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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 November 2020

Furloughed worker speaks out: Let down by insecure contracts

photo Creative Commons Zero - CC0

photo Creative Commons Zero - CC0   (Click to enlarge)

I was working when lockdown was announced. We turned up the volume on the telly, put the subtitles on and everyone went quiet.

After the announcement one lad went on a break, had a good cry and came back with his Halloween make-up running everywhere. It is just the stress of it all - it has broken people down and they feel like they can't do this anymore.

I missed out on furlough by two days last time. I had a cleaning job in a beauty spa, but because I was two days from my first pay cheque, I missed out.

Revenue and Customs refused to accept my employment contract as evidence. This time I am a few weeks into a four-week contract. I could be furloughed for a week and then laid off.

Fortunately, my manager told me that she will extend my contract so I can be on furlough. But people shouldn't have to rely on that.

Many individual managers are trying to do the right thing. They have the weight of twenty-odd people, the weight of their staff's livelihoods and their own on top of them.

Some of my colleagues have been considering setting up a temporary ride-share, informal taxi service. They can't afford a 20% pay cut. No one should be in that position, forced to put themselves at risk, just to make ends meet.

Mental health is my main concern. If I spend another month inside and not working I'm concerned how I will be able to stay positive.

James, bar worker

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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.

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  • 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 4 November 2020:


What we think

Our lives, our jobs - not safe in Tory hands

Corbyn suspended - Time to fight for a new mass workers' party

Socialism 2020: Mass workers' voice needed


Unison

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


News

A lockdown that doesn't include education?

Spycops inquiry finally opens

Testing is failing - it's a privatised mess

Furloughed worker speaks out: Let down by insecure contracts


Workplace

Transport for London given funding stop gap

Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

Birmingham NHS porters' 48-hour strike against shift changes

Optare strikers escalate their action


International news

Chile: A defeat for the right!

Poland: Mass protests against abortion ban

US presidential election 2020


Campaigns

Save St Andrews mental health ward

Leeds protesters demand "Buhari must go!"

Building Bangor Socialist Students

Maybe now they will listen - Refund the fees!

Donate now to the Socialism 2020 appeal

Corbyn suspended: Join the fightback, join the socialists


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Lockdown:

triangleStop Leicester hospital closure

triangleTories student 'evacuation' plan won't work

triangleReaders of the Socialist react to effects of lockdown

triangleCovid and poverty rising - Welsh lockdown ends with little progress

triangleUsdaw needs a fighting leadership

Pay:

triangleHeathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

triangleCovid crisis: "We won't pay the price"

triangleHugo Pierre, a candidate in Unison's general secretary election, speaking at Socialism 2020, 21st November 2020

triangleSelling the Socialist

Mental health:

triangleSave St Andrews mental health ward

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Mental health and socialism

triangleNewcastle lockdown: stress and breakdowns

Health:

trianglePPE contracts: It pays to have friends in high places

triangleStop the Tories putting profit before health

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