zero-Covid19 policy with prevention of work-related infection and transmission a priority or the resignation of the Prime Minister if he refuses to do this. We call for financial resources and support to involve workers, their unions, health and safety authorities and local public health in stamping out the pandemic at work.
Janet Newsham, Chair of Hazards Campaign said:
“We are calling for the resignation of the PM because he has lost the trust and confidence of the population and with that the ability to drive the virus out of our country which is essential for the future mental and physical health of its people”
‘The North of England is in chaos, following closely behind the Leicester saga and hundreds of workplace outbreaks across the country since the unplanned chaotic return to work started. People are angry that pubs and restaurants will stay open when visits to family are stopped. It makes no sense and will not protect and save people’s lives, nor will it regenerate the economy, it will only extend the misery that this Government has inflicted on its people.’
‘Much of the current mess is because of failed enforcement in workplaces, failed lock-downs and controls of the risks, none of which has been mentioned but the Government chooses to blame individuals and not their own incompetence.’
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Contact: Janet Newsham