Royal Mail has been in dispute with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) for over a year. In March this year, CWU members delivered a massive 94.5% YES vote in favour of strike action with a turnout of 63.4%, easily exceeding the requirements of Britain’s regressive trade union legislation for the third time in less than three years.
However, recognising the ongoing crisis and the key importance of their role, the CWU decided to postpone any industrial action until lockdown measures had passed.
Former care worker and Labour MP Nadia Whittome revealed today (May 6th 2020) that she had lost her job at Nottinghamshires’s Lark Hill retirement village for speaking out about a lack of PPE. The MP for Nottingham East, who returned to work at the care home a month ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed that she was told on Tuesday (May 5th 2020) she would no longer be given shifts due to her comments.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock instructed Labour MP and A&E doctor Rosena Allin-Khan to watch her “tone” in during an exchange in Parliament today (5 May 2020).
During the Health and Social Care Questions session Dr Allin-Khan alleged that the government’s testing strategy was “non-existent” and that “testing figures are now being manipulated” after it emerged uncompleted tests were being counted towards the government’s 100,000 tests a day figure.
The Welsh National Health Service should be applauded for playing a leading role in Britain’s coronavirus treatment programme by extracting Covid-19 convalescent plasma from healthy blood to help patients develop immunity by providing antibodies to combat the virus.
In the same breath, Welsh Labour and Tory ministers in Westminster should be ridiculed for neglecting to act on the cross-government UK pandemic drill, Exercise Cygnus, which took place in October 2016 and accurately concluded that the NHS would be plunged into an enormous crisis by the outbreak of a highly infectious and deadly strain of influenza.
Like other regions of the UK and many other parts of the world, Cornwall has been on lockdown since the end of March with many workplaces having shut down and many workers having been furloughed. Governmental failings have been repeated here, as elsewhere, with lack of PPE and protection for essential workers and vulnerable people.
The critical failure of our government in to Britain in the wake of the Coronavirus becomes more apparent as the days go by. In the initial period of the crisis, much of the British press looked to Italy with shock horror at how the virus had managed to take hold, yet little over a month later, Italy looks to be improving while the UK Government fails to maintain promise after promise.
An explosive BBC Panorama Documentary on the 27th revealed that gloves were being counted individually to reach a figure of 1 billion items of PPE provided to the NHS. The Tories have come under fire from all sides due to the significant lack of adequate Personal Protective Equipment available to NHS staff dealing with COVID-19 patients. Over 100 members of NHS staff have now succumbed to the virus, and many have said they are terrified of going to work due to a lack of protective equipment.
May Day has long been the central focus in the Labour Movement’s annual calendar, but it is not the sole day of action that recognises the efforts of working people. International Workers Memorial Day is celebrated every year on the 28th of April and while it does not have the same proud tradition that International Workers Day has, it remains a poignant day to remember those whose lives have been lost while at work.
The new Nightingale Hospital Birmingham temporary hospital was revealed to be empty on Sunday (26 April 2020) over 10 days after it’s completion. The facility was constructed over an 8 day period by military and clinical staff and is managed by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. Despite having capacity for up to 500 patients, to be drawn from 23 hospitals across the Midlands, it remains completely unused.
On the 22nd April, communists around the world took part in birthday celebrations like no other. 150 years previous, leader of the Great October Socialist Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, was born. While the Coronavirus has changed our lives and restricted our ability to campaign, it has not hampered our spirit, nor our pride in remembering the heroes of our movement who came before us.