Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/365/5990
Civil service, Jaguar, P&O...
Strike Back At Job Cuts
TONY BLAIR and Gordon Brown said nothing in their Labour Party conference speeches about the increasing number of job losses in the economy. But Brown has his axe poised over 104,000 civil service jobs.
For Brown and Blair everything is just tickety-boo in GB plc. Even whilst they were speaking, British capitalism continued its real business of maximising its profits by throwing thousands of workers onto the scrap heap.
The announcement that the shipping company P&O was cutting its routes to Europe and sacking 1,200 of its workers was not met with anger at this further retreat by British big business in the face of global competition. City investors welcomed the news as share prices rose.
The week before, Norwich Union saw its shares jump when it decided to move 7,000 jobs to India. Almost at the same time, Northern Foods told 1,000 of its workers in Evesham and Carlisle that they were no longer needed.
And now the very latest - as we go to press another 600 jobs are to go with the closure of the Kodak plants in Nottinghamshire and the scaling down of their Harrow factory. But the announcement of the closure of the Jaguar plant in Coventry sums up the continued inglorious decline of British capitalism.
The Jaguar closure with its supply chain of other companies, threatens the livelihoods of thousands in Coventry and beyond. It really would be a "ghost town" as The Specials, a Coventry pop group, sang in 1981.
Whatever the contortions of New Labour's spin doctors, the truth is that the decline of industry means the continued pauperisation of much of the British population.
Apologists for capitalism say that jobs destroyed in the manufacturing sector, nearly one million since 1997, can be replaced with jobs in the service and finance sector.
But the job losses in P&O and Norwich Union prove that is not the case. Globalisation, supported by New Labour, is creating a "race to the bottom" for more workers - the bosses tell us we have to work harder and longer to compete with workers overseas.
The Socialist Party says every worker has the right to a decent and well-paid job. If capitalism can't deliver then it is capitalism that should be shown the door, not the workers.
- Fight all job losses.
- Bring into public ownership those companies declaring workers redundant.
- No compensation to the owners of these companies except on the basis of proven need.
- For a socialist plan of production where the needs of the millions take priority over the profits of the few.
In The Socialist 9 October 2004:
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis