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Extended lockdown leaves tattoo artists in desperate situation

02 Jul 2020
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GMB warns Ministers without quick Government intervention the tattoo industry will be driven underground

GMB, the union for tattoo artists, says lockdown has left the industry ‘desperate’ with tattooists losing their businesses, homes and even taking their own lives.

Tattoo studios are set to remain closed past July 4 when many businesses – including hair salons – will be allowed to reopen.

GMB has written to Government Minister Paul Scully asking why a hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to open while tattoo and piercing workers are left in in limbo.

Richard Stevens, GMB Rep and TPIU former branch president, said:

“It’s no exaggeration to say the situation in the tattoo industry is desperate. I've heard several cases of financial hardship leading to people losing their business, the homes and even two suicides - in conjunction with other mental health problems.

“The industry of tattooing and piercing has had a long history of providing employment for people who have struggled to be happy in mainstream life.

“It’s vitally important they are not thrown on the scrap heap as a result of this pandemic.

“The whole industry is approaching breaking point. Without quick, decisive Government intervention parlours this will be driven underground, leaving very little control of the inking and piercing environment.”

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