Thursday, May 21, 2020

O'Grady Says

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, has had enough of the bombast from Boris. 

“But if we’re using war analogies,” she says, “there have been times during this crisis which have had the feeling of the first world war, with the army generals camped hundreds of miles from the front line ordering troops over the top.”

“I think there have been a string of failures,” she says. “We were late on lockdown, late on mass testing and PPE. We’ve got the highest number of deaths in Europe. This was not a success and they’ve got to learn lessons.”

“We now know the real price of inequality,” says O’Grady. “This time working people can’t pay the price for recovery. People will not put up with that. I think the big issue is how do we grow our way out of this and what kinds of industries and jobs will help us do that.”

She says. “We have built hospitals in days, have had to radically transform the way we live and work within days. I think we’ve run out of excuses about creating a carbon-free economy.”

“This crisis has made us question everything,” she says. “It’s shown that we are going to look after our families, but we want to look after our neighbours too. We have to shift the balance of power. It can’t just be a case of the boardroom says, and everybody else does. I think we’ve learned that social solidarity matters.”

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