Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/449/5361
International Socialist Resistance:
Low pay, no way!
PRIMARK PAYS peanuts!" "BBC are misers!" "New park nursery - charges parents a fortune, pays workers a pittance". Young people around the country are adding managers, supervisors and well-known retail chains to ISR 'walls of shame' that name these Scrooge bosses.
Ben Robinson, ISR national coordinator
This summer ISR (International Socialist Resistance) is saying 'low pay - no way'! We're organising campaigning stalls and walls of shame, and getting young people actively fighting back against conditions that many face, day in day out. In the last three weeks, around ten people have already joined us and become active. We can get many more involved.
Young people are angry at getting paid less than others in the workplace, at dangerous conditions at work, at long and unsociable hours, at everyone getting crap wages. They're angry at being forced to work and study at the same time, and at not knowing how to fight back to get decent conditions.
Our brightly coloured ISR stalls have material detailing workers' rights and how to fight to get them, including essential information on trade unions. We've had petitions, calling for equal work for equal pay, and a decent minimum wage for all. Many groups have leafleted workers inside shops, encouraging discussion on how to get their rights.
There will be more such protests in the coming weeks. But we're not just activists against low pay. We think that the daily grind that many people, the world's majority, face is the basis on which the whole way of running the world is founded. The by-products of this capitalist system are many, including low pay, war and Tony Blair's drive for easy-profit nuclear power.
However it also leads to people fighting back, like young people in France and Chile this year, and fighting for a better world, a socialist world. ISR are also organising meetings to discuss such issues, to bring people that we meet in our campaigns along to. Campaigning is vital, but so is discussing our ideas and analysis of the world.
ISR is campaigning against low pay this summer and fighting for workers' and young people's rights.
But we're also arming ourselves with ideas about how we can change the world, why this system can't provide the lifestyle we've been promised, why we need to fight for another world.
Our members are building campaigns, discussing their ideas and building support for socialism amongst a new generation.
If you'd like copies of ISR's campaigning material, and magazine Socialist Youth, contact us on 020 8558 7947, PO BOX 858, London E11 1YD, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.anticapitalism.org.uk for more details.
ISR days of action
OUR ISR day of action in Walthamstow this weekend had banners, stalls, a massive pile of leaflets and "know your rights at work" cards and a "name and shame" your boss board.
New members we've met over the last few weeks and via the internet turned out from Ilford, Romford, Hackney, Leyton and Walthamstow with backgrounds in Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Britain.
We petitioned, we chanted on the megaphone, we got people writing on the "name and shame" board and we got a really good response when we leafleted all the young workers in the shopping centre.
We've now agreed to set up a new ISR group in north-east and east London with plans to build groups in each area. There was enthusiasm to build groups in all our areas and to organise a travelling road show of the low pay action all round this part of London.
There was also enthusiasm to discuss the movements in Chile, the problems in the Middle East and the Kurdish question. So watch this space for further updates!
COVENTRY SOCIALIST Party members took the "Know your Rights at Work" campaign to the Godiva festival. It was soon clear that Coventry's employers are paying poverty wages with less favourable rates for young workers.
We heard of the problems that young people just out of school or college face finding a decent job. We heard of workplaces where all non-management staff were young so that bosses wouldn't have to pay even the minimum wage. Workers came up to our stall saying "the minimum wage should be at least £7" before they'd even seen our demands. We sold 18 copies of the socialist and five people wanted more information about the Socialist Party.
In The Socialist 20 July 2006:
War and occupation
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Scottish Socialist Party
Campaign for a New Workers Party