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From: The Socialist issue 1081, 8 April 2020: Tory lies cost lives

Search site for keywords: Unite - Workers - The Socialist - Socialist - Bus

Socialists in Unite meet via Zoom: Struggles continue in the workplaces

  (Click to enlarge)

Unite union members in the Socialist Party, and our Scottish and Irish sister groups in the Committee for a Workers' International, held a Zoom meeting on 4 April.

They discussed developments in the union, and how to intervene in the workplaces during the coronavirus crisis.

Members gave examples from the NHS, passenger transport, local government and other services of how workers have to fight for decent health and safety in this emergency, but also to break through the mood of 'national unity' that many trade union leaders, including on the left, are backing at the moment.

One member raised problems that have arisen on London Buses. Public transport is considered a key service. Yet, tragically, an increasing number of bus workers have died after contracting Covid-19. Every safety measure had to be ground out of the management of bus companies. In addition, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was urging people not to travel but not putting pressure on the companies to protect their workers.

The meeting showed that workers' struggle continues in this crisis, but is sometimes reflected through different channels. Members made financial pledges to help the Socialist Party through a period in which much public activity has been closed off to us. But the class battles continue inside the workplaces.

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

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