COVID-19
SIPTU General Officers Notice to Members

19th March, 2020

Dear Member,

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has created profound uncertainty over the health and financial security of working people and their families across the island. Our members are deeply concerned with the effects of this crisis on their jobs and families.

SIPTU members are operating at the front line of this emergency across all sectors of our Union in both the public and private sector.

Hundreds of thousands of people are being laid off from their jobs, or placed on short-time working, and these numbers will increase over the coming days and weeks and for the foreseeable future, until the crisis abates.

During this emergency, the principles of social justice and solidarity, upon which this Union is founded, must be applied if we are to ensure that our society overcomes, and recovers from, this unprecedented public health crisis.

In this regard, we would like to set out some requests and proposals which, we believe, can help to mitigate the worst effects of the threat posed by the COVID-19 crisis to our physical and financial security.

We would ask you to ensure that you adhere to the advice provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE) with regard to hand washing, face touching, cleaning of surfaces, social distancing and, where required, self-isolating in order to delay and contain the spread of the virus. Up to date information from the HSE on Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available from the website www2.hse.ie and on Callsave 1850 24 1850.

SIPTU is calling on employers to ensure that guidelines issued by the HSE and other informed agencies in respect of health and safety precautions and social distancing at work are adhered to.

SIPTU is also calling on employers to continue to pay workers at least their net pay during this crisis in order to protect the basic living standards of members. We support the call by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on the Government to introduce a scheme immediately that subsidises the net income of those laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis. We are also calling for the emergency payment for workers who have been laid off to be immediately increased from €203 per week to €305 per week. Up to date information on Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection payments for workers is available on the website www.gov.ie and on Callsave 1890 800 204. The application form for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment can be downloaded here. This should be returned Freepost to Social Welfare Services, PO Box 1650, Dublin 1.

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