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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 January 2016

Them & Us

Image Suzanne Beishon

Image Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Pensioners freeze, energy firms profit

Half of Britain's pensioners were due to turn down the thermostat during January's cold snap. Meanwhile, big energy firms are posting record profits - the big six will make over 1 billion for the first time.

A study reported in the Times found that five million over-65s were planning to risk their health - and lives - by sitting in the cold.

Energy prices have remained stubbornly high for consumers. Bosses are pocketing the difference of two years' falling wholesale costs.


Sicko bosses sicken sick workers

One in four bosses now demands to interrogate you on your illness before granting sick leave. That's pretty sick.

And one in ten workers is forced to make up the lost time, with similar numbers made to use annual leave for medical appointments.

The survey by a health insurer also found that even 30% of bosses who claim to be more sympathetic are "frustrated by the working time lost" to sickness.

Bullying, low pay and job insecurity are becoming normal. Have bosses considered that workers might just be sick of them?


Worker told to pay boss

A worker in London was outraged when a prospective boss asked her to pay 44 to attend an interview.

The Socialist has received copies of email correspondence between the prospective employee and a tutoring firm. After approving her CV, the boss instructed her to pay a 44 "registration fee". This was apparently to pay for a DBS criminal record check - with no promise of a job.

The worker rightly declined the boss's kind offer to pay his firm for an interview. She wrote to him that "I believe your company's policy of making potential applicants and your own workers pay for their own DBS check is inappropriate and approaches the immoral."

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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 27 January 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing: smash the Tory wrecking bill

Davos summit: a broken capitalist system

Google pays pittance for avoiding 2bn tax

Red doors and wristbands scandal

Steelworkers may face benefit cut-off for not seeking bar jobs

Oscars snub black artists: fight racism and austerity in the arts

Labour councillor smears TUSC policy as 'BNP'

Them & Us

Top tweets: #TraditionallySubmissive


Teachers under attack

Teaching: a perfect storm is brewing

Teachers need national strategy for a national struggle

A day in the life of a teacher and mother


International socialist news and analysis

New wave of protests in Tunisia

India: student death exposes caste oppression


What we think

Tories 'Prevent' civil liberties


Council cuts and the fight in Labour

Labour councillor suspended for fighting cuts

Dave Nellist's byelection appeal to Jeremy Corbyn: 'let's discuss how to fight the cuts'

Labour election post-mortem: nothing to report!

The dark arts of Labour's right

Councillors must fight to defend our services

'People's budgets' and local democracy

Lewisham: no backsliding in council cuts fight!


Workplace news and analysis

"I have left work many times in tears" - a council worker

Trade union bill will stretch resources and limit action

Birmingham teachers strike to resist academy attack

24-hour tube strike suspended

Care services under threat in Haringey

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comment

The end for deep coal mining jobs in Britain

Obituary: Dean Meehan 1962-2016

Letters


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Protesting against closure of Huddersfield A&E

Coventry children's services closure protest

New Socialist Party branch fights against St Austell austerity

Socialist Party discusses the fight for socialism

Socialist Students bake-off


 

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