Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed the strong and positive response of Labour leader Keir Starmer to the Omicron variant and is encouraging members to get their booster jab as soon as possible.

Keir Starmer – Leader of the Labour Party said: “It’s more important than ever to get Britain boosted to protect our NHS and save lives. The arrival of the worrying new variant is a reminder that the pandemic is not over and vaccines are the best weapon in our fight. So let’s keep our foot on the pedal and get Britain boosted to protect our families, friends and NHS.”

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The spread of the new Omicron variant is a worrying reminder that the pandemic isn’t over and that we can only defeat it by acting together. The best way to do that is to get vaccinated. If you can, make sure you get your first two doses and, when eligible, your booster.

“Usdaw members working in retail and distribution have kept food and vital supplies on the shelves throughout this difficult period. We all need to do what we can to protect them, other key workers and ourselves, our families and friends. We have come so far already, let’s get through this together.

“We are continuing to ask employers to support their staff to get their jab. We are also calling on retailers and the Government to reintroduce social distancing and other safety measures in stores.

“With a rapid increase in cases, it is also vital that the Government addresses the inadequate level of Statutory Sick Pay. Ensuring that workers can afford to take time off when they are sick is a vital public health measure.

“Everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of the Omicron variant, so we are encouraging the shopping public to wear a mask, keep safe and respect shopworkers.”

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