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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

On July 10th, workers strike for fair pay

Today's figures show that living standards for ordinary people continue to fall while the growth in wealth of a rich minority accelerates. Wages rose by just 0.7% last month, while prices rose by around 2%.

People are being driven into rubbish part-time, temporary or zero-hour contract jobs on poverty pay while all the benefits of the "recovery" go to profiteering employers.

If you include the collapsed incomes of the enforced, fake "self-employed", living standards have fallen by 12% since the bankers crashed the economy and got bailed out.

Last week over 1 million workers from 9 unions struck together to restore lost living standards. In recent years the public sector pay freeze and the derisory 1% pay cap has cost workers over £2,000. Now its time for workers in the private sector to join the fight back.

Tory politicians might question the turnouts in strike ballots, but participation in elections is at an all time low with anti-strike mayor of London Boris Johnson having won his position on a turnout of just 38%. Tory supported police commisioners were elected on an average turnout of just 15%.

At the strike rally in Carlisle the Labour parliamentary candidate scored political points against the Tory government, but she didn't mention that Ed Miliband opposed the strike, or that Labour MPs had voted to support the Tory 1% wage cap, or that a Labour government is committed to carrying on Tory austerity policies for another 5 years!

This has got to be the launch pad for further action, against the erosion of pay and attacks on pensions but also for fully funded public services, an end to privatisation and a real living wage. In Seattle, where a socialist was recently elected to the council with 100,000 votes, the workers achieved a $15 an hour minimum wage, so we should be looking towards a £10 an hour minimum wage in Britain.

Robert Tressell cartoon

A cartoon based on Robert Tressell's Ragged Trousered Philanthropists explaining the famous "Great Money Trick".

Clive Heemskerk explaining the idea of a needs budget

Two former Labour councillors in Leicester have formed a group linked to TUSC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition which oppposes all cuts and stood  560 anti-austerity candidates in the last council elections. Clive Heemskerk, of TUSC and the Socialist Party gives a talk on how the councillors can put forward a needs budget, rebutting legal arguments against setting such a budget and showing how such action would lead to a "living struggle" over whether cuts are implemented. Clive debunks the myth that Liverpool council in the 80s set an "illegal" budget and explains that the surcharge only exists nowadays in case of personal gain.

Here's a link to the video:

Here's a link covering the councillors in Leicester: