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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 May 2020

Coronavirus

Leicester care workers face pay cut and worse conditions

Care workers are some of the most exploited in the country, photo (public domain)

Care workers are some of the most exploited in the country, photo (public domain)   (Click to enlarge)

Heather Rawling, Unison union member (personal capacity)

Care home workers in Leicestershire are to be rewarded for their courage and sacrifice during this crisis with a pay cut and worsening conditions of service. But that's alright. They will be applauded every Thursday night!

Under the cover of Covid-19, Leicestershire County Care Limited, which owns former council-run homes, has callously decided to cut the salaries of 97 employees. The worst-affected workers will see their salaries cut by nearly one third. Sick pay will also be reduced, to the legal minimum, two weeks will be taken off annual leave, and paternity, maternity and adoption leave reduced to the state minimum.

Effectively, this would abolish the conditions of employment fought for while the homes were run by the council. Privatisation threatens care standards and workers' pay and conditions.

Carer deaths

Care workers have been on the front line caring for residents in extremely difficult circumstances emotionally and physically. Proportionately, more care workers have died from Covid-19 than hospital staff. So to reward them with a pay cut is criminal.

They should be getting a pay rise for working in hazardous conditions and putting themselves and their families at risk. The average pay of a care worker in the UK is 8.21 an hour. Unison was informed of the changes before the announcement. The unions should be demanding no reduction in pay and conditions. No one should have to work for less than 12 an hour.

If the owners of the care homes say they can't afford it then they should be brought into public ownership and democratically run by workers and the community. The government has shown there is money available when it has a mind to use it. We should be demanding that the government increases the funding to local authorities to pay for the care of the old, sick and vulnerable in our communities.

The whole trade union movement should move to defend the pay and conditions of any section of workers threatened with job losses and pay cuts by employers using the pandemic to attack workers.

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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.
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In The Socialist 11 May 2020:


What we think

Stay alert to bosses putting profit before safety

Tories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

Furlough scheme extended - workers need 100% of wages


Schools

No going back to unsafe schools


Workplace news

Dispatches from the front: bosses prepare fresh attacks on NHS

Transport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

Leicester care workers face pay cut and worse conditions

West Midlands trade union activists discuss the battle for safety on the front line


Spanish flu 1918

The Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it "fanned the flames of revolt"


Lessons from history

A new world order - global reconstruction after World War Two

'Victory in Europe' 75th anniversary: A resurgent workers' movement and the fight for socialism


Socialist planning

Pandemic shortages caused by capitalist market - socialist planning is the alternative


Campaigns

Safe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

Starmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis


Readers' opinion

Johnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

Going Viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis


 

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Related links:

Coronavirus:

triangleThe Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

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triangleMorrisons - 10/hr headline hides divisive pay offer

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Care worker:

triangleSheffield: Support Sue

Care Homes:

triangleLiverpool Council must save care homes

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