Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/394/4468
Brown bashes low-paid workers
LABOUR'S CONTEMPT for low-paid workers was revealed again last week as Gordon Brown called for "wage discipline" in the public sector.
Addressing the Amicus trade union conference, Brown made it clear that any more cash for the public sector will come at the cost of pay and working conditions.
Any illusions that Brown as Labour leader would be any better for workers than Tony Blair, should have been finally laid to rest by this one speech.
Vicky Ingram, a member of UNISON's local government executive and joint secretary of the 12,000-strong Derbyshire UNISON, spoke to the socialist, in a personal capacity:
"I represent thousands of hard-working, low-paid public-sector workers such as home carers, teaching assistants, cleaners and school crossing patrols. It's increasingly clear that all Labour offer us - whoever is the leader - is low wages, attacks on hard-won terms and conditions and more privatisation.
"Labour, under either Blair or Brown, unless stopped, will continue to sell off public services to their friends in the City.
"Of course, MPs appear to be immune from such attacks and continue to reap pay and pensions benefits from our taxes.
"Neither Blair nor Brown is the answer - working people need a new party to represent them. It's time unions like mine stopped hiding behind Labour and put forward an alternative that trade unionists and others would see as true representatives of their interests."
The scandal of unequal Britain
The GMB union has published figures exposing the huge wage gap in Britain today.
Using official statistics, the union found that top bosses are getting paid over 16 times more than the poorest-paid workers.
The average wage of directors and chief executives of major organisations is £162,000, whilst on a 38-hour week, the minimum wage is only £9,500 a year.
Across the UK, managers and senior officials get 272% of the pay of people on the lowest grades. In London they get 362%!
In The Socialist 26 May 2005: