View from City Hall: Support for workers must continue

PUBLISHED: 08:30 15 August 2020

Unmesh Desai AM is fighting for workers as pandemic continues.

Unmesh Desai AM is fighting for workers as pandemic continues.


The re-imposition of quarantine on some returning from abroad and the suspension of plans to ease lockdown further are a sign that the government is still concerned that another wave of infection could come at any time, so as individuals we must continue to act with appropriate caution and follow the restrictions on how we live, meet and work.

I am also concerned about the government’s plans to wind down the Job Retention Scheme over the coming months.

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Just last week, I met with constituents from two very different industries – employees of the Tate Galleries, who are facing significant redundancies among cafe and shop staff, and others who work in the airline industry, which is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.

The latest figures show that almost 1.3 million Londoners are currently on the furlough scheme, many of these in the hospitality, construction and entertainment sectors that have been the hardest hit by the outbreak.

As recently as June, we saw claims to the scheme rise by a fifth in the capital, providing yet more evidence that winding it down now and putting it to a complete end in October could risk the livelihoods of thousands of Londoners.

I, alongside many others, will continue to call for the government to support workers across the country as this pandemic runs its course.

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