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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 November 2013

We need a real living wage!

University of East London workers striking on 21 October 2013

University of East London workers striking on 21 October 2013   (Click to enlarge)

We need a pay rise! The sums just don't add up. We're told there's a recovery but if feels more like a robbery.

The profits of the 'big six' energy companies are up 75% this year while the UK is second only to Estonia among European countries for the number of people struggling to pay their energy bills.

No one would consider having a roof over your head a luxury. But research found that 31% of people paying a mortgage or rent spend more than a third of their disposable income each month doing so.

Workers are increasingly finding their wages are out of step with the rising cost of living. Pay packets are down 7% since the 2008 crash and it'll take until 2017 for them to return to the pre-crash level, according to the TUC.

It's of little wonder then that over 500,000 people queue at food banks as the gap between the money and the end of the month grows. An ever increasing number of people forced to rely on food banks are in work.

This situation is a disaster. It means, for example, that a third of children in Liverpool are growing up in poverty in the sixth richest country on the planet.

It's time to take action!

Nick Parker, a trade union activist, says:

"Workers need action over continual wage freezes. Lecturers and support staff in higher education, for example, will be taking strike action on 3 December over a below inflation, 1% pay offer - a 13% pay cut in real terms since 2008. In further education lecturers will also be striking on the same day over a derisory 0.7% pay offer.

Other workers are in dispute too. Probation officers are tackling the government over privatisation of the service and cuts. Firefighters are resisting attacks to their pensions, with many also citing station closures and cuts as a source of major anger.

Socialists believe that working class people should join trade unions immediately if they aren't already members, as we are all the more powerful when organised together.

And when members of different unions are all in dispute, every possible step should be taken to ensure that strike action is coordinated to maximise its strength.

That's why we call on the TUC to name the date for a 24-hour general strike against the government's austerity measures and employers' attacks on jobs, wages and working conditions.

The leaders of the three main parties - whatever their rhetoric - all support capitalist austerity dumped on the backs of workers, and are all implacably hostile to workers when they take strike action.

Socialists, on the other hand, say that strikes are in fact one of the most powerful weapons at our disposal.

We can turn the tide on 'the race to the bottom'. It won't be easy, but they don't call it the class struggle for nothing."

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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.
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In The Socialist 27 November 2013:

Socialist Party youth and students

No recovery for Britain's young people

Will angry youth turn to Labour?

NUS NEC votes to support education workers strike

Referendum victory for York housing campaign

Socialist Party news and analysis

We need a real living wage!

Nothing achieved by UN climate talks

Flower power - downfall of a banking boss

UK governments approved secret mass surveillance

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Europe - centre of capitalist crisis

Iran nuclear deal reflects changed world relations

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Councillors: Say no to Tory cuts!

TUSC byelection candidates show cuts aren't necessary

Socialist Party workplace news

End the pay freeze: A united fight in post-16 education

Massive campaign planned against Underground cuts

Hull city council unions force cuts climb-down

Anti-blacklisting campaign will not go away

NUT election: Support for national action call

Criminal justice: More privatisation problems

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: Labour flies the white flag in face of call to fight back

Brazilian socialist councillor speaks in Britain

Bristol: Art and Revolution

Socialist Party review

TV review: Amazon's exploitation exposed


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