In a recent article in The Guardian, Ellie Mae O’Hagan writes about the effect of the pandemic on the workforce and of Unions’ assistance in reducing its impact on its members. Reporting on a study carried out by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS), she states that “On many occasions, trade unions effectively did the government’s job for it. They protected people’s health and safety, enforced the furlough scheme and prevented redundancies.”
The BFAWU draws particular mention for its campaign for forcing Wetherspoons to pay its workers through lockdown. She also cites Greggs, a company with which BFAWU has a recognition agreement, as being an example of a company who tried to ensure that “staff … didn’t lose money”. The report itself identifies that “industries and workplaces that are heavily unionised were able to insure better protections from the economic impacts of the pandemic than others”.
The clear message here is that workforces who are properly unionised suffered less detriment as a result of the pandemic than those that aren’t.
The view the article in full, go to https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/06/pandemic-britain-trade-unions-jobs-workers-furlough