In common with everyone else, we are horrified by the evolving COVID19 pandemic. We are still only in the foothills of the challenges that face us, both in relation to public health and the economy, but it is already clear that the impact will be felt most by those who can least afford to bear it. We have seen and heard stories of appalling treatment of migrant and other vulnerable workers, some of whom are being detained in squalid camps, as well as the spectre of mass lay-offs of staff all over the world.
We are facing an unprecedented sudden and substantial decline in both the demand and supply sides of the global economic system. In response, many governments are enacting measures designed to protect incomes and soften the worst impacts of this crisis, we applaud those efforts. However, there have also been examples of migrant and other vulnerable workers being treated in appalling ways. This has to stop.
COVID19 was not created by workers and they should not be made to suffer its consequences. We call on governments and businesses around the world to treat all workers, particularly those in insecure or precarious work with compassion and dignity in these difficult times.
Whilst the public health emergency is rightly at the forefront of our minds, we must also begin to plan for the post COVID world. Governments, corporations, NGOs, professionals and unions must find a way to work together to design better, more sustainable supply chains, which respect both workers and the environment.
Crises are often the cauldron of innovation and we hope that this crisis, when it ends, will leave a legacy of greater sustainability in the economy. Governments are demonstrating that they can intervene for the public good, we encourage them to continue to do so. We also wish to recognise and encourage the many progressive and responsible companies who are standing by their colleagues, providing financial and other support to keep jobs filled and incomes protected. We are discovering the limits of what is possible when we work together against a common enemy, we hope that when better days return we will retain that sense of purpose and solidarity in building a more sustainable and collaborative economy.
We wish you all well.
James Sinclair, Founder and CEO
Anisha Rajapaksa, Director of Stakeholder Engagement.