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Unite, the largest trade union in Northern Ireland, said it was the region’s workers who were being punished by the “failure” of local politicians to deal with the Covid-19 crisis there.
Responding to the announcement of new restrictions, Neil Moore, Unite’s organiser for the hospitality in the region said local workers in the sector “feel they are being kicked whilst they are down and will once again be paying the price for this global pandemic”.
He added: “The politicians have failed to control the virus and hospitality workers feel they are being punished for that failure. Many will face redundancy or having to survive on two-thirds of the paltry minimum wage ahead of Christmas.”
Northern Ireland’s Retail Consortium, while welcoming the decision to keep the retail sector open during the four-week shutdown, called on the public entering shops to play their part by washing their hands, keeping their distance and wearing a mask in stores.
Aodhán Connolly, the director of the consortium, also appealed to the public in Northern Ireland to avoid another wave of panic buying as “supply chains remain robust and goods are flowing freely so there is no need to stock up”.