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Covid-19 Latest News

MP MARION BACKS LOCAL AVIATION WORKERS

BA AND ROLLS-ROYCE ANNOUNCE REDUNDANCIES AND ‘FIRE AND RE-HIRE’ WITH REDUCED RIGHTS

This week, Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has defended workers of British Airways (BA) and Rolls-Royce (RR) and condemned the decision to sack hundreds at RR, and fire and re-hire thousands on contracts with reduced terms and conditions at BA.

BA have taken the decision to dismiss 12,556 of its workers and ‘fire and re-hire’ the remaining 42,000 on reduced contracts.

Likewise, RR have announced that 700 jobs will be cut by bosses at their Inchinnan plant.

Both have blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for a loss in business, but Mrs Fellows has written to BA and RR CEOs to call for bosses to engage with trade unions to minimise hardship.

Mrs Fellows, who is backing Unite the Union’s aviation campaign, has also written to the Prime Minister and UK Transport Secretary to call for them to intervene to protect the sector, jobs and incomes.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“The announcement from BA and Rolls-Royce to sack workers and reduce rights will unfairly hit their workers hard – especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bosses must engage with trade unions and the UK Government must intervene to support the aviation sector and jobs.

“BA is betraying its workforce. Their decision to fire and re-hire workers on reduced contracts is predatory and utterly despicable. BA bosses are putting profits before the welfare of its workers.

“The Scottish Government has invited RR to discuss how the plant and workers can be supported. RR must engage with the Scottish Government and trade unions to find a way forward to minimise hardship.

“The UK Government must roll up its sleeves and intervene to protect jobs by issuing the aviation sector deal they promised in March and follow the Scottish Government’s lead in giving the industry 100% business rates relief for a year.”

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MOTHERWELL & WISHAW MP JOINS CALLS FOR BORIS JOHNSON TO SACK DOMINIC CUMMINGS

“THERE CANNOT BE ONE RULE FOR THEM AND ANOTHER FOR THE REST OF US”

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows has joined calls for Boris Johnson to sack Dominic Cummings – after it emerged that police investigated the Tory Prime Minister’s most senior advisor for breaking his own government’s lockdown rules.

Over the weekend, it emerged that Mr Cummings broke multiple lockdown rules to drive 260 miles from his home in London to another home in Durham.

Pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson to sack Mr Cummings. More than 400,000 people have signed a petition calling for Mr Cummings to go, hundreds of constituents have contacted MPs with their concerns, and YouGov polling shows a majority think Mr Cummings should resign.

Meanwhile, Durham Police have confirmed a fresh investigation into Mr Cummings after further allegations of rule-breaking emerged.

Commenting, Marion Fellows MP said:

“People in Motherwell and Wishaw have made huge sacrifices over the months to obey the rules, while Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser was breaking them.

“There cannot be one rule for them and another for the rest of us. People must have confidence that the Tory government is following its own rules – not being investigated by the police for breaking them. The Prime Minister must sack Mr Cummings without further delay.

“People are understandably questioning Boris Johnson’s judgement on this. The fact that there has been a Downing Street cover-up, with the public kept in the dark for eight weeks until newspapers uncovered the story, makes it even worse.

“Questions over the Tory cover-up will only grow unless credible answers are provided, which is why the SNP has called for an urgent Cabinet Office inquiry.

“In Scotland, the clear public health advice has not changed. The Scottish Government will review the current rules on Thursday and hopefully this will lead to a gradual easing of some restrictions, evidence permitting.

“But for now, people in Motherwell and Wishaw should continue to stay at home – it really is helping to save lives.”

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SNP CALLS FOR GUARANTEE OF RETURN OF SATURDAY DELIVERIES

ROYAL MAIL MUST PROVIDE CLARITY ON WHEN SERVICE WILL RETURN

In a letter to Royal Mail CEO, Rico Back, SNP MP, Marion Fellows, has called for the Royal Mail to review its decision to end Saturday deliveries and for a guarantee and clarity on when full service will return.

Ending Saturday deliveries goes against Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation. People will now have to wait at least three days for letters sent on a Friday.

Royal Mail said that ending Saturday deliveries is “temporary”, but have provided no clarity on when the service will return. They say the decision to end Saturday deliveries was made due to “high levels of coronavirus-related absences and necessary social distancing measures”.

On National Postal Workers Day on Wednesday, Mrs Fellows and the SNP called on the UK Government to renationalise Royal Mail to ensure workers welfare and services are maintained in the public interest.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“Royal Mail must bring Saturday deliveries back and commit to engaging constructively with the Communications Workers Union on any changes to service or conditions and find a mutually agreed solution.

“Royal Mail have provided no clarity on when Saturday deliveries will return. They must to commit to a date or criteria to give reassurances that it will in fact return and that this is not part of a long term plan to tear apart a valued service.

“The Universal Service Obligation is being undermined and both communities and the workforce will be adversely impacted by this decision.

“Royal Mail must be brought back into public ownership so its workforce and the public can oversee and achieve the service we expect.”

Mrs Fellows letter to Royal CEO, Rico Back

Dear Mr Back,

I am writing to you regarding Royal Mail’s announcement that Saturday deliveries for most items will now be ended.

While I understand now is an exceptionally busy time for Royal Mail and that absences will be affecting service, I am concerned that the decision to end Saturday deliveries is undermining the Universal Service Obligation.

This decision could have a negative impact on Postal Workers – despite Royal Mail’s stated intention. But it could also have a drastic impact on communities who not only rely on Royal Mail’s services, but also the community links that many Postal Workers provide. Royal Mail must be able to act in the interests of its workers and the communities it serves. I do not believe the decision to end Saturday deliveries reflects these obligations.

I was very concerned to hear that the Communications Workers Union was not consulted on this decision despite a Royal Mail statement saying that it had “listened to [your] hardworking colleagues”. It is essential and fair for the union to be consulted on any changes to service or conditions rather than decisions being made and passed down from management. Will you agree to continuing Saturday deliveries whilst a full and proper consultation is carried out with the CWU in order to find an alternative and mutually agreed solution?

I am concerned that the end of Saturday deliveries will continue past the covid-19 pandemic. Will you commit to bringing back Saturday deliveries as before; and will you provide clarity on a date or criteria for when Postal Workers and communities can expect this service to return if no alternative solution will be sought?

Sincerely,

Marion Fellows MP

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COMMUNITIES TOGETHER – SERVING BELLSHILL, MOSSEND & THORNIEWOOD

Communities Together – based in the Bellshill YMCA – will launch on Monday to assist people dealing with coronavirus, including:
– Delivering food parcels and other essential items;
– Providing shoppers to assist with getting your messages in;
– Collecting and delivering prescriptions;
– Befriending for those feeling especially isolated.

You can each them on 01698 74 74 83 or via email ContactUs@communitiestogether.scot.

If you want to volunteer, click here.

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RADIO LAW RELAUNCH

Radio Law based at University Hospital Wishaw are relaunching on Monday 27th April. Tune in then. They are seeking to provide a link between patients and staff in hospitals with their loved ones outside. Much needed at this time. You can get in touch to give someone a shout out. Hopefully the sun will be shining and it’ll be another thing to brighten up your day.

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Covid-19 Latest News

LOCAL PEOPLE STEP UP

‘Good stuff from Gopi for NHS’

People like Mr Ageer and his family are demonstrating the importance of community. In the midst of this pandemic, we must all see to do what we can to support one another – especially our frontline workers.

This can be small things like following the government’s advice to stay home or volunteering with a local group or Ready Scotland.

Thank you to the Ageers and the many others working across the constituency, Scotland and the rest of the UK to do their bit in minimising hardship.

To volunteer, click here.

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Covid-19 Latest News

CLEAR YOUR HEAD

Isolation can be a stressful experience. It’s important to take the steps, however small, to protect your mental health, like getting some exercise or taking a break from social media.

The Scottish Government has launched Clear Your Head to support you during this time. Click here for more info.

If you need more support, you can visit my support directory by clicking here.

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CHILDREN GOING WITHOUT MAINTENANCE

Children cannot be forgotten amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Where a parent-with-care is not receiving payments or where calculations have been reduced because a non-residents parent’s income has been cut, the UK Government must step in and provide Minimum Maintenance Payments directly.

Most non-resident parents are continuing to support their children during this difficult time. But some are using the pandemic to unjustly lower calculations and halt payments altogether. With almost half of single-parent families living in poverty, the UK Government cannot simply abandon them. An increase in Child Benefit and an MMP will protect children from the hardship caused by the pandemic.

I wrote to Thérèse Coffey (Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) on the 30th of March. I still haven’t received a response. I hope she is considering these proposals carefully and looking seriously at how these vulnerable children can be supported.

For further info, click here.

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PMQs: CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME

Many workers are falling through the cracks in the covid-19 income schemes. We must have a Universal Basic Income for everyone so everyone can live with dignity and not in hardship.

There is widespread public support for this. The UK Government must seriously look at implementing a UBI – not just reject it and allow thousands to go without.

Read the signed letter to the UK chancellor here.

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Covid-19 Latest News

KIRSTY JONES: “DEVOTED HER LIFE TO CARING FOR OTHERS”

It is very upsetting to hear that Kirsty Jones, a healthcare support worker in Lanarkshire, has passed away due to covid-19 on Monday. My thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues.

Kirsty’s husband, Nigel, said she “devoted her life to caring for others”. From reading the comments from those close to her, Kirsty’s selflessness and work ethic is apparent. A true credit to our NHS and the communities it serves.

Kirsty’s death is a reminder of the essential work that she and other NHS staff are doing on the frontline to tackle covid-19. We must all continue to recognise the work of Kirsty and her colleagues and do what we can, however small, by following advice to stay home in order to make it easier for our NHS to bring a halt to the pandemic.