Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1077/30390

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 March 2020

Supermarkets are ruled by profit - unions should control supply limits

Empty supermarket shelves, photo

Empty supermarket shelves, photo   (Click to enlarge)

Scott Jones, Usdaw union member (personal capacity)

Many shop and supermarket shelves are being stripped of hand wash, toilet rolls and some food lines such as dry pasta, as people panic buy and stockpile because of coronavirus.

Under pressure to do something about this, some retailers have put limits on the amount of certain items that shoppers can buy. Tesco has put a quantity limit of five on antibacterial gels, wipes and sprays, dry pasta, UHT milk and some tinned vegetables. Others have limited hand sanitiser to two bottles per person.

For now, this is welcome. When I worked for Tesco in Wales and the local area had bad snow, the traditional rush for milk and bread took place. It meant many people couldn't buy any themselves.

Concerned, staff proposed a solution of limiting the amount individuals could buy. As the trade union shop steward I took the suggestion to management, but was told it wasn't really in the company's interest - that interest being profit. Therefore, we can't rely on the bosses to manage distribution of essential goods.

Guarantee access

To control and combat Covid-19 it's vital that everybody has access to washing products, basics like toilet roll, and of course food. Especially as those who can least afford to stockpile, and are worst hit by panic shortages, are workers on the lowest incomes with little cash and time.

The government has put its full trust in retail bosses, with Tory minister Oliver Dowden saying "we are confident that supermarkets have the supply chains necessary to keep shelves stocked for people."

He's clearly never worked in a supermarket! Supply chains work on a very short-term basis, and a few days' interruption to deliveries could leave stores empty of essential goods.

Usdaw and other shop workers' unions should immediately convene democratic meetings of union reps from stores and distribution centres, alongside representatives of local shop customers. The unions should demand a say in how the sale and distribution of goods is controlled, and consider direct action if the situation worsens.

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 11 March 2020:


Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Full NHS funding now

Coronavirus infects the world economy

Flybe collapse: nationalise to save jobs threatened by Covid-19 and downturn

Coronavirus: international cooperation needed, not capitalist competition

Supermarkets are ruled by profit - unions should control supply limits

For full pay during isolation: for public health as well as workers' wallets

Self-isolation patients speak: NHS facilities and advice not up to it

Italy on lockdown: lack of resources and democracy causes panic

South Korea shows capitalism has money to respond to coronavirus

Coronavirus news in brief


News

Domestic Violence bill: We still need to fight to save our services

News in brief


Workplace news

Postal workers mobilise to win strike reballot

Homerton Hospital workers fight for sick pay

Fighting to transform the union in my warehouse

Argos workers in Sainsbury's stores threatened with losing collective bargaining

Homeless charity workers to strike against intransigent management

Southampton trade unionists say "defend the right to strike!"

Strong support for PCS Broad Left Network

East London uni and bin worker strikes


US election

How can Trump be ousted from the White House?


Campaigns and party news

Salford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises

Stoke council unions beat pay cuts - now let's stop all cuts

Is there an anti-cuts rebellion in Scotland?

Socialist Party joins International Women's Day protests

Housing workers explain reality to idiot Boris Johnson

Swansea: Ask anyone about state of services, you will hear the real story

Camarthenshire: Councillors' 'walk of shame'

Student occupation in support of striking workers

Selling the Socialist

Socialist Party executive committee positions


International news

Greece-Turkey border refugee crisis


Women's and trans rights

Women's rights, trans rights and the labour movement


Readers' opinion

Film: Greed directed by Michael Winterbottom

Childcare - costly, inadequate and hard work

Book: Why you should be a trade unionist by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 March 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Coronavirus:

triangleLockdown: suspicion and anger

triangle'Firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers

triangleHealth before profit - Work or full pay

triangleStudents speak out: isolation and uncertainty reign

triangleStudents not to blame for unsafe uni conditions

Unions:

triangleWhy the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleTories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

triangleTrade unions must fight to put their stamp on events

triangleTory scheme won't halt mass unemployment: mobilise the unions!

Profit:

triangleStop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans

triangle'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!

triangleCapitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

Union:

triangleSolidarity with Deliveroo Couriers in York

triangleFCC dismiss Unison activist Tony Smith

Supermarket:

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

Tesco:

triangleUsdaw shop workers' union activists meet via Zoom

Usdaw:

triangleUsdaw elections: the battle for a fighting union

Food:

triangleUnder the microscope

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

14/10/20

Capitalist

Are cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?

14/10/20

Schools

Even more delay in stopping school transmission?

14/10/20

Coronavirus

Locked down, hard up - Fight back!

14/10/20

Labour

Unite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour

14/10/20

Higher Education

"It's not fair" - lockdown students demand free education

14/10/20

Nottingham

Nottingham Covid surge caused by Tory mismanagement

14/10/20

Schools

As school cases soar - is contact tracing 'near breaking point'?

14/10/20

Coronavirus

Under the microscope

14/10/20

National Education Union

National Education Union must launch action now

14/10/20

Students

Students not to blame for unsafe uni conditions

7/10/20

Socialism

Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens

7/10/20

Coronavirus

Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation

7/10/20

Asylum

Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

7/10/20

Tories

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

7/10/20

Covid

Under the microscope

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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


October 2020

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