Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/272/24539
Workers Need Wages Not War
WHAT DO firefighters, tube workers, council workers, teachers, college lecturers, rail workers and health workers all have in common? They've either taken action or are preparing to take action against low pay.
The firefighters are balloting for a 40% wage rise. FBU London Regional Secretary Mike Shergold told The Socialist: "Firefighters feel that our claim is justified. The public support us and accept that we can no longer exist on the money we get. The firefighters are continuing to support the claim and back it up with strike action if necessary".
Tony Blair says that paying the firefighters a decent wage would cause "terrible damage" to the economy. But what about the "terrible damage" that a war against Iraq would cause? It would take £400 million to pay the firefighters their full claim. Yet Bush and Blair are preparing to finance a war for oil that could cost as much as $200 billion.
As usual the profits of big business are being put before the wages and lives of ordinary working-class people.
In the last year fat-cat executive pay has increased six times more than the average wage. The typical chief executive is on £933,000 a year whilst the lowest paid are expected to put up with a rise in the minimum wage of just 10p per hour to £4.20.
We need a united fight against low pay and for a decent living wage. And we need to fight for a system that puts people before profit.
In The Socialist 11 October 2002: