At our November Federal Conference, we put forward a discussion of the Solidarity Federation’s response to the pandemic. Many of our members have been agitating for better material conditions in the face of shameful Government inaction, and we have here attempted to crystallise what we want.
There is not an expectation that these demands will all be met in full, but we make them nonetheless because it is the sort of thing we want to see, as our movement grows along with its leverage.
As such, we demand the following:
- Free PPE for all essential workers.
- Extension of furlough until at least Summer 2021. (now extended till September 2021)
- The formation of workplace-based and worker-led Health and Safety committees, whether as part of existing reformist Trades Unions or independent.
- The introduction of a 25 hour working week with no reduction in pay.
- No cuts to local councils for essential services in the future to “compensate” for expenditure during the Covid-19 crisis. Austerity has always been an economic lie (i.e. it is not at all necessary and never has been).
- No increase in basic income tax to “compensate” for expenditure during the Covid-19 crisis.
- No wage freezes, as the Government announced would be applied to the public sector.
- Full, fast and clear financial support for those having to self-isolate to compensate for loss of earnings.
- Full support for parents having to stay at home to care for children when self-isolating.
- Full support for carers.
- Roll-out of a range of “green” jobs and greater support for cooperatives, with the aim of a more sustainable future.
– The members of Leeds Solidarity Federation