Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/609/8747
Bonuses for bankers but recession for workers
My new year's resolution was to stop watching TV. This is not for health reasons but because I can't afford to buy a new one if I kick it in while watching the news! Who hasn't wanted to do that recently?
The average wage of a banker at Goldman Sachs is £309,000 while the average wage of a full-time worker in Britain is £25,800! Goldman Sachs makes £14,400 a minute in profit! That's more in a minute than I earn in a year as a full-time care worker.
And we have to foot the bill to bail the bankers out. We are the ones who face unemployment. We have to battle cuts and closures in our communities.
Working in the care sector I know a lot about cuts. Most people know someone who works in care - there are almost a million of us. They can probably recount the same horror stories of long, often illegal hours to make up for the low pay.
We can only do our best in a difficult job, but it is heartbreaking to see how those you care for have to live and what they've been through. I come home at night and find it difficult to forget about work. I'm normally so tired I just want to go to sleep ... that is if I'm not doing a night shift.
Privatisation in care hasn't worked - anyone working in care or getting care services will tell you that. Why won't they listen to us, the real experts, the service workers and users, not someone sent in to sell off what's left?
Cuts and more cuts
I live in Bristol. Here the council have announced that they need to make £30 million worth of cuts as a result of the recession. £2 million of these will be made in the care sector. Bristol city council has already stripped adult social care services to the bone. Day centres have been closed and support workers laid off.
They say, because there's no money, everyone has to make sacrifices. We all know about sacrifice, although it's not something we volunteered for. We've been forced to take redundancies or forced to work until we drop. But, while we've been struggling to make ends meet, the big finance bosses have been enjoying the bailout Brown has given them with our cash!
So we don't believe them when they say there's no money for our jobs and services! There's more than enough money in this country for all of us to have a decent job. For the bosses and their government to let down the most vulnerable people in our society is inexcusable.
All the main parties promise ruthless cuts to the public sector if they win the election. But I'm not willing to suffer anymore and I'm certainly not willing to watch other people suffer.
The papers say the recession is over but from where I'm standing 2010 won't be any easier for us. I'm going to fight for my future alongside the Socialist Party, a party with a strong record of fighting for the working class and of fighting against cuts.
Youth Fight for Jobs campaign against unemployment - marching in Barking
In The Socialist 27 January 2010:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party feature
Workplace Feature: IT workers in mini strike wave