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Archive for April 2020

1 April 2020

spotLabour must resist 'Covid coalition'

In the early stages of a war or national emergency, there is often a mood to pull together in the 'national' interest

1 April 2020

spotNew laws: Unions must be on guard against attacks on workers' interests

Within a few days, Tory ministers managed to get their coronavirus bill through parliament

1 April 2020

spotPostal workers walk out over health, safety and junk mail

Postal workers give the public a great service. But in this is a time of national emergency - we should be doing this in as safe environment as possible, writes Gary Clark, CWU Scotland No.2 branch secretary.

1 April 2020

spotBuilding the Socialist Party

Finding new ways to meet, sell the Socialist and distribute our campaign leaflets

1 April 2020

spotAll in this together? The 'Blitz spirit' myth

In the first of a series of articles on 'war, global crises and working-class struggle', Chris Holmes exposes the myth of class unity during the World War Two

1 April 2020

spotSocialism - the podcast of the Socialist Party

Weekly podcast offering a Marxist approach to the big issues we face in a world of capitalist crisis. Fighting for jobs, homes and public services for all. From strikes and mass movements through to community campaigns, history and theory. We shine a light on the struggles of workers and young people, and discuss the strategy for a socialist fightback.

1 April 2020

spotHelp us continue to fight for workers and socialism

Financial appeal: After the coronavirus crisis, nothing will remain the same.

1 April 2020

spotPPE, Tests, Full pay - for all now

The situation will "get worse before it gets better," says Boris Johnson. But the enormity of this will not be the fault of the individual actions of ordinary working people.

1 April 2020

spotNHS workers speak out: austerity has left us unprepared

"Only in the last couple of weeks things are actually happening"

1 April 2020

spotNHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

Terrified staff are without adequate PPE

1 April 2020

spotFully fund hospices to care for vulnerable children

I am a parent of a child with a terminal diagnosis.

1 April 2020

spotBus drivers halt sackings - now restore our pay

While the government gives reassurances to the public that 'we are all in this together' and they will do 'whatever it takes', bosses are doing whatever it takes to protect their profits, writes a South Coast bus driver.

1 April 2020

spotAs coronavirus crisis intensifies, class antagonisms deepen

After the pandemic crisis, things will never be the same again. This will be similar to the situation after the two world wars of the 20th century.

2 April 2020

spotCollective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries

The escalating virus crisis has brought CWU members in Royal Mail to the point of no return

6 April 2020

spotEnd of the Corbyn era

photo Rwendland/CC

photo Rwendland/CC

Organise to fight for socialist policies: Starmer becoming Labour leader represents a qualitative step in the capitalist class's campaign to make the Labour Party once again, as it was under Blair, a reliable vehicle for their interests.

6 April 2020

spotUnder the microscope: Pandemic news in brief

The hospital oxygen supply in Hertfordshire came within inches of failing due to a huge increase in demand

6 April 2020

spotThe minimum wage must go up! Fund coronavirus workers, not bosses' profits!

Minimum wage workers include many of the frontline staff dealing with the pandemic, writes Karen Smith, care worker.

6 April 2020

spotCapitalism causes crisis profiteering: fight for workers' oversight and public ownership

The government's laissez-faire attitude towards supplies, in effect contracting out any control of this to the major retailers, means there have been opportunities abundant for speculators to rip people off, writes Iain Dalton, Yorkshire Socialist Party.

6 April 2020

spotEE puts workers' health and safety at risk

EE is making it very clear why we can't leave it to the bosses to control our response to the coronavirus crisis, writes Ross Saunders, Cardiff Socialist Party.

7 April 2020

spotWorkers take action while union leaders call truce with government and bosses

"And I want to thank them (key workers) and also the leaders of the trade unions who represent them..."

7 April 2020

spotGoing viral

The Covid-19 pandemic is a world social crisis which touches every aspect of life. The iniquities and failings of the capitalist system are being exposed, and workers and communities are organising in

7 April 2020

spotDispatches from the front: shortages of NHS staff, equipment - and union leadership

The temptation to come home and cry at the end of every shift is sometimes overwhelming. As part of diagnostics, my department touches on most of the hospital

7 April 2020

spotThings will never be the same again

"This certificate provides confirmation you are classified as a Sky key worker...Thank you for ...help[ing] keep Sky's critical services running for our customers"

8 April 2020

spotMay Day greetings: we need to fund independent workers' media now more than ever

We need you to support the Socialist by sending May Day greetings. There is no other consistent, independent voice for workers and for socialism during the pandemic, writes James Ivens, the Socialist May Day greetings organiser.

