“Waltham Forest United for PPE” Campaign: Press Release

Revelations that more than 200 health and social care workers have died as a result of contracting the Covid-19 virus has prompted a number of campaign groups and individuals in Waltham Forest to come together to demand that essential workers are provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as a matter of course.

The campaign was initiated by WF Trades Council – which represents union members in the borough. It has been joined by representatives of political and community organisations – such as the WF Mutual Aid groups, the Waltham Forest Workers’ Coronavirus Support Group and Leyton & Wanstead Labour Party – as well as concerned individuals.… Read on ...

Shut The Sites

Following Boris Johnson’s speech calling on the construction industry to return to work, workers have released a video on social media that calls the government strategy social murder. The video was produced by the grassroots Shut The Sitescampaign, which is calling for the closure of all non-essential building sites and for all workers to be paid irrespective of whether they are employees, self-employed or agency workers. The video has contributions from 5 construction workers and a 9 year old daughter of a building worker being forced back onto site, but also features:

  • Professor Steve Tombs from the Open University who describing the new return to work strategy says “the government must know that construction workers are exposed to and unwitting carriers of coronavirus.
Read on ...

Overcrowding on trains and Tube today

In the light of the crowds we have seen packed on station platforms, commuter services, and the Tube in London, Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ trade union, said today:

‘Today was, sadly, a day every ASLEF member could see coming. Photos are emerging all over social media of Tube trains and commuter services packed with people unable to socially distance in line with government recommendations.

‘People are getting understandably angry. I am, too. But I’ll tell you whose fault it isn’t. First, those who are travelling on these services. Nobody, considering the risk to which they are exposing themselves, and their loved ones, would travel on these services if they didn’t feel they had to, either through economic necessity or because they are key workers.… Read on ...


Education unions’ statement on the safe reopening of schools
Unions with members in the education sector are today (Wednesday) publishing a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools.
Today’s statement follows a longer statement to the Secretary of State on Friday (8 May), which set out in full detail the principles and tests necessary for the safe reopening of schools. It is signed by AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, Prospect, UNISON and Unite.
Full text of today’s statement:

“We all want schools to re-open, but that should only happen when it is safe to do so. The government is showing a lack of understanding about the dangers of the spread of coronavirus within schools, and outwards from schools to parents, sibling and relatives, and to the wider community.… Read on ...

Press Release


With the news of increasing numbers of c-19 infections and deaths in east London combined with the continuing reports of the failure to provide workers with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) and training, trade unions in Waltham Forest have set up an on-line petition calling for swifter action to protect workers and patients lives.

Linda Taaffe, Secretary, Waltham Forest Trade Union Council, said:

We should not be expecting those front line workers who care for and aid recovery of the elderly, unwell and dying to have to risk their lives any more to deliver that care.

Read on ...

The PFI Scandal

“All trust debts should be wiped clean by the Treasury, and contracts renegotiated and brought back into public ownership on grounds of poor value. The premise of PFI that the private sector is more efficient in delivering and managing infrastructure projects has repeatedly been shown to be false,”
Dr John Puntis, retired paediatrician, co-chair of Keep Our NHS Public

The Barts Trust is deeply in debt and sinking deeper, with projected deficits for 2014-15 rocketing upwards from £43m at the end of December to £93m, according to its February board papers – or even as much as £100 million, according to the Health Service Journal

The financial problem has been a ticking time-bomb beneath the surface ever since the then Bart’s and the London Hospital Trust was given the go-ahead in 2006 to sign up for the costly £1.1 billion scheme to redevelop both Bart’s and the Royal London, financed under the ruinously expensive Private Finance Initiative (PFI).… Read on ...