Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/525/3910
One law for them, another law for us
I am sure many Socialist readers have noticed how the government will go to great lengths to investigate and prosecute trade unionists and socialists, at the behest of powerful capitalists. And the tabloid capitalist press keeps these cases on their front pages - look at what has happened to Tommy Sheridan.
At the same time, these tabloid barons hide massive tax evasion by their friends and leading capitalists. The most recent example is in Germany, with the authorities eventually raiding leading capitalists' head offices and homes, in search of at least four billion euros (£3 million) which have been squirreled away in tax havens over the last 20 years.
These investigations were reported in the business sections of the broadsheets. They highlight the resignation of Deutsche Post (DP) chief executive Klaus Zumwinkel, accused of avoiding paying 1 million euros (£800,000) in taxes over the last 20 years by using a Liechtenstein bank account.
Deutsche Post is part of many worldwide conglomerates, such as DHL Express and DHL Supply Chain as well as NHS Supply Chain in the UK. Workers in these companies have to accept a code of conduct/ethical practice, which doesn't seem to apply at chief executive level.
It is unlikely that the majority of DHL employees will be aware of the German authorities raiding DP HQ in Bonn. On the DP website the resignation has been described only as a 'personal matter'.
But Zumwinkel's resignation has given more ammunition for the German trade union Ver.di to demand a 5.5 - 6.5 % pay rise for DP workers in April when DP announce high expected profits.
The success of the small GDL rail union in securing a significant pay rise for its members has also jolted Ver.di into action.
A recent issue of The Socialist's sister paper in Germany correctly calls for: "No wage cuts in the public sector! Get the money from Zumwinkel and co - the money is there, but in the wrong pockets. We should get it with a united public-sector strike now!"
A UK DHL worker
In The Socialist 19 March 2008:
National Union of Teachers Conference
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Post Office closures
Socialist Party congress 2008
International socialist news and analysis