8 April 2020

spotWhere's the PPE Welsh Assembly?

Our union branch raised with senior management of Carmarthenshire County Council that we did not accept the guidance of Public Health Wales (PHW) when it comes to the use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), writes Mark Evans , branch secretary, Carmarthenshire County Unison.

8 April 2020

spotAnger as London local authorities bulldoze through powers to discipline workers

Unite the Union has expressed serious concerns over plans which will give local authority employers in London new powers to redeploy workers, under the threat of disciplinary action

8 April 2020

spotVictory for Medway bin workers

Unite the Union reps are pleased to announce that we have won in our dispute at Medway Norse and have ensured a safe environment for staff and the local community (see 'Refuse collection workers strike' at socialistpartyorg.uk)

8 April 2020

spotSocialists in Unite meet via Zoom: Struggles continue in the workplaces

Unite union members in the Socialist Party, and our Scottish and Irish sister groups in the Committee for a Workers' International, held a Zoom meeting on 4 April

8 April 2020

spotEnd of the Corbyn era - Organise to fight for socialist policies

Keir Starmer, as was widely predicted, has been elected leader of the Labour Party. He won on the first round with 56.2% of the vote

8 April 2020

spotA day in the life of a frontline worker

I'm a learning disabilities day centre care worker for a London council

8 April 2020

spotGetting the Socialist out safely under lockdown

I'm trying this (picture right) to distribute the Socialist, which relies on people's honesty. I had a couple of thumbs up and eight papers have been taken. I have faith in people, writes Phil Culshaw.

8 April 2020

spotClass collaboration and worker militancy in World War Two Britain

In the second of a series of articles on 'war, global crises and working class struggle', Alec Thraves - Socialist Party national committee - explains how workers' militancy broke the shackles of the World War Two coalition government in Britain

8 April 2020

spotAmazon workers threaten revolution!

"And to Mr Bezos my message is simple. I don't give a damn about your power. You think you're powerful? We're the ones that have the power."

8 April 2020

spotTory lies cost lives

As coronavirus deaths continue to mount at a terrifying rate - the government's responsibility for worsening the crisis is becoming clearer every day.

8 April 2020

spotCoronavirus, capitalism and fighting for socialism worldwide

The Committee for a Workers' International (CWI - the socialist international organisation the Socialist Party is part of) is posting regular updates from its sections around the world

9 April 2020

spotPostal workers' anger over profits before health and safety

Management is putting the interests of the shareholders and profit over the interests of the workforce

14 April 2020

spotMPs get £10k each for lockdown expenses - where's ours?

MPs can claim up to £10,000 - on top of their salaries and other expenses - for remote working costs under lockdown. This is on top of the £26,000 a year MPs already get for office expenses!, writes Lindsey Morgan, Leicester Socialist Party.

14 April 2020

spotJohnson's hospitalisation: a tale of two treatments

Tory prime minister Boris Johnson was discharged from hospital on 12 April following treatment for Covid-19

14 April 2020

spotLockdown increases domestic violence calls - Tory money a drop in the ocean

Home secretary Priti Patel, has announced a 'you are not alone' campaign to support domestic violence victims who are more at risk than ever under lockdown, writes Amy Cousens, Women's Lives Matter.

14 April 2020

spotRapacious capitalism and the spread of coronavirus

Donald Trump continually refers to the coronavirus pandemic as the "Chinese virus". He believes this demonisation of China plays to the isolationist, racist and xenophobic sections of his domestic support

14 April 2020

spotExpired PPE relabelled for NHS use

Scotland's SNP first minister Nicola Sturgeon has approved relabelling of out-of-date personal protective equipment for use in the coronavirus pandemic

14 April 2020

spotDispatches from the front: NHS staff say give us PPE, not medals!

"The situation in London hospitals is dire, much worse than comes across in the news"

14 April 2020

spotNHS nurse: we're not wasting PPE - the Tories don't value us

It's a disgrace that the health secretary accused staff of wasting PPE

14 April 2020

spotBig pharma's profiteering holds back drug supply

All over the world, intensive research is taking place to find drugs to treat Covid-19.

14 April 2020

spotLondon Transport workers fighting private companies and TfL to secure health and safety

A life and death battle on the buses: 21 transport workers in London have died from coronavirus, 15 of them bus drivers.

14 April 2020

spotUnite opposes all cuts to domestic violence services

Tension is growing in many locked-down homes. It's no surprise domestic violence is increasing too. Calls to Refuge's helpline, the domestic abuse charity, are up 120% since the lockdown began, writes Jon Dale, secretary, Unite union EM/NG32 Nottinghamshire Health branch (personal capacity).

