Branch Secretary :

Sian Berry supports Clarion Housing staff call for safety

London Assembley member Sian Berry calls on Clarion Housing to move to essential repairs only


“As the largest housing association in the country, I hope you will join the majority of other housing associations, councils and other landlords who have paused major works and nonessential repairs under lockdown.”, Sian Berry, London Assembley member Green Party.


Over 200 repairs staff at Clarion Housing signed a Unite petition calling for the housing association to stop exposing themselves and residents to unnecessary risk by continuing with non-essential repairs.  


COVID 19 threat to skilled trades


Sian gave support to the call of Clarion workers for safety adding, “In my work at the London Assembly I am also concerned about the safety of workers who have to enter other homes to carry out essential tasks such as emergency repairs.  


Sian Berry

This is supported by data from the Office of National Statistics data on men and deaths involving COVID-19 and occupation, which shows that six of the nine major occupational groups had statistically significantly higher rates of death involving the COVID-19 compared with the rate of COVID-19 among men of the same age in the population. Men working in skilled trades occupations are fourth place on that list.”


Refused to support NHS test and trace


In a response to Sian Berry’s letter management remain intransigent and the CEO states that she does not accept the view of her staff that they are being put in unsafe situations. Members point out that senior executives are working from home as Clarion has perfectly correctly closed its officers as a safety measure.  


Clarion Housing have refused to implement processes to support NHS Test & Trace – this means that if a worker tests positive for COVID-19, Clarion do not inform the residents in the properties they have recently been to when they may have been infectious (from 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms). The same also applies if a worker has been in a property of a tenant who subsequently reports that they are Covid-19 positive.


Call to reconsider


Tenant activists have also expressed concern that Clarion is persisting with non-essential work. Unite will support any member in defending their safety during the pandemic and calls on Clarion to reconsider its position.


Sian adds, “I am pushing for such workers to be included as a higher priority within the vaccine programme, under improved criteria that include the risk of unavoidable occupational exposure as well as the risk of serious disease based on age and personal medical history and vulnerability. I hope that you might join me in making this call on behalf of any workers affected within your staff.”


Clarion CEO Clare Miller responds, “I am in full support of our operatives and community based teams receiving the vaccine at the earliest opportunity, once those who are more vulnerable have been vaccinated.”



Paul Kershaw




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