Cross party support for Alliance for Full Employment grows

Cross party support for AFFE is growing following an appeal  from the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday (Sunday) to support full employment as “a moral concern” 

And today (Monday), amidst AFFE warnings that youth unemployment will hit 1 million by the end of this month, a former  Conservative Minister and two key worker unions, Unison and CWU, pledge their support to join the battle to stop the health crisis escalating into a mass unemployment crisis. 

Former Conservative Minister,  Baron Jim O’Neil of Gatley, a driving Conservative force behind the creation of the  “Northern Powerhouse” has welcomed the AFFE economic plan to stop the health pandemic from becoming a jobs catastrophe.

Lord O’Neill who has written extensively about the needs of the North and about the employment strategy required to level up the North, says, “The biggest economic issue of our times is high levels of unemployment. And recognising the need for working together – locally, regionally and nationally – to deal with the current jobs emergency and the need for good employment that is well paid and fulfilling. I  welcome the  Alliance for Full Employment.”

Lord O’Neill’s support comes on the day (today) we publish The Youth Report: A Million Reasons To Act which reveals a staggering one million under 25s will be out of work by the end of this month. And that number is expected to swell to 1.5 million under 25s by the new year if the government does not act. 

And health workers union, Unison and the postal and telecom workers union, CWU,  are lining their members up behind AFFE’s plans to persuade the government to extend job protecting furlough schemes in times of local lock down, to introduce a Youth Job Guarantee Scheme and to advance investment in green infrastructure jobs.

Said Unison General Secretary, Dave Prentis,
“The COVID catastrophe isn’t just a health crisis, it’s rapidly becoming a jobs catastrophe too. Public service workers trying to keep communities safe need a strong economy and a secure future for the country too. 

“That’s what the Alliance for Full Employment plan provides. It’s a proper plan to rescue jobs and create new ones without throwing millions onto the dole. The government should adopt its sensible proposals.”

Said CWU General Secretary, Dave Ward said
“The CWU fully supports the jobs alliance plan set out by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The governments disastrous handling of the Covid crisis shows we cannot trust them to deliver for working people. Only the Labour movement coming together will protect and deliver the millions of jobs that will be needed to save our economy and build a future on the post-Covid world.”

In a public letter to former Prime Minister and AFFE co-founder Gordon Brown, Archbishop Welsby wrote,
“In the post war years it [full employment]was never a party-political issue and should not be so now.

“It is a fundamental matter of respect and love for our neighbour that in our nation the economy is meant, among other things, to serve the cause of fulfilling work for all.

“I call on all those of good will across the political spectrum as well as employers and businesses and a wide range of employee groups to support and encourage what you are proposing. I hope it can rapidly gain cross-party support.” 

Said an Alliance spokesperson:
“We welcome the support of Baron O’Neill and thank him for the role he will play. We welcome the support from Communication Workers and Health Workers too. It is vital we all come together to harness the talent across the nations, regions, cities, towns and islands of Britain in the urgent task of preventing mass joblessness.” 

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