15 April 2020

spotPassport workers forced back to offices as Home Office shirks its duty of care

I work for the civil service and am a member and rep of the PCS trade union. Like many of my colleagues, I was shocked and appalled at the Home Office's decision to call workers at passport offices back

15 April 2020

spotCollectively demanding safe warehouse working conditions

In my workplace, the worry of deteriorating safety is becoming constant - and it is well-founded, writes Connor O'Farrell, warehouse worker and Usdaw union member.

15 April 2020

spotUsdaw shop workers' union activists meet via Zoom

Following weekly virtual meetings of Socialist Party members in Usdaw the shop workers' union to discuss the rapidly changing situation in retail, and producing several special issues of our bulletin, the Activist, we decided to hold a virtual public meeting on 11 April to take these discussions to, writes Iain Dalton, Socialist Party Usdaw caucus convenor.

15 April 2020

spotCoronavirus workplace news in brief

Postal workers in Didcot walked out on 8 April after their depot was not cleaned when a member of staff contracted Covid-19

15 April 2020

spotFight back against the corona propaganda war

"The BBC must be for the government," said its founder Lord Reith during the 1926 general strike. That has certainly been the case during the coronavirus pandemic, writes James Ivens.

15 April 2020

spotPlymouth students discuss rent strike

The Old Dairy is private rented accommodation provided by Host to students in the University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art, writes Sami Vickery, Plymouth College of Art student and Old Dairy tenant.

15 April 2020

spotJoin an online Socialist Party meeting during lockdown

I attended a fantastic meeting of South East London Socialist Party on 8 April - 18 attended, maybe more, can't always tell on iPad, writes Sarah Sachs-Eldridge.

15 April 2020

spotThe Socialist Party and socialist ideas are growing

I've been reading comments on political sites and been unsure if I should stay in Labour, writes A new Socialist Party member in Stoke.

15 April 2020

spotHow the catastrophe of WW1 sparked revolution

In the third of a series of articles on 'war, global crises and working class struggle', Philip Stott - secretary, Socialist Party Scotland - describes how the horrors and privatiations of WW1 provoked revolutionary working class uprisings

15 April 2020

spotGoing viral: Socialist comments on the corona crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic is a world social crisis which touches every aspect of life. The iniquities and failings of the capitalist system are being exposed, and workers and communities are organising in

15 April 2020

spotExit strategy? PPE and mass testing - and workers' control of workplace safety

photo freerangestock.com

The coronavirus pandemic in the UK has not yet passed its peak. Hundreds are still dying every day, and yet the pressure is mounting for the Tories to announce an 'exit strategy'

15 April 2020

spotSabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed

A leaked Labour report has detailed internal sabotage by senior party officials of Corbyn's attempts to radicalise Labour policies

18 April 2020

spotNo 'Back to School'

20 April 2020

spotManagement tells carers PPE would 'worry' residents

My sister works as a carer in a local privately run care home. She has been worried sick over the policies for coronavirus not being implemented there

20 April 2020

spotShocking increase in domestic violence killings

Domestic abuse killings have more than doubled during the coronavirus lockdown, according to Counting Dead Women (CDW), the organisation that monitors the killing of women by men

20 April 2020

spotCovid-19 patient speaks out: fantastic support from under-resourced health workers

Steve Nally, a support worker in the housing sector, was among the first Covid-19 patients at St Thomas' Hospital in south London

20 April 2020

spotUsdaw Activist no.86

21 April 2020

spotTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

Trade union activists from across the south of England came together for a Socialist Party meeting on Zoom on 18 April, writes Paul Couchman, Surrey County Unison branch secretary (personal capacity).

21 April 2020

spotCouncils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity

Despite their claims of "partnership" between central and local government, it's clear the Tories have not involved councils in their Covid-19 planning at all, writes Hugo Pierre, Unison union national executive committee member (personal capacity).

21 April 2020

spotDWP: Action on workers' safety, and protection of pay and conditions needed

More than two million people have claimed benefits in the last four weeks. Failed Tory austerity is impacting health care workers having insufficient PPE and testing.

21 April 2020

spotCoronavirus news in brief

As the number of unemployed workers applying for benefits rises to 22 million due to the coronavirus crisis, reactionary US president Donald Trump is determined to end the country's health lockdown measures, which he sees as undermining his chances of a second term in office

21 April 2020

spotCare homes coronavirus scandal: blood on their hands

There is growing anger at the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis. 400,000 people living in care homes have been abandoned - surrendered to the virus.

