Our Ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/359/21
20th September 2021
To: The Secretary
WORKER LED AND FUNDED RESEARCH ON COVID AND LONG COVID
Your National Executive Committee (NEC) met on 15th September 2021 to discuss a report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee relating to a resolution carried by the London Transport Regional Council:
The health and safety of workers and the protections we have in place rely heavily on research. We believe that along with asking our employers to fund and organise research, it is vital that research is commissioned by trade unions in order to be worker led.
The impact of Covid and Long Covid will affect workers for years to come, so it is vital we move swiftly and invest as a trade union movement in the long term task of researching the link between occupation and Covid and the effect of long Covid on workers.
This Region asks that the National union:
1. Co-ordinate with the TUCG and TUC in order to establish a trade union funded research programme that looks at Covid and Long Covid from a worker’s perspective.
2. Contributes financially to the setting up of this research along with co-ordinating getting funding from other unions.
3. Ensures the research is worker lead, with reps and activists involved in the process.”
The report adopted by the NEC is as follows:
We note the resolution received from London Transport Regional Council.
RMT NEC have recognised previously the threat to our members potentially posed by long Covid, when we met earlier this year to consider a resolution received from North West & North Wales RMT Regional Council on long Covid. Arising from this resolution is the RMT document https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/publications/long-covid/.
We recognise that medical knowledge as to the impact of long Covid is constantly evolving and that no piece of research at this current time, when this is such a new disease, can be considered to be the definitive understanding of the matter.
We instruct the GS to write to TUCG and TUC with the RMT document, explaining that further research is required in relation to this topic as long Covid will continue to pose a significant problem for our members, many who work in front-line roles, at a time when the governments of the UK have removed many if not all of Covid controls thereby putting many of our members at risk of contracting the virus, as the virus is spreading freely in the community. And for any research that maybe commissioned by the TUC/TUCG to involve trade union activists.
Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.
Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.