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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 October 2019

London - 'autumn of discontent' against low pay and outsourcing

photo Rob Williams

photo Rob Williams   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network, chair

Independent union United Voices of the World (UVW) has launched an 'autumn of discontent' with strikes by outsourced, low-paid, mainly migrant workers.

There are strikes at five London employers - playground attendants at the Royal Parks, cafe workers in Greenwich University, hundreds of cleaners, caterers and porters from St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, and workers at the Ministry of Justice and the headquarters of ITV and Channel 4.

They are coordinating their strikes on 31 October. Two others are balloting for action too - St. George's University and the University of East London. UVW has previously won important victories, including at the London School of Economics.

A central demand is for all outsourced workers to be brought in-house. This is the policy of Jeremy Corbyn and should be shouted from the rooftops as we inch towards a general election. This would draw a real class division between him and Boris Johnson, who wants to open the NHS and other public services to even more parasites, such as US private health companies.

Civil servants' union PCS won an important victory for outsourced workers in the government's business department BEIS, by securing the London Living Wage. (See 'BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory').

Members of public sector union Unison in the North West have been on strike at NHS private contractor Compass. And food workers' union BFAWU are striking for 15 an hour at McDonalds.

This shows that established unions can also take action among precarious and contracted-out workers, providing they give a lead.

The planned national strike by 110,000 Communication Workers' Union (CWU) members in Royal Mail could highlight to a new generation of workers the role of fighting trade unions. It can be an attractive force to all those facing the bosses' offensive.

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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.

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In The Socialist 30 October 2019:


What we think

Anti-austerity, socialist policies can be a winning formula

Mass protests rock the globe


News

Tories out now. Bin Boris. Corbyn can win with socialist policies!

39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container

Argos Christmas bonus cut


Wall Street Crash

The 1929 Wall Street Crash: When the capitalist system was on its knees


Workplace news

PCS union election: For a fighting democratic general secretary

PCS: Support Marion Lloyd - a history of workers' struggle and a programme for the future

McDonald's - Striking to end low pay

London - 'autumn of discontent'

RMT election: Fight the cuts, vote for Jared Wood

Uni workers' pay and pension strike ballot


Butterfields

How working-class tenants beat Gentrification


Black history

Black Liberation... Only possible through socialist struggle

Obituary - Bob Lee: 1954 - 2019


International socialist news and analysis

Chile in revolt


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Enfield North socialists lobby candidate stitch-up

Selling the Socialist

Donate to fund the fightback at Socialism 2019

Chile protests - London solidarity rally


Reader's opinion

Life in the gig economy

Film reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

TV: The Accident - Will capitalism be exposed in upsetting, true-to-life drama?

Opinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

London:

triangleNew Cross Gate fire 40 years ago

trianglePolice use Covid-19 laws to intimidate Black Lives Matter protesters

triangleLondon's May elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The Socialist newspaper in the age of lockdowns

triangleSouthwest London Socialist Party: The fight for LGBT rights

Pay:

triangleMorrisons pay offer - 10 an hour headline hides divisive pay offer

triangleBritish Gas strike continues

trianglePCS Broad Left Network conference: "A BLN-led union will fight and win for members"

triangleOn the NHS front line

Outsourcing:

triangleNottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

triangleBEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

triangle"BEIS: stop pISSing about and give outsourcing the boot!"

Low pay:

triangleFast fashion, big profits, low pay

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

Workers:

triangleJustice for Mohamud Hassan!

Union:

triangleObituary - Jeff Edwards

Strike:

triangleRolls-Royce Barnoldswick factory future secured following strike action

Unions:

triangleEffective testing and properly funded safety plan needed

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network: Fight together against the Tories' and bosses' Covid offensive

BFAWU:

triangleShould Corbyn stand for London Mayor?

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