Responding to the launch of the Labour party's campaign (Thursday 30 July) to defend jobs and protect communities from mass unemployment in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the general secretary of the country's leading union, Unite's Len McCluskey said:

"Redundancy notices have been raining down like confetti in recent weeks.  Working people and communities are terrified of what the coming months will bring.  

"Unions like Unite have been working tirelessly throughout this crisis to defend jobs and pay, and keep workers safe.  But if we are to avert the jobs loss tsunami that we fear will sweep through our communities this summer, we need the government to act and to do so urgently.  

“At the moment, however, after the initial positive support from the chancellor Rishi Sunak, we are now talking to a governmental brick wall.

"If more jobs go, as we fear they will, in the coming weeks in sectors that simply need some short-term governmental assistance in order to come out of the other side of this crisis, it will be because of a criminal lack of political action. 

"It is very welcome then that Labour has joined the charge to force this government to do more, and, with urgency, to keep people at work and earning.

"The governments of Spain, France, Germany and elsewhere have all acted to safeguard the jobs of their workers.  The workers of the UK deserve nothing less than the same backing from their government and we will determinedly link arms with Labour to win this for them."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org  

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.