Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1096/31113
From The Socialist newspaper, 13 July 2020
Wales arts cuts: Save every job
As live performances are cancelled, there could be a jobs meltdown in the whole theatre and arts sector unless the government steps in. Under pressure, the UK government announced a £1.5 billion subsidy, but that has not been used to defend jobs.
The Welsh government has been allocated £59 million, which should be passed on to arts organisations specifically to save jobs. The government should insist that all funding will be dependant on the money being used to save jobs. Management at the Wales Millennium Centre has refused to rule out job cuts, even if extra funding is forthcoming.
Jason Camilleri, a Wales Millennium Centre worker, helped organise a protest outside the Welsh Senedd (parliament) against job cuts in museums, arts and venues on 18 July.
Jason Camilleri (left) with other protesters , photo M. Kamish (Click to enlarge)
Protesters brandished signs stating the basic demand of 'save every job'. This is the collective message of the organisers. However, one sign resonated loudly for me, it read: 'Theatre is more than just buildings, its people'.
Thousands of jobs are at stake. To name but a few: Exeter Northcott Theatre, 50% of staff; Tobacco Factory in Bristol, 70% of staff; London's National Theatre, 400 staff - not to mention the losses at regional theatres and venues across Wales.
Hopes were raised when it was announced that a £59 million rescue package for arts and heritage was heading to Wales. However, with redundancies already taking place, announcements around the rescue package have been slow and fraught with confusion.
The idea of a union supporting an entire workforce within an organisation does not seem to exist. There are specific unions for performers, but the industry is so much more than that. The key is immediate action for the industry to become unionised, and a concerted effort must be made to ensure that this happens.
The current emergency needs action. There are no guarantees that any job is safe as a result of this fund. And there is no word from the Welsh Government on whether it intends to use this fund to protect livelihoods.
If you are waiting on the announcement before you speak up, the opportunity may be lost, along with thousands of jobs. The time is now.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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 13 July 2020:
Fight for our livelihoods... fight for our lives!
Fight for the NHS
Huawei: what's behind Johnson's latest u-turn?
Mandatory masks in shops law: workers must not pay the price
Luton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!
Tories using pandemic to privatise NHS more
Them & Us
Hugely significant Tower Hamlets council workers' strike continues
Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary
No going back
Housing crisis: what now and after the pandemic?
United Left general secretary hustings shows widest debate needed for left in Unite
Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs
Online rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!
Continue the fight to protect safety
Debenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Time to relaunch TUSC
I joined the Socialist Party to fight back
Wales arts cuts: Save every job
Trade unionists and artists stand with Maxine Peake
Bristol trans rights protest
Getting the Socialist over the summer
Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity
Iran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes
Israel: Nurses strike and win
100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain
Exciting Cuban spy thriller exposes US-sponsored terrorism
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 13 July 2020 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook