One minutes silence today at 11am to remember those who have died whilst trying to protect the public. Also all of our wonderful front line workers who are putting their lives on the line for us amidst the coronavirus crisis.
Unison, the RCN and RCM represent more than a million NHS and public service workers collectively. These include porters, refuse collectors and care staff.
The unions cited the success of the nationwide Clap for Our Carers campaign, with applause every Thursday at 8pm to pay homage to NHS and key workers.
Donna Kinnair, the RCN general secretary and chief executive, said: “We’ve become used to hearing a great roar on a Thursday night for key workers, but this respectful silence will be a poignant reminder of the risks they run to keep us safe.
“I hope the public gets behind this with the same affection they show when applauding our people.
“The silence is a simple show of respect for those who have paid the very highest price but their loved ones must know the levels of gratitude we feel as a nation and take some comfort from that.”
Gill Walton, the RCM chief executive and general secretary, said: “We had expected 2020 to be a celebration of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife but, although we actively applaud their service, this is not what we had imagined.
“Instead, across the country, midwives and maternity support workers are seeing the impact of coronavirus not only on the women in their care but on their colleagues as well.”
The call comes after the Unite union paid tribute on 17 April to bus and transport workers in London who died after contracting the virus.