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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 October 2014

Fighting for better pay for workers

BFAWU president Ian Hodson (with megaphone) on a Fast Food Rights protest

BFAWU president Ian Hodson (with megaphone) on a Fast Food Rights protest   (Click to enlarge)

Ian Hodson, President, Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union

Tory chancellor George Osborne has evil plans for those on low incomes. Most benefit claimants are actually in work. Osborne's austerity measures are just a programme of wealth protection for the rich. Trusting George Osborne is fatal if you're on a low to middle income.

So why is his rhetoric not challenged? The answer is simple: we aren't being presented with a credible alternative, particularly from the Labour Party.

Just when Labour appears on the verge of some vote-worthy policies - it blows it by announcing a fiscal policy that just continues Tory austerity. Labour believes it can win the election by saying Labour arsenic is less poisonous than Tory cyanide. Good luck with that in May.

Austerity doesn't reach bankers, spivs and speculators. Bonuses skyrocket. The distribution of wealth and earnings gulf between those at the top and those at the bottom is a disgrace, and the time has come to take steps to address this.

10 an hour

I'm proud to be national president of a trade union that not only fought and beat the use of zero-hour contracts, but is calling for a 10 an hour minimum wage. The taxpayer tops up the incomes of those whose profitable employers are too greedy and selfish to pay properly. That money could sustain the public services that people rely on.

If hugely profitable companies cannot take social responsibility, it should be forced on them. No ifs, no buts. Nobody should be priced out of sending their children to university, freeze through winter in an unheated home, or rely on a food bank or payday loan because of poor wages.

Push harder

Paying people a wage they can live on would cut the welfare bill, improve people's wellbeing and ease pressure on the NHS in one fell swoop.

You won't hear this from the establishment, as it would mean redistributing wealth, and working people enjoying confidence and high self-esteem. That in itself should encourage people to push harder than ever for better pay and equalisation of income, as well as making different political choices.

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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.

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In The Socialist 29 October 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Millions robbed by greedy bosses

Capitalism - 'the new mediocre'

Record numbers of workers suffering poverty pay

NHS: More cuts planned

Our health is not a game!

Scottish Labour in crisis

Them & Us

Socialist history

Lessons from history: 1917 Revolution in Russia

Australia: The sacking of a government

International socialist news and analysis

Building a political alternative in Seattle

Socialist Party workplace news

Support FBU pension strikes: Save our fire service

St Mungo's Broadway workers discuss next action

Sheffield recycling workers to start indefinite action

Ritzy workers threatened with redundancy

Fighting for better pay for workers

Wales colleges: Vote 'yes' in pay strike consultation

NASUWT members strike at Swinton High School

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester holds historic People's Budget talks

Southwark Labour demolishes homes

Donate for socialism!

Readers' comments and reviews

Film review: On the streets of Belfast in 1971

Red Dylan Thomas


Bill Webster 1941-2014

Ronnie Sookhdeo 1946-2014


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