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Unite Legal Services: Weekly coronavirus COVID-19 latest news round-up – 05 July 2021

red rectangle on cream background with black text  CORONAVIRUS COVID-19

At Unite Legal Services, we’ve collated the latest news and information regarding employment matters and workers’ rights in relation to coronavirus COVID-19 developments.

29 June 2021

Reading hospital security guards renew strikes in July, as Unite calls on NHS bosses to take them back ‘in-house’

NHS bosses should take the security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading back ‘in house’, after the guards announced new strike dates for July against their outsourced employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd.

Unite the union said the new strike dates would run from 07.00 Monday 12 July until 24.00 Saturday 31 July, after the 20 security guards voted by 84 per cent for strike action.

Unite regional officer Jesika Parmar said: “The security guards, who have been on the COVID-19 frontline for the last 16 months, voted overwhelmingly for a renewal of strike action as Kingdom Services Group continues to treat them in a shabby way over pay, and health and safety concerns.”

Reboot furlough urgently to avert autumn jobs crisis as country told to `live with COVID'

The drop in furlough support from 80 per cent to 70 per cent - with business making up the 10 per cent shortfall - could well push fragile employers to the wall, Unite warned.

With some three million workers still on furlough and the UK encountering its highest COVID infection rates since the peak time of January this year, Unite the union said that the crisis is far from over and called on the government to urgently rethink its approach to support for workers. The government plans to reduce furlough support in stages from July before ending it altogether on 30 September. 

Take this moment to step up or see the UK lag behind in global green economy race

Amid speculation that the UK could at long last see its first giga-factory manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles, Unite called for the government to pick up the pace on green investment - or see the UK fall behind as a major economy.

Speaking at the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT) summit in London, Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of Unite, warned that the politics of “soundbite and rhetoric” coupled with “dither and delay” that this government has become known for during the COVID-19 pandemic, is all too evident in UK manufacturing.

He also warned that the government is failing to intervene, invest and support on the scale needed to both meet our climate change commitments and match competitors in the United States and Germany.

30 June 2021

Scottish government’s slap in the face to local government workers condemned

The three trade unions representing local government workers across Scotland have written to the Scottish government condemning their decision not to provide additional funding to COSLA to improve the local government pay offer.

The trade unions state that local government workers have gone above and beyond in their response to the COVID pandemic – a fact which has been underlined in the recent Accounts Commission report ‘Local Government in Scotland – Overview 2021’ and recent surveys of their members experiences over the past year – and deserve reward and recognition for their efforts.

Get more support

For more information on how we are fighting to protect the health and safety, and economic stability of our members during the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, please visit the Unite the Union advice hub.

If you are in need of further advice on an employment law query during the crisis, you can visit the Unite Legal Services coronavirus COVID-19 page, or call Unite’s dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 Legal Advice Line on 0333 202 6557.

COVID-19 personal injury claims

Unite has set up a specialist legal team to advise and represent members who have suffered injury as a result of COVID-19

If you have suffered injury from developing COVID-19, or have tragically lost a family member to the condition, then please call Unite’s COVID-19 PI team on 020 8799 4023.