Johnson must go! Photo by Isai Priya
Johnson must go! Photo by Isai Priya

Trade unions must organise to kick out the Tories

Build a new mass workers’ party and fight for socialist policies

Ryan Aldred

Prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak are among those being fined by the police for attending parties at Downing Street during Covid lockdown. This great scandal – coming after all Johnson’s denials – will enormously add to the outrage felt by working-class people and others towards the Tory government.

Their colossal hypocrisy followed the news that Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, was claiming non-domicile status and has legally avoided paying an estimated £2.1 million in UK taxes every yearQuestions still loom about whether Sunak himself has gained financial advantage from possessing a US green card – even while being the chancellor.

Now is the time for the trade union leaders to do what’s necessary and act to mobilise the UK’s six million organised trade unionists in a movement that can sweep this rotten government out of power!

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) national demonstration on Saturday 18 June will be demanding action on the mounting cost-of-living crisis. It is essential that trade unionists, union branches and trades councils build for what has the potential to be a massive expression of workers’ anger on that day.

Also, mobilising now is necessary, around immediate demands and for emergency measures – to ensure people can afford to both eat and heat, and to force the Tories out of office as soon as possible.

Is Labour providing opposition in this situation? No! Determined to show it can be a safe pair of hands for big business, Starmer has just meekly called for Johnson and Sunak to resign. On the cost-of-living crisis his answer is an insufficient windfall tax on the energy giants, as he less-than-quietly ditches commitments made by Jeremy Corbyn, such as nationalising energy.

At the same time, Labour councils up and down the country have slashed council budgets and provided no opposition to the Tory government as they cut pay, conditions and jobs – instead attacking trade unionists such as the Coventry bin workers.

So, as well as the strength of the trade unions being used to build a mass movement to fight back, it’s also vitally important to build serious opposition at the ballot box. Socialist Party members are standing as part of TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) this May in local elections to ensure there is opposition to austerity in local government. 

The June TUC demonstration can become a springboard for coordinated industrial action over pay in the months that follow it. Such action needs to be the response to bosses who look to keep their profits rolling in by holding down workers’ pay. Workers can’t afford not to push back against those bosses; and to urgently remove this government of the rich!