The Socialist 21 April 2021 |
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Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital
The Trades Union Congress confederation has produced hard facts showing what the Socialist has long argued: namely, that workers on zero-hour contracts and in other precarious jobs are twice as likely to have died from Covid-19 compared to other, more secure, occupations.
Covid-19 death rates among male workers in insecure jobs was 51 per 100,000 people aged 20-64, compared with 24 out of 100,000 in more secure work. For female workers the rate was 25 per 100,000, compared with 13 per 100,000 in higher-paying secure jobs.
Needless to say, the absence of and poor level of sick pay (some two million workers don't qualify for Statutory Sick Pay) was forcing many low-paid precarious workers infected with Covid into work.
Clearly, trade union recruitment of the unorganised and trade union oversight of safe working conditions, along with enhanced sickness benefits, is vital.