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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 July 2003

Bosses Get £Millions: Workers Get Sacked

Strike back now!

TWO GROUPS of vitally important workers could face huge job cuts, just as the crisis in Britain's capitalist economy gets worse. Network Rail announced that they were to cut 2,000 railworkers' jobs as part of a £13 billion cost-cutting package.

Roger Shrives

Network Rail's decision was a "disgrace," said RMT union general secretary Bob Crow: "Days after senior executives are awarded nearly £2 million in bonuses comes the news that 2,000 rail workers are to be given their P45s... any compulsory redundancies will be resisted, with industrial action if necessary.

"It's time to make sure that public money going into rail is spent on the railways not on making fat cats fatter. It's time to bring the network back into public ownership."

The second group facing job losses are the firefighters. The New Labour government didn't only turn down the FBU union's £8.50 an hour pay claim, they are demanding 'reforms' of the fire service which go further than the hated Bain report.

Firefighters could lose jobs. The first reports suggest 6,000 could go. An earlier Fire Cover Review recommended more than doubling the Fire Service budget and taking on more firefighters. But New Labour prefer to accept the recommendations of the Bain report which talks of job cuts, extensions of duties and responsibilities - and making them even worse.

Such attacks shouldn't go unanswered. Rail workers and firefighters should campaign for strike action if one job is threatened. Bob Crow's talk of industrial action and the need to bring the rail system back into public ownership are welcome signs. Rail workers should ensure that these fighting words are turned into action.

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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.
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In The Socialist 5 July 2003:

Bosses Get £Millions: Workers Get Sacked

Kick Low Pay Out Of The NHS

Words Of Mass Distraction

Fuel price rises provoke general strike in Nigeria

LGBT rights: 'Family values' fears produce confused equality measures

Socialism 2003: Enjoyable And Inspiring

"There's A Woman Out There Asking Questions!"

Rail Union's Historic Rule Change

Glad to be groovy at TGWU conference

Building A Mass Alternative To New Labour

Israel/Palestine: What's Behind The 'Ceasefire'?

SATs conference: End These Nightmare Tests

Iraq: Who's Winning The War Of Occupation?

Northern Ireland; Has The Peace Process Permanently Stalled?


 

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Related links:

Rail:

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleThe Red Line - Bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

triangleSocialist Inbox

triangleCancel the franchise, not our trains

Firefighters:

triangleSurrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

triangleMajor funding for flood risk management needed

triangleGrenfell fire inquiry spin deflects blame from establishment

triangleGrenfell inquiry serves to deflect opinion away from the establishment

Fire:

triangle'Worst crisis in housing since World War Two' - Barking Riverside inquiry into fire

triangle20 years of housing failure

triangleGrenfell watch: Unions challenge 'mockery of justice'

Bob Crow:

triangleNSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle

triangleStrike together to kick out the Tories!

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