The recent imposition of COVID-19 restrictions so close to Craven is a timely reminder that the pandemic is still present and dangerous.

Many workers in this area will be in daily contact with people from the neighbouring region or working in the affected areas.

The Labour Party along with the TUC is concerned that some workers are being cajoled into unsafe working. Anybody worried about their workplace safety can contact the Health and Safety Executive confidentially to report an unsafe working environment. The safest workplaces are those with an organised trade union.

I would like to urge those workers not currently trade union members to join a union. Details on the appropriate union can be found on the TUC website. In addition to improving your chances of working safely and surviving the pandemic, being in a trade union offers some protection against the forthcoming job losses.

The Craven Herald reported recently how more than 50 per cent of firms surveyed locally are considering redundancies. The unions are experienced in negotiating ways of minimising job cuts, so please, consider joining.

As a footnote can I ask any employers to support their workforce joining trade unions? We all like to think that we are always right, but really we know this isn’t true.

An organised union provides a way for your workers to put their side of things in a structured manner. You might find they have some good ideas. I’m sure most employers want their staff to be safe, and good union Health and Safety representation is the most effective means to this end, so support your workers and their union.

Peter Bell

Trade Union Liaison Officer Skipton and Settle Labour Party