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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 November 2014

Pay victories celebrated at Socialism 2014

We can win 10 an hour

October 2014 St Mungo's Broadway strike, in Hackney, photo Paul Mattsson

October 2014 St Mungo's Broadway strike, in Hackney, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network chair

Socialist Seattle city councillor Kshama Sawant brought the house down at Socialism 2014 in London on 8 November. She spoke about her election victory and the successful campaign she led to win a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle.

Now a new report highlights the low pay trap that is keeping millions of workers in poverty pay. The Resolution Foundation estimates that only one in four workers who were low paid in 2001 have moved on to jobs with higher pay. But as Kshama and the BFAWU bakers' union President Ian Hodson said from the Socialism platform, there is an escape from low pay - if we fight for it!

In Seattle, Kshama's incredible victory gave a political voice to the struggle of fast food workers and opened the door to a pay rise of almost 40% for the poorest! This has lifted the sights of workers throughout the US as other states and cities are forced into concessions.

Why should it be any different here? Just over the last few weeks, we've seen workers in St Mungo's Broadway homelessness charity and Greenwich libraries, with Socialist Party members playing important roles alongside others, win real victories. If unions give a determined lead, their members can have the confidence to fight to break the scourges of low pay and zero-hour contracts.

We can take inspiration from these victories, here and in the US. Let's commit ourselves to the industrial and political struggles needed to smash the pay freeze and win a 10 an hour minimum wage now!

Kshama Sawant, Socialism 2014, London 8.11.14, photo Paul Mattsson

Kshama Sawant, Socialism 2014, London 8.11.14, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)


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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.
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In The Socialist 12 November 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We can win 10 an hour

Socialism '14: infused with contagious confidence

'A magical fairyland' of corporate tax avoiders

What recovery? Thousands more jobs axed

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Afghanistan war: A legacy of death and destruction

Mid-term elections do not mean shift to right in US


Socialist history

25 years after the Berlin Wall fell


Socialist Party youth and students

Build the education fightback

Fight for our future!


Socialist Party workplace news

St Mungo's strikers celebrate victory

Care UK workers to ballot on 2% pay deal

Sheffield recycling: 'We're out until the boss is out'

Crane drivers tell HTC: It's time to pay up!

Fight JCB's 150 job cuts

London RMT: Vote John Reid


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leading Scottish trade unionists back TUSC

Leicester party building school


Reviews and readers' comments

Exhibition review: Disobedient Objects

Theatre Review: United We Stand

Little charity from high paid care bosses

Labour - the singer or the song?

Flawed maths of the bedroom tax


Obituary

Heulwen Davies 1960-2014


 

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Related links:

Minimum wage:

triangle'Sleep-ins' ruling must lead to a huge campaign for social care workers' rights

triangleUnion fight to save musicians' livelihoods

triangleGarment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage

triangleNews in brief

Socialism 2014:

triangleSocialism 2014

triangle15Now's Kshama Sawant in London this weekend

triangleEvery penny counts: donate to Socialism 2014

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Report from 'Socialism 2014'

Socialism:

trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

triangleBuild a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism

triangleRight-wing study concludes youth like socialism

Pay:

triangleNew left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

trianglePublic sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!

Seattle:

triangleAmazon bosses defeated in Seattle - Kshama Sawant reelected

Low pay:

triangleKeep the Universal Credit uplift

Kshama Sawant:

triangleKshama Sawant reelected in Seattle

BFAWU:

triangleMajority of BFAWU members vote to break from Labour

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