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July 12, 2021

RMT asks UK politicians to delay easing Covid-19 measures

Despite the soaring numbers of new Covid-19 cases, UK PM Boris Johnson is expected to finalise later today the final stage in the roadmap to lockdown. The government’s decision prompted the response of the National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers, which has asked for continued protection for transport workers.

By Ilaria Grasso Macola

The National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has asked UK PM Boris Johnson, to protect transport workers by keeping in place certain Covid-19 restrictions on social contact.

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In a letter addressed to Johnson as well as Welsh and Scottish First Ministers Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon, RMT general secretary Michael Lynch demanded reassurance that measures such as the obligation to wear masks, social distancing and enhanced cleaning and ventilation aboard public transport would be retained.

“This week we risk seeing a bonfire of the very regulations that have protected passengers and workers,” he said. “As well as scrapping such obvious protections of face coverings we are also concerned that operators will want to scale back on other protections such as enhanced cleaning.”

According to Lynch, if measures such as wearing a mask become optional, it will reduce protection for passengers and workers alike, and create confusion throughout the whole system. The union has also demanded the UK Government avoid confusion when it comes to cross-border rail services

Any changes to the measure should be previously agreed upon with the workers’ union and not unilaterally decided at the government level, explained Lynch.

“Many of the Covid measures that are currently in place in the transport sector have been as a result of consultation and agreement with RMT and other unions and I would be grateful for your assurance that all measures to address the pandemic must remain in place unless, on the basis of the evidence, there is agreement with the unions to do otherwise,” he added.

“As you know transport workers have risked and, in some cases, tragically lost their lives and the very least they deserve is for governments to support the principle that changes should be through consultation and agreement with these workers and their unions.”

The British PM will hold a press conference later today to delineate the final step in the roadmap to lockdown, despite 30,000 new cases of Covid-19 registered daily.

“We must all take responsibility, so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect the NHS,” the BBC reported Johnson as saying.

 

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Navigate your business through the ‘new normal’

COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines the world over. It has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities.  Faced with an explosion of conflicting information on how to plan and implement successful recovery strategies, decision-makers are in dire need of a single, reliable source of intelligence.   GlobalData’s COVID-19 Executive Briefing gives you access to unparalleled data and insights to successfully navigate the uncertain road to recovery across the world’s largest industries. Understand every aspect of this disruptive theme by delving into: 
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  • Economic impact overview, covering stock market indices, GDP, unemployment rates, policy responses & GlobalData’s economic recovery scorecards 
  • Sector developments, with access to sector insight summaries, cross-sector indices and the leaders and laggards in each industry vertical 
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