The Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions

TUC: Chancellor’s short-time working scheme is a significant step forward

24 September 2020 / Campaign | News

Responding to the chancellor’s statement today (Thursday) announcing a winter protection plan for workers and the economy, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Unions have been pushing hard for continued jobs support for working people. We are pleased the Chancellor has listened and done the right thing.

“This scheme will provide a lifeline for many firms with a viable future beyond the pandemic.

“But there’s still unfinished business. Unworked hours under the scheme must not be wasted. Ministers must work with business and unions to offer high-quality retraining, so workers are prepared for the future economy.

“And we’ll be looking closely at the details to make sure there are strings attached.

“The government should target help at industries facing a tough winter, and provide more support for families most at risk of hardship and debt.”

On the further action now needed, Frances O’Grady said:

“We must use this period of protection to make the economy more resilient and to plan a strong recovery. Ministers must quickly get Test and Trace working properly, so it’s fast and reliable through the UK. And enforcement bodies must get more resources to make sure all workplaces safe.

“A National Recovery Council should now be convened, bringing together government, business and unions. We can use the winter months to plan an economic spring, with fair rewards for key workers and good new jobs in green industry. Let’s get moving on a national plan to build that together.”