Following the announcement today (Friday 20 March) by the chancellor Rishi Sunak of measures to direct state money to millions of UK workers in order to fend off economic collapse, the leader of Unite the union has described the measures as 'historic, bold and very much necessary'.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "This is the package of measures that trade unions like Unite have been pressing for as the most effective way to stave off mass hardship and the conditions for a depression.  

"We recognise that these are huge decisions for any government, and especially for a Conservative government, but they have listened to the calls for action and have acted appropriately. Rishi Sunak's wage support measures are a historic first for this country, but are bold and very much necessary.  

"The key to any wage support programme is that it needs to be simple, straightforward and above all fast. This is the only way to put money into the pockets of the millions who see their livelihoods hanging by a thread.

"This will definitely be some relief amid all the fear in households across the UK this evening. Never before has the country faced a crisis of this nature. People who were only days ago in secure work are now worried sick about putting food on the table in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The chancellor has done the right thing and we look forward to working further with him in the coming days to get this money into the hands of those most in need."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more about Unite's work during the coronavirus crisis to keep workers and the public safe, and to protect jobs and incomes, click here.

For more information please contact Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861

Email: pauline.doyle@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.