The following post was put up by the Peoples Assembly here.
Zero Covid Charter
Please ensure that this is adopted by your trade union, CLP, campaign group or any other organisation you are involved in.
- We face a single health and economic emergency. There is no health solution without an economic solution, nor any economic solution without a health solution. We do not accept that members of our family, our friends, or workmates must suffer death and illness to ‘protect the economy’, nor do we accept that we must lose our jobs or livelihoods to halt the pandemic.
- The resources that our society contains, human and material, should be there to halt the Covid pandemic and reset the economy.
The current Chancellor’s bailout scheme was worth £350 billion. But the bailout of the banks reached a peak of £955 billion in 2009, nearly three times greater. Ten percent of the UK population own just over 50% of the nation’s wealth, and corporate wealth is at an all-time high. Britain’s wealth can be made available to the whole of society through a programme of emergency public ownership and wealth and corporation tax measures.
- We reject solutions which pit one part of the country against another, or which leave frontline workers, the old, black and ethnic minorities, the disabled, school or college students exposed to the virus.
- We demand a track and trace system which really is world class, provided by the NHS and not by any privatised firm or private contractor whatsoever. It must be fully integrated with local health and social care institutions.
- We demand that any vaccine is controlled and distributed by the NHS.
- We insist that in the second wave of Covid all frontline workers should have adequate PPE, provided by a publicly owned production facility, and full pay if off sick.
- We propose that no Covid positive patient is released into a care home, and that the government brings forward an immediate plan to take social care into the NHS.
- The NHS must be staffed, resourced and managed so that it does not become a ‘Covid only service’ and its wider health care responsibilities are maintained.
- The full furlough scheme must be reinstated immediately, with adequate funding for devolved governments, extended to the self employed, and small businesses must be given the support they need to retain employees.
- We recognise that over 60 percent of the population want a circuit breaker national lockdown which includes schools and colleges. We add our voice to theirs. As the crisis accelerates there is no such thing as a safe or “non-spreader” workplace or public transport to it. We call for closure of all but essential workplaces with comprehensive state support for jobs and pay. Such a lockdown should carry clear exit criteria.
This is the only proven way to halt the second wave of infections that the government’s neglect and big business agenda has unleashed, and to prepare a track and trace system which can prevent the need for endless lockdowns. We have no confidence that the current government will adopt these positions and therefore we call on workers and their organisations to make them happen by:
A) Refusing to work on health and safety grounds in all but essential workplaces
B) Organising activities in local communities to bring about a Britain wide lockdown, and make it work for the benefit of the people.