Commenting on today’s silence to remember and give thanks to all the workers who’ve died during the pandemic, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:
“It was incredibly moving to see the entire nation fall silent and pay its respects to all the health, care, council and transport workers who’ve tragically lost their lives to the virus.
“The sight of government offices, workplaces and homes across the UK pausing for a moment of quiet reflection brought home the overwhelming sense of gratitude we all feel.
“While most of us were safe at home, these workers were putting themselves in harm’s way, saving lives and looking after patients and the elderly in our hospitals and care homes.
“It’s sadly inevitable that more key workers will fall victim to the virus. The government must now do everything within its power to ensure plentiful and frequent supplies of protective equipment to all workplaces that need it. This must be backed by a comprehensive, accessible and prompt testing system for all key workers and their families.
“Today’s tribute showed how much we appreciate the UK’s key workers. And we must continue to value them when this is all over. We must never forget how the entire country relied upon them all throughout the pandemic.”
Notes to editors:
– Just over a week ago, UNISON, along with the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Nursing, launched a campaign calling for a minute’s silence to remember all the health, care and other key workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus. The 11am silence was held on International Workers’ Memorial Day, which every year commemorates workers who have died around the globe.
– The campaign hashtags for the minute’s silence are #neverforgotten and #iwmd20.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.
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