“Before anything else, I want to thank you and, through you, all UNISON members who have played such an astonishing part here in Wales over the past two weeks to help us deal with the flooding.”
That was the message from Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford when he welcomed the union’s community conference and seminar to Cardiff this weekend.
“The reaction of public service workers has been absolutely astounding.”
Many delegates and visitors had experienced a hint of what effect that had when flooding in Pontrypridd and Bridgend disrupted their travel to Cardiff on Friday.
South Wales Police declared a critical incident as storm Jorge hit the area over the weekend.
But the effect of flooding is not a one-day experience, said the first minister. And UNISON members will be there helping people put their lives back together long after the waters receded, he acknowledged.
“So for everything you do – and everything you and the organisations you represent will go on doing,” Mr Drakeford told his audience of housing, community and voluntary organisation workers: “Thank you. I want you to know you appreciated by the Welsh government.”