Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1122/32076

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2021

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage

  (Click to enlarge)

Heather Rawling, Leicester Socialist Party

Garment workers have among the highest rate of coronavirus deaths for working women in the UK, the Office for National Statistics has revealed. Labour Behind the Label estimates that sewing machinists, in particular, had the highest fatality rate - almost four times the overall death rate for women.

I am not surprised at these shocking figures. The garment industry is largely unorganised with extreme exploitation.

Last year, during a Covid-19 spike in Leicester, the virus was most prevalent in the textile industry - a thriving underworld of sweatshops, paying between 3 and 5 an hour, well below the minimum wage.

Many of these factories continued to work throughout lockdown. Workers, mainly women, were forced to work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions even before Covid. Social distancing, clean toilets and good hygiene are rare.

Most textile workers live in extremely overcrowded conditions. Parts of Leicester are among the most overcrowded in the UK, outside of London, home to a large black, Eastern European and migrant population.

75-80% of these factories supply orders for online fashion retailer Boohoo. Boohoo's market value has more than doubled to 2.3 billion since 2014.

Textile workers have been let down by Leicester Labour Council, which has failed to act over a number of years despite knowing about the illegal wages and unsafe working conditions.

Unfortunately, the Midlands Trades Union Congress (TUC) has also been guilty of a dereliction of duty. Lee Barron, regional secretary, has simply called on the Tory government to "use its much-delayed employment bill to make firms liable for abuses in their supply chains."

But the Tory government acts in the interests of firms like Boohoo, not in the interests of the workforce. These exploitative firms should be nationalised under democratic workers' control and management.

The Socialist Party calls for:

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
  • 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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 24 February 2021:


Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage


What we think

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour


News

Justice for Moyied Bashir

Uber drivers win case - they are workers

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run


Lessons from history

How militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act


Workplace news

Usdaw elections - right makes gains but Broad Left builds

HMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

Hinkley Point electricians fight 'deskilling'

"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"

London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

GMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

Scunthorpe steelworks scaffolders: Fifth week of action


TUSC

Liverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

Scottish TUSC election campaign launch

Keep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May


Campaigns news

W. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block

Coventry success building subscriptions

Socialist Students conference - postering

Save John Carroll Leisure Centre

Getting the Socialist out in lockdown


LGBT+ history month

Pride flag is about unity in struggle

Tories tout toilet tensions


International news

Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle

Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!


Readers' opinion

Film Review: The White Tiger

Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Tories target universities in free speech shakedown

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 February 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Covid:

triangleEngineers in fourth week of strike action

triangleNow is the time to fight for the NHS

triangleMake vaccine technology public, nationalise big-pharma

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: Who is to blame? - A workers' Covid enquiry

triangleG7 Can't solve poverty, Covid and climate change - join the struggle for Socialism

Workers:

triangleSparks win victory!

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists

triangleRedbridge school walkout over victimised union rep

triangleLeicester University workers strike against redundancies

Minimum wage:

triangle'Sleep-ins' ruling must lead to a huge campaign for social care workers' rights

triangleUnion fight to save musicians' livelihoods

Union:

triangleUnite general secretary contest: Vote for Sharon Graham

triangleConference 2021: Divide between union leaders and rank-and-file exposed

Leicester:

triangleSave Leicester General Hospital

Textile:

triangleLeicester socialists fight poverty-paying sweatshops

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

18/6/21

Unite

Unite general secretary contest: Vote for Sharon Graham

16/6/21

Women

Women's health matters

16/6/21

Tamil

Tamil Solidarity asylum victory

16/6/21

Wales

Beth Roper inquest: Train company failures ignored

16/6/21

Vaccine

Make vaccine technology public, nationalise big-pharma

16/6/21

Babies

Neonatal leave introduced: Unions must fight for extensions and full pay

9/6/21

Schools

Fight for the funding our schools and colleges need

9/6/21

Unite

Left candidate needed for Unite general secretary election

9/6/21

Unions

If unions give a lead, workers are fully prepared to fight and win victories

9/6/21

Tory party

Tory splits and infighting growing

9/6/21

Climate change

G7 Can't solve poverty, Covid and climate change - join the struggle for Socialism

9/6/21

Tax

G7 tax deal won't challenge corporate power

9/6/21

Racism

Dea-John Reid murder: Jobs, homes and services, not racism

8/6/21

NHS

'Let's fight to win on NHS pay and funding'

2/6/21

Covid

Capitalism's Covid failings

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999