Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/704/13705
From The Socialist newspaper, 8 February 2012
We need fighting trade unions
Mike Aistrop, North West
In 1997 Alan Greenspan stated before the US Senate committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, that one of the contributing factors for the US 'double digit' growth during the early 1990s was 'worker insecurity'.
Workers were so fearful for their jobs and future prospects that they were willing to forgo pay increases and union membership for the possibility of a 'secure' job.
With this in mind and having listened to a couple of Noam Chomsky discussions, Class War - The Attack on Working People and Free Market Fantasies, Capitalism in the Real World, I was recently asked to lead a discussion while on a trade union reps' training course.
My idea was to try and define worker security and worker insecurity, find real examples of policies which supported security or insecurity, understand the purpose of these policies, the advantages and disadvantages, how the trade union movement should react and what the future looks like.
I split the group into two and set them off to find the supporting evidence for worker security and worker insecurity.
After 30 minutes, the group looking at worker security found no policies which would lead to worker security.
But the group looking at worker insecurity found lots of examples, such as the 1% pay freeze for public sector workers, the 700,000 public sector job losses (which is more than the whole public sector in Scotland), changes to the employment tribunal procedures, pensions, increase in retirement age, social partnership policy, workfare, etc.
In the end we agreed that the only secure thing workers can look forward to in the future is insecurity and that the trade unions need to gear up for what is coming.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 8 February 2012:
Socialist Party NHS campaigning
Save the NHS!
Prince Philip Hospital Llanelli: We can defeat cuts plans
Kingston Hospital: Save all NHS jobs
Socialist Party news and analysis
London - a tale of two cities
Exploiting the unemployed to line the pockets of big business
Safe railways, not shopping malls
Them & Us
Socialist Party youth and students
Students drop out of college without EMA
Leeds Trinity students fight canteen cuts
New society at Leeds College
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Scrap the Welfare Reform Bill
Tactics to stop racist EDL
Manchester Sure Starts saved!
Tower Hamlets: Save Rushmead one stop shop - fight all cuts
Salford campaign saves day care centres
Defend care services in Medway
International socialist news and analysis
Mubarak's state machine blamed for football massacre
Socialist Party workplace news
UCU special conference
Reinstate sacked PCS steward, John Brookes!
The scandalous role of London Unison - Demand that it defends Len Hockey!
Striking oil tanker drivers demand meaningful talks
Workplace news in brief
The Socialist - reviews & readers' comments
Tory policies hit women hardest
We need fighting trade unions
Review: Borgen - politics and crime in Denmark
The Socialist 8 February 2012 |
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