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Unions demand change for low paid and key workers following the fallout from coronavirus

UNIONS have demanded a sea change in the treatment of low-paid and key workers in the wake of the coronavirus.

The world of work has seen dramatic changes in the past 100 days, exposing the inequalities that exist across industries, unions said today.

John Phillips, acting general secretary of the GMB union, said: “In the wake of this pandemic, we will see huge changes to business and whole industries.

“Looking forward to the next 100 days and beyond, we must see a change in the way people view key workers, many of whom are low paid, who we’ve all relied on to keep us safe and the country moving during the crisis. Clapping is not enough.

“We need a joined-up national plan on personal protective equipment, testing and tracing, alongside sector-by-sector support and investment to avoid an economic tidal wave that will cost millions of jobs.”

“GMB wants everyone to get back to normal, too; but we’re facing a new normal for quite a while yet, and ‘business as usual’ is over.”

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said: “Lockdown has shown that big changes in the world of work are possible, with millions working remotely and from home for the first time.

“But it has also exposed age-old inequalities in our labour market, with low-paid and insecure workers like carers and cleaners being forced to take on the most risk.

“As we emerge from this crisis, there is an opportunity to create a better and fairer and economy: one that has decent work, fair pay and flexibility for working families at its heart.”

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