Workers Memorial Day: Remember the Dead, Fight for the living

Workers Memorial Day is held every year on the 28th April to commemorate those who have been injured or died in the workplace.

This year is perhaps more poignant for those in DWP due to the terrible effects of Covid. At the start of the pandemic in the UK, sadly a number of workers from DWP offices died. My thoughts are with the families and friends that have lost loved ones, and the colleagues of those sadly passed away. We also have in our thoughts a number of people who caught Covid and are suffering long term effects and struggling to continue to work or are not yet back working, and will continue to fight to get the department to exempt Long Covid under our attendance policy.

Throughout the pandemic the Left Unity led GEC have negotiated to ensure measures are in place to make the offices as safe as possible and succeeded in getting almost 90% of staff working from home, while those who wanted to be in the workplace for personal reason could continue to do so. This ensured for a number of days that no offices were closed for a deep clean as there had been no suspected or confirmed cases in our sites.

This is not now the case. The Secretary of State has demanded DWP open offices further as the high street is now open and the DWP jumped to do her bidding. Unfortunately, we have had some local managers trying to outdo each other in getting more staff in regardless of whether it was safe to do so.  Since this idiotic decision we are once again getting daily closures due to cases.  We have remonstrated with senior management over this and despite obstacles being put in our way we are trying to ensure that the procedures put in place minimise the risks, though we know the best way to minimise the risk is to maximise those working from home.

So I urge you to take a couple of minutes on the 28th April to remember those killed or injured in the workplace…. and lets fight for the living. 

Carol Revell

Can is standing for the DWP GEC as part of the Left Unity slate. Click on the image below for more information.