Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 July 2021

Workplace and trade union

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety

Government and management attacks and incompetence are the main cause of the spread, photo London Socialist Party

Government and management attacks and incompetence are the main cause of the spread, photo London Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Katrine Williams, PCS trade union rep

The Tories are setting up another colossal experiment which could put wave three of the pandemic into super-exponential growth. Placing all the blame on us.

The 'learning to live with Covid' mantra just means the Tories are happy to accept more people will die and do nothing about it. This same phrase was repeated by the Welsh Labour Government health minister. The trade union movement must bring pressure on the devolved politicians to not just follow in Johnson's reckless footsteps.

Leaving the virus spread unchecked means it is more likely to mutate and become resistant to the vaccine. This is on top of the fact that a significant proportion of people are not fully vaccinated. Even those who have had both jabs can still contract Covid, spread the virus, and become ill.

Any increase in hospital admissions will put impossible pressure on exhausted NHS workers. The failing track-and-trace service must be brought into the public sector. We need to stop the Tories' plans to reduce the need to self-isolate which is the only effective way to break transmission. They are placing too much confidence in the rapid lateral flow tests that US regulators have recommended be thrown in the bin because of the danger of spurious performance claims.

One in five of those who have tested positive for Covid-19 have been affected by long Covid. In many cases this has a severe impact on people's ability to do day-to-day activities.

While the Tories are rushing to dump all the safety measures, employers still have a legal duty to protect workers from harm. They must risk assess the workplace and trade unions must ensure that employers take into account that the risks associated with Covid-19 are still severe, with life-threatening or long-term debilitating consequences from contracting the virus.

Trade union demands

Trade unions must make demands on employers to protect workers and the public by:

Where work does need to be done in the workplace unions must demand:

Unions must mobilise

Trade unions must mobilise our members to prevent any attempts to remove safety measures in workplaces. Alongside using the health and safety legislation on serious and imminent danger (Section 44 of the 1996 Employment Act), where necessary

It is also clear that the fight for safety must address the impact of austerity, which has been a major contributing factor to the high Covid-19 death rate that has swept through working-class communities.

The fight for safety needs to include wider demands for job security, decent pay, reversal of cuts to our services, affordable good quality housing and a shorter working week, with no loss of pay. As well as resisting any attempts by the Tories to make us pay for the pandemic.

Starting with the current issue of the Socialist we are entering our fortnightly summer schedule so that the editorial staff can take a well-earned break. The next issue will be published on 29 July. For updates see

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 14 July 2021:


NHS: Kick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

Scrap the privatising health and care bill

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers


We cannot trust this government over Covid: Fight for a new workers' party

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety


Pride is protest - Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism

LGBTQ+ workers' charter

Workplace news

Dagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT

GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure

Brush workers into eighth week of strike

Workplace round-up


New wave of radicalisation in Latin America

Putting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

Kazakhstan: Solidarity with protesters attacked by regime forces


Keep the Universal Credit uplift

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

Wealth chasm widens

Right-wing study concludes youth like socialism


Youth Fight for Jobs is back

We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

Stop Pimlico gentrification

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign

Readers' opinion

England football team

Farewell Leicester Square - the story of Britain's first black bus driver

Readers' comments


Home   |   The Socialist 14 July 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Workplace and trade union:

triangleKick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



People's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts


Climate change

COP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables



Fight for a socialist recovery



Tories to blame for GP crisis



Container delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning



Fight to defend homelessness services



Socialist nationalisation not bailouts for the bosses


Climate change

Save the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe



Cynical Johnson government no friend of workers



Workers need a pay rise



Fight for the pay rise we deserve



News in brief



Social care funding needed now


Climate change

Build a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies



Socialism 2021 event: 19-21 November 2021

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021