21 April 2020

spotPPE shortages: "I feel so bloody angry"

The guidelines we follow on use of PPE have changed dramatically during this pandemic. At first we were told we must wear full PPE for every patient suspected of having Covid 19.

21 April 2020

spotMore dispatches from the front: 'There are so many more patients dying'

The main concern with staff at the moment is it's week four in Covid ICU and no sign of anyone being tested yet, writes a NHS intensive care technician.

21 April 2020

spotNo 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

Tory splits over a coronavirus 'exit strategy' are being played out over the question of when to fully reopen schools, writes Martin Powell-Davies, a National Education Union member.

21 April 2020

spotLondon bus drivers' action over safety stops front door boarding

26 transport workers have died from Covid-19 in London, the majority of them bus drivers. Now London bus drivers have forced Transport for London (TfL) and bus companies to implement some safety measures

22 April 2020

spotNational plan for testing needed

Testing everybody in a northern Italian village of 3,000 people saw those with Covid-19 fall 90% within ten days

22 April 2020

spotCapitalist press attacks Tory incompetence

"Pandemic planning became a casualty of the austerity years."

22 April 2020

spotWhy I joined the Socialist Party

I joined the Socialist Party two months ago. I've been interested in socialism and socialist politics for a number of years, writes Amy Sage, Bristol Socialist Party.

22 April 2020

spotPolicies that really protect the NHS

I know everyone is mindful of finances at a time like this. Personal finances have taken a hit, people are fundraising and donating to others, writes Sue Powell, Gloucester Socialist Party.

22 April 2020

spotCoronavirus: Students' charter

Coronavirus has revealed the chaos of the Tory marketisation of higher education

22 April 2020

spotUS private healthcare system in meltdown

Like in the UK, the coronavirus pandemic in the USA has resulted in the postponement or cancellation of non-urgent surgery in hospitals

22 April 2020

spotTory think tank proposes attack on pensions

It was inevitable that the Tory government would try to offload the costs of dealing with the coronavirus crisis from their rich backers and onto the backs of working people, writes Roger Bannister, Liverpool Socialist Party.

22 April 2020

spotThe special Covid crisis of British capitalism

Socialism Today issue 238

While no government has taken the necessary measures to fully defend the working class from the pandemic's effects, Britain has had one of the most ineffectual responses of the major capitalist powers.

22 April 2020

spotWhere's our PPE? Where's our testing? Where's our money?

"We want the equipment we need to be safe doing our jobs".

22 April 2020

spotWorld economic crisis: A Marxist approach to the coronavirus crunch

How badly could the economy be affected by the coronavirus crisis?

22 April 2020

spotJD Sports: Shut up shop and give us full pay!

JD Sports workers have been organising to demand the company close its warehouse, and pay all shop-floor and warehouse workers full pay for the duration of this crisis, writes a JD Sports worker.

22 April 2020

spotSocialism the Podcast: What do our listeners think?

I was listening to the latest episode of the Socialist Party's podcast while cooking. My boyfriend came in to ask who was speaking and how someone who talks sense had been allowed on the radio!

22 April 2020

spotThe role of the Socialist during the corona crisis

"Read the truth. Read how to fight back. Read the Socialist."

22 April 2020

spotLenin at 150: A revolutionary life - and the relevance of his ideas for today

In January 1917 the world was in flames amid the barbarism of the first capitalist world war. Yet within months Lenin was elected head of the first democratic workers' government in history.

22 April 2020

spotGoing viral: Socialist comments and letters

The Covid-19 pandemic is a world social crisis which touches every aspect of life.

22 April 2020

spotClapping, driving, postering - for workers' rights

We clapped and we demanded workers' rights. Health workers called for protests in cars at hospitals - demanding PPE and the resignation of health secretary Matt Hancock.

22 April 2020

spotExcellent support for Socialist Party special appeal

We have had a fantastic response to our special appeal to help finance the publication of the Socialist and promote the ideas of the Socialist Party in this corona crisis, writes Chris Newby, the Socialist sales organiser.

22 April 2020

spotRMT: Lift the suspension of Steve Hedley

A statement in Red Lines - the bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT transport union - calls for the lifting of the union executive's suspension of Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley.

22 April 2020

spotBromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!

Bromley Library workers are facing a restructure, including moving to new work locations, in the middle of this health emergency

22 April 2020

spotThe history of struggle to make the workplace safe

Every year workers who have been killed at work are commemorated on 28 April

22 April 2020

spotLondon transport: Reject the ‘choice’ of safety or revenue

Trade union control over workers' health and safety is needed

26 April 2020

spotPrivate firm causes weeks of delay to free school meal vouchers: bring it back in-house!

