Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1052/29444

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 August 2019

Fight back against the retail bosses!

Tesco Dagenham distribution centre; One-day Usdaw strike over pay. , photo Richard Groves

Tesco Dagenham distribution centre; One-day Usdaw strike over pay. , photo Richard Groves   (Click to enlarge)

Ryan Aldred, Usdaw shop workers' union branch secretary (personal capacity)

'The needs of the business' is a phrase most retail staff will be familiar with. Does it mean the need to have a happy, healthy workforce? Does it mean the need to provide decent wages and sustainable contracts? Does it mean the need to ensure workers can enjoy a sensible work/life balance? Not for a second!

Anybody in retail who hears these foreboding words knows that change is coming and it's not going to be pretty. The needs of the business mean cutbacks, worsening of conditions and the threat of redundancy - all to satisfy the need of the bosses to keep the profits rolling in as we're turfed out onto the street.

The British Retail Consortium reports 72,000 jobs lost in the sector in the last year alone. But this only paints a partial picture when factoring in the diminishing hours of those on zero and low-hour contracts. Is it any wonder then that shop workers have had enough?

Job losses

Tesco announced 9,000 job cuts as recently as January but the bloodletting continues. The axe is now wielded for another 4,500 jobs with more 'flexibility' being demanded of the workers who survive the chop.

Similarly, Asda is using the threat of dismissal to sign its staff up to 'contract 6', scrapping time off on bank holidays and slashing night shift rates, all while demanding workers be completely flexible. We are expected to be completely flexible at the expense of our lives and families for jobs that may not exist in a year or two!

It is for this reason that myself and many other workers will be joining the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton on 8 September. We are sick and tired of the needs of the business when it is these same businesses that disregard the needs of the workers.

Coordinated strikes

We need coordinated strike action to make it clear to bosses that poverty wages, low hours and threats of dismissal will not be tolerated. We need the TUC to take up the NSSN's call for mass action to force a general election to get rid of the Tories, the discredited party of Boris and the bosses.

My family and I, like so many countless others, can no longer afford the needs of the business. Already we have seen Sainsbury's workers take strike action over changes to sick pay, and now Wilko workers look poised to follow as the bosses feel that weekends for workers are a luxury that can no longer be afforded.

With the misery that austerity has inflicted, the TUC needs to bring together the growing mood for localised strike action and push for more generalised struggle to end austerity and bring down this government.

And the unions must fight to raise the minimum wage to 10 an hour, to scrap zero and low-hour contracts and fight for a government that puts the needs of the millions ahead of the greed of a few billionaire shareholders.

NSSN 2019 TUC lobby

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 14 August 2019:


What we think

General election looms... Capitalists in chaos: fight for socialism


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Far right seen off at Oxford Circus

After the fire: fight for facilities for all

Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!

Dundee: young workers meet

Leeds estate residents push back private development


News

Boot out Boris and all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%

Tory bribes don't hide destruction of NHS


Opinion

TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"


Historic events

Northern Ireland, August '69: 'Battle of the Bogside' and British troops on the streets

The Peterloo Massacre 1819: When a fearful ruling class tried to crush working-class political aspirations


Workplace news

Fight back against the retail bosses!

Lincolnshire health workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation

Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay

Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal

Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard


International socialist news and analysis

Kashmir crisis: Stop the attack on democratic rights

Pro-democracy protests continue to rage in Hong Kong


 

Home   |   The Socialist 14 August 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Retail:

triangleContinue the fight to protect safety

triangleMandatory masks in shops law

triangleSunday trading: Government blinks first

triangleDebenham's protests: Workers must not pay price of Covid-19

triangleResist relaxation of Sunday trading laws

Workers:

triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

triangleBlame politicians, not workers and young people

triangleOur lives and livelihoods at stake

NSSN:

triangleNSSN rally: Workers must not pay the price of Covid

triangleDemand a fightback from the TUC and unions

triangleNSSN lobby of TUC

TUC:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: TUC 2020 - The state of the unions

Tesco:

triangleWorkers need a 'new deal' - at least 12 an hour now!

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleTate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"

Minimum wage:

triangleCallous Tories threaten not to uprate the minimum wage

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/9/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

16/9/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

16/9/20

Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'

16/9/20

Coventry

Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

16/9/20

NHS

Angry health workers demand 15% now!

16/9/20

Usdaw

Reinstate Richie Venton

16/9/20

Hull

Reinstate Tony Smith

16/9/20

Strike

Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

16/9/20

London

London bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute

16/9/20

Ireland

Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

16/9/20

PCS

PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

16/9/20

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

16/9/20

Socialist Party

Two weeks to donate: we need your help

9/9/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism

9/9/20

Amazon

Fight Amazon's anti-union spies

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999