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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2020

Fight for every job

Fight for socialism

  (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Southampton Socialist Party

Thousands of jobs already destroyed. Thousands more announced almost every day. The 'job retention scheme' is turning into a jobs haemorrhage as the government starts to wind it down, with a view to scrapping it in October.

Now many profit-rich companies which took the furlough cash are preparing to dump thousands of workers on the dole. The scheme is being revealed as the bosses' bailout it always was.

As speaker after speaker at the National Shop Stewards Network conference on 4 July said, trade unions must fight every job cut and every pay cut. Workers must not pay for coronavirus.

The Tories have shown they are not acting in the 'national interest'. They represent the interests of big business looking to protect their profits and make workers pay the price for the new economic crisis - with cuts to jobs, pay, working conditions, benefits and pensions.

The Socialist Party calls for a mass fightback led by the trade unions to resist all job cuts. We have seen thousands join the unions in recent weeks to protect themselves at work.

With a bold lead this deeply unpopular government could be pushed back. That means fighting for clear socialist policies that can unite the working class and offer a way forward to build a socialist alternative to a new economic depression.

Protesting outside Debenhams in Southampton, June 2020

Protesting outside Debenhams in Southampton, June 2020   (Click to enlarge)

We call for the work to be shared out with no loss of pay to ensure full employment. Young people don't need a few weeks' 'retraining' on make-work schemes, but real apprenticeships on trade union rates of pay. The minimum wage should be immediately raised to 12 an hour - 15 in London.

We need free education and a mass programme of public works to build affordable council housing, schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure. A 'green new deal' could create socially useful jobs and protect the environment, but it has to be fully funded, not the paltry sum proposed by Rishi Sunak, and democratically controlled by the trade unions - a socialist green new deal.

The financial books of any company declaring job cuts and closures should be opened to trade union and workers' inspection, and major companies nationalised under democratic workers' control and management to defend workers' jobs.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the complete inability of big business and their political representatives to keep us safe and meet the needs of working-class people.

Now the economic crisis is further revealing that the system they represent cannot guarantee us jobs, pay, decent working conditions and public services.

The fight to defend every job must be linked to the fight for a socialist plan of production. This means taking the main industries and financial institutions out of the hands of those interested only in profit, enabling democratic working-class control and decision making over how the economy and society can best be organised to meet the needs of the majority.

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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.

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In The Socialist 8 July 2020:


Workplace news

Fantastic virtual NSSN conference: "Fight for our lives and livelihoods''

Homerton hospital workers deserve equal pay and conditions

Jobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

Southampton UCU: election victory for combative rank and file

Tower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

Nottingham unions fight council job cuts


News

Fight for every job, fight for socialism

Tory NHS betrayal

Young people have no choice but to fight the system

Leicester: End the scandal of sweatshop labour

Covid pandemic and Northern Ireland - workers must resist the bosses' offensive

1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

Testing: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector

Johnson blames care workers for deaths

3bn green pledge: not enough for climate or jobs

Poverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

Them and us


No going back

No going back: Nationalise social care!


Campaigns

The best place to start - join the Socialist Party

Trans rights protests oppose Tory backsliding

Black Lives Matter - the fight is not over


International news

Hong Kong: The fight for democratic rights

Bangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills


Readers' opinion

TV: The school that tried to end racism

Books that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

The Socialist Inbox


 

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