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Greens defend workers’ rights to refuse to work in unsafe conditions

Confusing message from Prime Minister could lead to lives lost

Green Convenor Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, in reaction to the speech from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has commented:

“Last night, in a garbled recorded message, the Prime Minister said ‘Those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work…’

“Greens are clear that like the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we do not think there are any enough clear signs that it is safe for workers to return to work in the city.

“We are very worried that the Prime Minister’s statement will act as nothing other than a charter for more workers to die and contract Covid-19.

“As we have done since the start of the pandemic, we will continue to push for the strongest measures to protect workers and PPE for all workers who require it. Before workers are required to work, all concerns about access to protective equipment must be gone and there must be much stronger guidance in place. We will also continue to press for public safety on things like public transport, in shops and in our open spaces. In addition, we stand with our schools and the staff and parents who remain deeply worried about safety.

“The law is very clear that where there is real risk of “serious and imminent danger” workers have the right to refuse to return to work in unsafe conditions. We are very clear that Greens will support workers who refuse to work in unsafe conditions.”

“With the appalling absence of national leadership, and the dangerous mixed messages, we are advising residents- Brighton & Hove: continue to stay at home.

“We can’t wait to have visitors back, but to anyone thinking of coming to our wonderful city. Don’t. Not till it’s safe.”

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