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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 May 2017

Fight for jobs, pay and services

Kick out the Tories: For a Corbyn-led government

If Corbyn and the unions mobilise workers, he can win the general election, photo by Paul Mattsson

If Corbyn and the unions mobilise workers, he can win the general election, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Caroline Vincent, Leicester Socialist Party

"The Conservative Party has always been the true party of workers," claims Theresa May. What a joke! Try telling that to the millions of workers living on poverty pay, in precarious employment.

Tell it to the nurses who outrageously can't afford to feed themselves without help from food banks. Tell it to the public sector workers whose pay has been 'capped' (ie cut) for over a decade!

May will certainly encounter scepticism in promising to improve workers' rights, given the Conservative Party's record of attacking them.

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour manifesto, by contrast, reveals a raft of strong measures to boost jobs, pay and workplace conditions. The banning of zero-hour contracts for instance, will mean more stable employment. Scrapping employment tribunal fees will address employer victimisation in workplaces.

Labour says the public sector pay cap will be lifted and the minimum wage will be raised to a living wage - at least 10 an hour by 2020. And the most effective way to maintain good rights at work is through a trade union, so a repeal of the restrictive Trade Union Act will be welcomed.

As socialists we recognise the limitations of some of these demands, like the delay in implementing the 10 an hour minimum wage, but overall it's a positive start.

Enthusiasm

The public enthusiasm with which these policies has been greeted has prompted Theresa May to cynically mimic Corbyn's pro-worker stance. Her "new deal," however, offers very little to workers, and does not stand up to scrutiny.

A Tory commitment to increase the national living wage will only benefit the over 25's. The introduction of statutory rights to unpaid leave for carers will not be a financially viable option for many, and is an insulting alternative to investment in social care (from which billions of pounds has been cut).

May's promise to safeguard workers' rights is meaningless, as there is no plan to get rid of tribunal fees and scrap anti-union laws.

This blatant Tory opportunism will fool no one - except perhaps Trade Union Congress general secretary Frances O'Grady. Instead of embracing Corbyn's workers' charter and advocating more pro-worker measures, O'Grady tweeted tacit support for May's hypocritical nonsense.

Come 8 June the choice that will benefit workers is clear - we must get the Tories out! A Corbyn-led government would be a huge step forward, which we then need to build on. It would provide an opportunity to workers, mobilising through their trade unions, to win better pay and conditions.

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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.
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In The Socialist 17 May 2017:


Kick out the Tories! Corbyn can win

Kick out the Tories: For a Corbyn-led government

Tories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

Corbyn's manifesto: An important step in the right direction

TUSC confirms no candidates in June

Suprise rally with Jeremy Corbyn in Morley

Corbyn's alternative for young people

Corbyn could re-win Scotland with a socialist approach to independence


Socialist Party news and analysis

One in three borrow for rent, Corbyn pledges housing revolution

Tories escape election fraud charges

NHS cyberattack: budget cuts and spy agency to blame

31,000 more kids at risk of abuse or neglect


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS election: Increased majority for Democracy Alliance

Support Corbyn's call to renationalise Royal Mail

CWU walkout wins large concessions

Blackpool deserves better - anti-austerity rally

Unison must back Corbyn's pledge to abolish zero-hour contracts with action

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist ideas are energising young people

Fund the fight against the Tories

Packed meeting sets out socialist policies needed to defeat the Tories


International socialist news and analysis

Palestinian prisoners on mass hunger strike protest

Brazil: General strike against Temer regime


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Barcelona May Days 1937 - a civil war within a civil war

Hull workers who fought in the Spanish Civil War

The Socialist inbox


 

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