Trade unions, mayors, MPs and councillors demand 80% Covid wage support

Sienna Rodgers

Trade union general secretaries, mayors including Sadiq Khan, Labour MPs and councillors have come together to release a joint statement setting out a series of demands for the next phase of coronavirus.

Declaring that the government’s handling of Covid-19 has been “disastrous” for lives and livelihoods, the statement urges those in power to follow the “whatever it takes” approach that the Chancellor originally vowed to adopt.

The signatories are demanding 80% wage support in an extended furlough scheme, an increase in statutory sick pay and extending SSP eligibility to all workers, plus more resources for public services.

Brought together by Unite the Union, supporters of the statement come from across the labour movement – from Len McCluskey to Usdaw’s Paddy Lillis, and from FBU’s Matt Wrack to Community’s Roy Rickhuss.

Many of the Labour MPs are from the party’s left, such as Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott, but the list also includes current frontbencher Tracy Brabin, ‘moderate’ backbencher John Spellar and veteran George Howarth.

Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham, who has made waves in recent days by demanding stronger support from government for the low-paid and self-employed, is among the mayors who have signed up to the statement.

The demands come ahead of Chancellor Rishi Sunak providing a fresh economic update in a House of Commons ministerial statement on Thursday. This will be his third economic policy statement in a month.

Labour urged the government to offer a “fair deal” for those workers living in Tier 3 areas, currently only being offered 67% furlough rather than the previous 80%, but this motion was defeated today by Tory MPs.

The influential Resolution Foundation has recommended that the Treasury prioritise protecting the incomes of those whose work is affected by local lockdowns and limit the upcoming rise in unemployment.

Below is the full text of the statement and list of signatories.

This government’s handling of the pandemic has been disastrous for people’s lives and their livelihoods. We have the highest death rate in Europe and it continues to grow. We are sliding into the deepest recession in history with mass unemployment, poverty and the widespread destruction of our communities threatened.

The government said at the start of the crisis that they would do ‘whatever it takes’. Instead, by failing to provide support for businesses, jobs and incomes, they are denying people the help they desperately need.

Ministers must urgently provide a comprehensive financial package of support to protect jobs and incomes, in the way France, Germany, Spain and others are doing, including an extension of the job retention scheme with 80% wage support, action to support incomes, helping people to self-isolate by increasing the level for statutory sick pay and enabling all to claim it, and equipping our public services with the resources they need.

Sadiq Khan, mayor, London
Andy Burnham, metro mayor, Greater Manchester
Steve Rotheram, metro mayor, Liverpool
Jamie Driscoll, metro mayor, North of Tyne
Marvin Rees, mayor, Bristol
Len McCluskey, general secretary, Unite the Union
Paddy Lillis, general secretary, USDAW
Dave Ward, general secretary, CWU
John Phillips, general secretary, GMB
Mick Whelan, general secretary, ASLEF
Matt Wrack, general secretary, FBU
Manuel Cortes, general secretary, TSSA
Roy Rickhuss, general secretary, Community
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary, NEU
Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary, NUJ
Faiza Shaheen, director, CLASS
Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive, NEF
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John McDonnell MP
Dan Carden MP
Zarah Sultana MP
Andrew Gwynne MP
Diane Abbott MP
Jon Trickett MP
Apsana Begum MP
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP
Sarah Owen MP
Paula Barker MP
Olivia Blake MP
Nav Mishra MP
Nadia Whittome MP
Mohammed Yasin MP
Margaret Greenwood MP
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
Mary Foy MP
Ian Byrne MP
Kim Johnson MP
Richard Burgon MP
Kate Osborne MP
Ian Lavery MP
Ian Mearns MP
Grahame Morris MP
Mick Whitley MP
Jon Cruddas MP
Claudia Webbe MP
Rachel Hopkins MP
Beth Winter MP
Clive Lewis MP
Sarah Champion MP
Rosie Cooper MP
Tracy Brabin MP
Paula Barker MP
George Howarth MP
John Spellar MP
Virendra Sharma MP
Jack Dromey MP
Jessie Joe Jacobs, Labour candidate for Tees Valley mayor
Jennie Formby
Baroness Christine Blower
Cllr Andy Western, Leader, Trafford
Cllr Peter Lamb, Leader, Crawley
Cllr Elaine Murray, Leader, Dumfries and Galloway
Cllr Matt Dent, Southend-on-Sea
Cllr Noordad Aziz, Hyndburn
Cllr Ruth Bennett, Liverpool
Cllr Salma Mumtaz, Nottingham
Cllr Silvana Kelleher, Lewisham
Cllr Nina Killen, Sefton
Cllr John Vickers, Wigan
Cllr Maureen Worby, Barking and Dagenham
Cllr Rachel Massey, Rochdale
Cllr Mike Kearns, Knowsley
Cllr Margaret Mullae, Barking and Dagenham
Cllr Majid Mahmood, Birmingham
Cllr Archie Dryburgh, Dumfries and Galloway
Cllr Peter Bradbury, Cardiff
Cllr Christine Martin, Cannock Chase
Cllr Mike Roberts, Rushmoor
Cllr Tony Concepcion, Liverpool
Cllr Melvyn Worth, Cumbria
Cllr Paul Peacock, Newark and Sherwood
Cllr Rob Fail, Wyre
Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester
Cllr Sarah Doyle, Liverpool
Cllr Sean Halsall, Sefton
Cllr Danny Gee, Chorley
Cllr Gary O’Donnell, Leicester
Cllr Ibrahim Dogus, Lambeth
Cllr Stan Hill, Halton
Cllr Christine Roberts, Wigan
Cllr Carla McQueen, Cambridge
Cllr Nazia Rehman, Wigan
Cllr Marina Asvachin, Devon
Cllr Danny Myers, York
Cllr Ben Clay, Manchester
Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton
Cllr Yousuf Motala, Lancashire
Cllr Sue Waddington, Leicester
Cllr Mark Blake, Haringey
Cllr Lily Bath, Hounslow
Cllr Peter Davis, Oldham
Cllr Maureen Bateson, Blackburn
Cllr Lorraine Beavers, Lancashire
Cllr David Meller, Stockport
Cllr Martin Donaghy, Bolton
Cllr Peter Smith, Crawley
Cllr Lesley Walton, Swansea
Cllr Neil Gethin, Doncaster
Cllr Michael Hood, Gateshead
Cllr Harry Howard, Halton
Cllr Michael McPake, North Lanarkshire
Cllr Brian Smedley, Sedgemoor
Cllr Ian Wingfield, Southwark
Cllr Gary Hewson, Lincoln
Cllr David Hughes, Doncaster
Cllr Rob Vernon, Cheshire East
Cllr Jill Lovecy, Manchester
Cllr Francesco De Molfetta, Lancashire
Cllr Kevin Richard, South Derbyshire
Cllr Des Thomas, Swansea
Cllr Aisling Gallagher, Lewisham
Cllr Eddy Newman, Manchester
Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, Nottingham
Cllr Stephen Homer, Tameside
Cllr Surinder Singh Purewal, Hounslow
Cllr Alistair Chisholm, Newcastle
Cllr Michelle Gregory, Hackney
Cllr Samantha Charles, Malvern Hills
Cllr Hassan Ahmed, Nottingham
Cllr John Edwards, Sandwell
Cllr Mike McCusker, Salford

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