Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1065/29910
From The Socialist newspaper, 20 November 2019
Wages flatline, while shareholders profit
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
Alex Wedlake, Unite union young members national committee, personal capacity
A Trade Union Congress report into the top 100 firms in the UK has found that the returns for top company shareholders have increased by 56% in just five years. That's six times faster than workers' wages.
If wages had kept pace with shareholder increases, the average worker in the UK would be £9,500 a year better off.
This figure is an absolute disgrace when you consider the increasing number of families relying on foodbanks to provide the bare essentials for life.
The TUC calls for a ban on dividends for companies not paying the living wage. The TUC should be calling for a minimum wage of at least £10 an hour, a ban on zero-hour contracts, and reversing other attacks on terms and conditions.
The High Pay Centre quite rightly identified that "Britain's corporate culture prioritised shareholders over investments in the workforce, new equipment and protecting the environment." But it failed to address an alternative.
Under capitalism, companies are unable to prioritise the issues that affect our planet and the 99%.
A socialist system, where companies are owned and run by the workers would be able to prioritise these issues, allowing long-term economic growth. These top 100 companies should be nationalised, with compensation only given with proven need.
The FTSE 100 (top) companies generated net profits of £551 billion and returned £442 billion of this to shareholders over the period 2014 to 2018. This means that overall the FTSE 100 paid shareholders an average of £1.7 billion a week.
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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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- 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 20 November 2019:
What we think
High Court injunction: solidarity to the CWU
CWU - ground laid for an almighty struggle
Major funding for flood risk management needed
Save the NHS: kick out the Tories
Frimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation
Violence against women
What policies are needed to end domestic violence and abuse?
Socialist Party news and analysis
Broadband: privatisation has failed to deliver, time for a socialist plan
Bolton university fire: government inaction puts safety at risk
Wages flatline, while shareholders profit
Workplace news and analysis
UCU pay and pension strike: university staff have had enough
West Midlands Trains: guards strike to defend safety-critical role
PCS union: elect Marion Lloyd!
Cleaners strike over low pay at Haringey secondary school
Bradford library and museum strikers enter third round of strike action
Long hours in the world of security
NEU members' sixth-form walkouts
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Secret police infiltration of workers' movement exposed
150 protest against Leicester hospital downgrading attack
Carmarthenshire union demands no-cuts budget
Swansea: students protest against Hillary Clinton hypocrisy
Keep the National Poetry Library free
Selling the Socialist
The Socialist Inbox
International socialist news and analysis
Amazon bosses defeated in Seattle - Kshama Sawant reelected
Chile revolt continues: read eyewitness report
The Socialist 20 November 2019 |
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