I rely on free school meal vouchers to feed my daughter. They were due Monday 20 April and didn't arrive until that Thursday, writes Lindsey Morgan, Leicester Socialist Party.

26 April 2020

spotB&M Bargains management puts profit before safety

The attitude of B&M Bargains management has been 'business as usual'. Some staff are furloughed, often in stores in shopping centres which have closed anyway, and some admin staff.

27 April 2020

spotCivil servants in Paisley protest after Covid outbreak

On 24 April, civil servants at Paisley Jobcentre held an outdoors union meeting following an outbreak of Covid-19 in their office

27 April 2020

spotSchools: No return without a national union agreement that guarantees safety!

National Education Union (NEU) members have put forward the following model motion at meetings on opposing the reopening of schools unless safe..

27 April 2020

spotWaltham Forest trade unions discuss the fight for PPE and workplace safety

In organising a meeting on PPE and workplace safety, Waltham Forest Trade Union Council showed the role of these bodies in drawing together workers in struggle, strengthening solidarity, and helping clarify the tasks for the labour movement through discussion, writes Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party.

27 April 2020

spotShould the Socialist still be produced during the Corona crisis? An exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist

On 7 April Mark Serwotka wrote to Hannah Sell, general secretary of the Socialist Party, asking for an assurance that the Socialist would not be sold outside PCS-organised workplaces during the coronavirus emergency

27 April 2020

spotUsdaw Activist no.87

Click here to go to the latest issue of the Activist, the bulletin of Socialist Party members in shop workers' trade union Usdaw

27 April 2020

spotGoing viral: Socialist comments and letters

The Covid-19 pandemic is a world social crisis which touches every aspect of life. The iniquities and failings of the capitalist system are being exposed

28 April 2020

spotDispatches from the front: PPE chaos goes on

"I just found out that the 'FFP3' mask I've been wearing expired in 2012."

28 April 2020

spotWorkers fighting to defend safety and livelihoods - NSSN national meeting a huge success

Over 200 members and reps from many different trade unions came together on Zoom on Sunday 26 April to discuss the impact of the coronavirus crisis on workers

29 April 2020

spotIrish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

In the main, there is support among the working class for the lockdown measures in Ireland. Workers recognise the imperative of defeating Covid-19, and that this will often necessitate severe constraints

29 April 2020

spotISS workers' pay victory

Cleaning staff at Lewisham Hospital who have taken strike action over unpaid wages have won

29 April 2020

spotAdding demands to the weekly claps

Lots out clapping, taxis tooting their horns, bagpipes playing and a bit of chanting - "PPE for all frontline workers", "mass testing for all" and "save our NHS", writes Elaine Brunskill.

29 April 2020

spotUnions must organise throughout crisis

The coronavirus pandemic throws up its own unique problems and challenges which cannot wait until after the lockdown has ended, writes Ryan Aldred, Usdaw Plymouth and district general branch secretary (personal capacity).

29 April 2020

spotNo return to the 1930s: World War Two and 'a land fit for heroes'

In the fourth article in our series 'war, global crises and working-class struggle', Socialist Party national committee member Tom Baldwin shows how working-class expectations were transformed by World War Two and the impact this had on the initial post-war period

29 April 2020

spotWorkers' safety before bosses' profits


In the space of one week, the trade union movement is marking two of its most important annual days - International Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April, and May Day on 1 May

29 April 2020

spot130 Years of May Day in Britain: Fight for workers' rights more relevant than ever

May Day greetings in the Socialist, May 2020

Overworked, underpaid, struggling to afford the basics - this is true of the situation facing many 'key workers' that the Covid-19 lockdown has so clearly demonstrated society is dependent on.

29 April 2020

spotMay Day 2020: join the protests - wear red, bring flags and banners

This issue of the Socialist covers International Workers' Day, Friday 1 May 2020. May Day is always an important event in the calendar of the workers' movement. It is doubly so this year

29 April 2020

spotWoolwich ferry - workers secure 100% furlough agreement

Unite union has negotiated a 100% furlough agreement with Briggs Marine, the contractor who currently runs the Woolwich Ferry.

30 April 2020

spotRoyal Mail dispute: Interview with a CWU branch secretary

Royal Mail and the CWU are heading towards a major national dispute. "The workplace is a tinderbox and it's being ignited by Royal Mail", Gary Clark, CWU branch secretary, spoke to Socialist Party Scotland

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