No business wants to endanger employees, but we should add workers to list of heroes, says Quigley

Labour’s Richard Quigley says that rather than demonise firms such as GKN, Vestas and Vikoma for keeping their staff working, we should add the brave men and women going into work to the list of heroes and do everything we can to keep them safe

Richard Quigley

Julian Critchley, Chair of Island Labour, shares this latest news. Ed

Island Labour’s 2019 Parliamentary candidate, Richard Quigley, today thanked Island workers for their continued efforts during the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Quigley said:

“I think it is right that we all applauded our hard working NHS staff on Thursday night. They have been coping with a lack of resources long before Covid-19 struck, and this crisis has highlighted further just how much of themselves they put into their jobs.

“The police and fire crews must also be acknowledged for stepping up too. However, when you think about it, whilst many of us may be lucky enough to be somewhere safe, there is a whole list of workers out there keeping everything going.

“There are Islanders putting themselves on the frontline so we can eat, have clear drains, catch the bus or train, have our bins emptied, get deliveries, and have our children looked after if we are key workers. In addition, hundreds have volunteered to help out in the community.

Add brave Islanders going into work to list of heroes
Richard added,

“Included in that list are the factory workers still going in to work at places like GKN, Vestas and Vikoma. These businesses have come in for some criticism for staying open.

“I know that none of these businesses wants to endanger their employees. It’s those employees that make the products that keep them in business.

“The problem is, the penalty clauses in many supply contracts mean that the cost of not delivering the goods would mean there is no business to go back to when this is all over.

“If the government would help firms out with the contract penalties, I’m  sure they would gladly send their staff home. So rather than demonise these firms, we should add the brave men and women going in to work to the list of heroes and do everything we can to keep them safe.”

Government Covid-19 guidance: Stay alert and stay safe
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently (video tips).

Social distancing
It is recommended that you maintain at least a two metre gap (about 6.5ft) from people who are not from your household.

Seeking advice
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Monday, 30th March, 2020 3:54pm



Filed under: Business, Isle of Wight News, Small Business, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

14 Comments on "No business wants to endanger employees, but we should add workers to list of heroes, says Quigley"

newest oldest most voted
What a shame that an intelligent and measured piece should come under such attack. Shame on people for trying to score points over this. If companies go down, where do the workers work? If the workers go down, who works for the companies? We need to protect BOTH. But either way, this just says we need to recognise the people that are working despite the risk, for… Read more »
Ian Young

Well said Ben well said,


Some are being forced to work and putting themselves and their families at risk and don’t want to be there. This is not about point scoring. Safety and well being is the priority not business and profit.

Ian Young
The most enlightened contribution from an Island Labour spokesperson in many a long year. Labour doing what it should be doing, standing up for, and in this case recognising the contribution of working people. To be fair I am sure there are many Tories who share these sentiments. The real test will come in the future when all this has to be paid for, when decisions have… Read more »

Labour and Greens both trying to harvest votes from this crisis. How predictably cynical. Neither Quigley nor Lowthion have electable platforms from which to speak, but rather both are trying to capture votes in the event of an election, or being seen to be saying something in advance of the Council elections.

Vix, why can’t we have a discussion on these unprecedented issues without turning everything into party-political point scoring? We first need to reflect on these extraordinary and complex new problems that confront our society before we jump to conclusions and take sides. We need to look at these problems from all angles, all points of view, to learn from the experience of other people and other societies… Read more »

Well said Richard. I’m not a Labour supporter but we are all in this together irrespective of where we put our X. This virus does not differentiate between political party supporters and social groupings.
Let’s hope the combined efforts of all us Brits will put down this virus forever; just like the combined efforts did in 1939-45.

Steve Goodman


While we do have to respond to this pandemic, it is currently unlikely that the virus will be eradicated, for the same reasons we still have polio, ebola, and other killer viruses.

The lack of differentiation also applies to our greater environmental emergency, including the many new factors adversely impacting human health and increasing disease susceptibility and transmission.

Interesting that the government use the words, we, us, together, collective etc,etc, the only real people that are making a huge contribution are the everyday working class as always. Now we have we will meet again nonsense. The NHS has been run on a shoe string by the heartless Tories, social care is drastically underfunded and putting hospitals under great pressure, so let’s get real. Don’t be… Read more »
Steve Goodman
“…we will meet again”… As (unofficial national treasure) Nancy Banks-Smith wrote: “We will meet again, the Queen’s parting words were – give or take an apostrophe – a pop song. And as Noel Coward said, how potent cheap music is. It goes non-stop to the heart. “We’ll meet again” comes trailing golden associations of an impossible war we managed to win and Vera Lynn, who is apparently… Read more »
Unbelievable, I am genuinely outraged, Quigley is very very out of touch. Is he not aware that employees have basically have no choice in the matter, other than to attend work. Workers are suffering huge amounts of mental stress and turmoil, there is no doubt that there will be a heavy price to pay for this somewhere along the line. Quigley’s statement reminds me of a Stalinist… Read more »
Vix Lowthion
Island Labour – on the side of the bosses?! Believe me, my inbox is full of islanders who are enduring difficult working conditions without physical distancing, are being dropped from having a job rather than being furloughed, and are being told to go to non- essential work even though they live with vulnerable family members. I’m truly shocked at this press release. This is not what I… Read more »
Geoff Brodie
It’s not Vix. At least not nationally. It’s just representative of the swamp Julian Critchley, who issues all their press releases, is dragging IW Labour into. I have had numerous of my residents tell me of the disgraceful way these companies are forcing them to go to work, putting family members at risk. Or others that are just sacking workers rather than furloughing them. These workers have… Read more »

There is nothing in here that is on the side of the bosses, just says we need to look at both sides. What a shame vix. You let yourself down here.