26th April 2020 – A WEEK OF ACTIVITIES TO HIGHLIGHT THE ROLE OF KEY WORKERS
The purpose of this communication is to set out significant dates for next week which will form part of a wider TUC response to highlight the role of key workers during the COVID19 pandemic.
The CWU has been instrumental in calling for a collective response from the whole movement to build on the way wider society is finally recognising jobs that have been undervalued for decades, including some undertaken by CWU members.
This is about connecting two themes that everybody can relate to. Firstly, that we cannot go back to the way work was seen before this crisis and secondly, that we set the narrative on the New Deal for Workers’ Campaign.
The activities that will take place next week are set out below:-
Workers Memorial Day on 28th April
The TUC will be calling for all unions to join a national minutes silence at 11:00.
The CWU will support this by holding a minute’s silence on the CWU Facebook page at this time. We understand that 11:00 is not practical for many of our members and therefore we will ask colleagues, for example in Delivery Offices, to fall silent at 07.30. Branches can support this by publicising the minutes silence and using your local knowledge to judge when the best time will be for groups of depot/shift workers. We ask you to share the images and videos of these moments on your social media pages.
Posters, graphics and resources to support the day are available here:-
Branches will be aware that Workers’ Memorial Day is long established in the international trade union calendar. However, given the tragic circumstances of so many key workers losing their lives during this pandemic, the TUC and CWU believe it is right to raise the profile of this day and focus the whole movement on showing our respects to all workers who have lost their lives making sacrifices for others. In this regard the content of this LTB supersedes the LTB sent out by Ray Ellis earlier in the week.
National Postal Workers Day on 29th April
This is a separate initiative from the CWU to link in with the week’s activities and a full plan for this has been communicated to Postal Branches. Again, Branches will recognise this as a long established day in the CWU calendar, reflecting the connection and identity that postal workers have in wider society. We encourage the whole union to get behind this next Wednesday using #PostalWorkersDay
May Day – 1st May
Branches will know that the 1st May (May Day) has long been established through the trade union movement as international workers’ day and is supported annually by rallies in towns and cities across the UK. This year the TUC will be increasing the profile of May Day and work has been undertaken to ensure that all unions play their part in the activities that will take place on the day. These include the following:-
- Each union has committed to a flagship video showing their members at work, the value of their work to wider society and specifically linking the themes of we cannot see the world of work going back to normal, with the call for the new deal.
- There will be a short video from every General Secretary in the TUC, released simultaneously, explaining why the world of work cannot go back to normal and why Britain’s workers need a new deal.
- Unions are encouraged to host a Facebook live session and the CWU will be doing this in the early evening with a number of high profile guests. This will enable the union movement to engage with our members and the public on why we need to change the balance of forces that govern the world of work. Further information on this live Facebook session will be shared in due course.
The above May Day activities are in addition to the normal May Day rallies that this year will be taking place online and which the CWU will be contributing to.
The Coronavirus pandemic has been life changing for our members, their families and society. This is a moment where we must reassert trade union values by encouraging collectivisim and campaigning for positive change to the insecure and low paid employment models that have unfortunately become part of the foundation of the UK’s economy.
The week’s activities are also an opportunity for the whole of the CWU to showcase to society the role and value of our own key workers in BT, all internet workers, call centres, the Post Office and Royal Mail. We will also utilise the week’s activities as a thank you to our own members and representatives for the dedicated and courageous work they have undertaken throughout the pandemic and we will be encouraging the public to do likewise.