The Socialist 9 October 2004 |
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Civil service, Jaguar, P&O...
Strike Back At Job Cuts
TONY BLAIR and Gordon Brown said nothing in their Labour Party conference
speeches about the increasing number of job losses in the economy. But Brown
has his axe poised over 104,000 civil service jobs.
For Brown and Blair everything is just tickety-boo in GB plc. Even whilst
they were speaking, British capitalism continued its real business of
maximising its profits by throwing thousands of workers onto the scrap heap.
The announcement that the shipping company P&O was cutting its routes to
Europe and sacking 1,200 of its workers was not met with anger at this further
retreat by British big business in the face of global competition. City
investors welcomed the news as share prices rose.
The week before, Norwich Union saw its shares jump when it decided to move
7,000 jobs to India. Almost at the same time, Northern Foods told 1,000 of its
workers in Evesham and Carlisle that they were no longer needed.
And now the very latest - as we go to press another 600 jobs are to go with
the closure of the Kodak plants in Nottinghamshire and the scaling down of
their Harrow factory. But the announcement of the closure of the Jaguar plant
in Coventry sums up the continued inglorious decline of British capitalism.
The Jaguar closure with its supply chain of other companies, threatens the
livelihoods of thousands in Coventry and beyond. It really would be a "ghost
town" as The Specials, a Coventry pop group, sang in 1981.
Whatever the contortions of New Labour's spin doctors, the truth is that
the decline of industry means the continued pauperisation of much of the
Apologists for capitalism say that jobs destroyed in the manufacturing
sector, nearly one million since 1997, can be replaced with jobs in the
service and finance sector.
But the job losses in P&O and Norwich Union prove that is not the case.
Globalisation, supported by New Labour, is creating a "race to the bottom" for
more workers - the bosses tell us we have to work harder and longer to compete
with workers overseas.
The Socialist Party says every worker has the right to a decent and
well-paid job. If capitalism can't deliver then it is capitalism that should
be shown the door, not the workers.
- Fight all job losses.
- Bring into public ownership those companies declaring workers redundant.
- No compensation to the owners of these companies except on the basis of
- For a socialist plan of production where the needs of the millions take
priority over the profits of the few.