MP backs union call to protect laundry workers


    Bell Ribeiro-Addy
    Bell Ribeiro-Addy
    Picture: Wikimedia/David Woolfall

    Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy is backing a petition launched by the Lambeth branch of the Unison trade union for proper protection for workers doing NHS laundry, including full sick and isolation pay.

    It says that staff of Elis, which has a laundry on Acre Lane in Brixton, must have the strongest possible health and safety arrangements:

    • Guaranteed full pay from day one of any self-isolation due to symptoms, medically recommended isolation, or sickness absence
    • More frequent breaks for hand-washing and adequate supplies of soap, water and any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).

    The petition calls on the government to ensure all NHS contractors follow these basic public health precautions.

    It says: “In a public health crisis all workers should ensure they can be safe. No one should be forced into a dangerous situation due to poverty or financial detriment as they could put themselves and others at greater risk.

    “It is a vital that all workers in the workplace whether directly-employed or outsourced and regardless of contractual status, are guaranteed full pay from day one of any self-isolation or sickness absence. Without these measures, the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus will be quicker and therefore far more deadly.”

    The union branch has also published guidance for Lambeth council workers on the pandemic and other updates on its website.

    The petition in on