Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1084/30704
From The Socialist newspaper, 29 April 2020
Unions must organise throughout crisis
A trade union meeting via Zoom (Click to enlarge)
The coronavirus pandemic throws up its own unique problems and challenges which cannot wait until after the lockdown has ended. Workers are being subjected to unfair and unsafe conditions now, and it is simply unacceptable for union leaders to put things off.
Plymouth and district general Usdaw branch has made use of Zoom and met on 22 April to ensure that members can still come together. It is clear the union is needed to defend against the lack of PPE as well as the disregard of social-distancing guidelines by management in many stores.
There is no reason why union members can't meet by making use of apps like Zoom.
If key workers are expected to work as normal, why can't we also organise in a trade union as normal? Where this isn't already taking place, workers should demand that branches find ways to overcome the lockdown so that union branches aren't effectively suspended at a time when they are vitally important to struggle.
It needs to be made clear to bosses that workers will not abide profits being put before workers' health and safety; dangerous conditions should be met with walkouts. Likewise, it needs to be made abundantly clear to union leaders that inaction will not be tolerated. This is especially so with thousands of new members looking to the unions to step up and fight to defend, and indeed advance workers' rights and conditions.
Ryan Aldred, Usdaw Plymouth and district general branch secretary (personal capacity)
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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.
- 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.
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 Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 29 April 2020:
Workers' safety before bosses' profits
Dispatches from the front: PPE chaos goes on
Private firm causes weeks of delay to free school meal vouchers: bring it back in-house!
Lessons from history
No return to the 1930s: World War Two and 'a land fit for heroes'
May Day 2020: join the protests - wear red, bring flags and banners
130 Years of May Day in Britain: Fight for workers' rights more relevant than ever
May Day greetings pull out 2020
Workers fighting to defend safety and livelihoods - NSSN national meeting a huge success
Civil servants in Paisley protest after Covid outbreak
Irish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest
B&M Bargains management puts profit before safety
Schools: No return without a national union agreement that guarantees safety!
Unions must organise throughout crisis
Waltham Forest trade unions discuss the fight for PPE and workplace safety
Woolwich ferry - workers secure 100% furlough agreement
ISS workers' pay victory
Organising during coronavirus
Should the Socialist still be produced during the Corona crisis? An exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist
Coronavirus crisis finance appeal
Adding demands to the weekly claps
Going viral: Socialist comments and letters
The Socialist 29 April 2020 |
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