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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 October 2015

Them & Us

Minimum wage storm

High street retail group Monsoon Accessorize was caught paying more than a quarter of its UK store staff below the minimum wage.

HM Revenue and Customs has named and shamed the firm as part of a list of 115 law breakers. In Monsoon's case, employees were required to wear the store's own clothes for work - which they had to buy. This brought net wages below the legal minimum.

The fashion company has been made to pay a total of 104,508 to 1,438 workers. But its fine for illegal poverty pay is a mere 28,148. The firm made over 18 million profit before tax in the financial year to 2013.

Monsoon is a founding member of the 'Ethical Trading Initiative' - strapline: "respect for workers worldwide".

Flight fit for a king

David Cameron spent over 100,000 flying to the funeral of human rights abuser King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.

Return tickets from London to Riyadh in economy class cost from 464 a head. And last year, Cameron plus five flew to the G20 meetings in Australia - the opposite side of the planet - for just 13,290.

101,792 to pay respect to a super-rich, unelected leader of a state which tortures and kills dissidents. That one trip would have paid four staff nurses' salaries for a year. NHS wards are currently dangerously understaffed.

But then staff nurses don't make Cameron's mates much money. British investments in Saudi Arabia total 9.8 billion. And who cares about human rights when the crude oil supply is at stake?

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Finance appeal

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.
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In The Socialist 29 October 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Unite to fight divided Tories

'Momentum' must mobilise for real and lasting change

Hinkley deal - no point in nuclear

Sugar tax debate misses real causes of poor diet

First new grammar school in 50 years bolsters elitism

Them & Us

What we saw


International socialist news and analysis

Israeli government fans the flames of conflict

CWI news in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

What are the lessons of the 2010 student movement?

South African student solidarity demo

Students march in Leeds for free education


Workplace news and analysis

Steel industry and the battle for jobs

For a fighting and democratic Unison general secretary, vote Roger Bannister

Morrisons workers deserve fair pay and conditions

Hull council in aggressive attack on union convenors

Kill the Bill!

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Film review: Suffragette

Teachers and 'growth mindset'

Townsend Productions presents two critically acclaimed pieces of socialist theatre


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fund the fight for socialism at home and internationally

TUSC councillor calls for local Labour to back Corbyn's anti-cuts stance

Housing crisis on the agenda for Socialist Party in Reading


 

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