Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 March 2015

Women in the frontline of fighting austerity cuts

Union action is vital in fighting cuts and for equal pay, photo Paul Mattsson

Union action is vital in fighting cuts and for equal pay, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The United Nations says it will take 70 years to close the wage gap between women and men. However, a UK government spokesperson used International Women's Day to claim the gender pay gap in Britain was "at its lowest ever". But this narrowing is not the result of women's pay surging but because male workers pay has been falling faster. As PCS union Department for Work and Pensions group vice-president Katrine Williams explains, austerity measures and capitalist recession have hit women disproportionately hard.

Women make up the majority of low-paid workers. In contrast we see the very visible greed of the bosses and hear about MPs 'struggling' on their 'meagre' 67,000 pay. No wonder there is a growing anger and mood among women and men in the workplace to tackle low pay.

While the cost of necessities has soared our pay has fallen backwards. In my sector, if pay had kept pace with inflation, wages would be on average 2,300 higher than they are now.

Cuts in pensions and low pay also mean nearly 500,000 women are forced to work past 65 years. With cuts in public services there are increasing pressures on women to plug the gaps and undertake more of the caring responsibilities than before. Not surprisingly, women have been to the fore in the campaigns to defend our services from the cuts in communities.

A new Trades Union Congress (TUC) study confirms, despite government claims to the contrary, that making ends meet is a continual struggle - with women and their families facing "the worst squeeze on real income since Victorian times".

Only one in 40 of the net jobs created have been full-time jobs - the rest are part-time or self-employed. 1.3 million workers are under-employed as they can't find a full-time job.

Workers classed as 'self-employed' are very likely to be super-exploited by bosses who avoid paying proper rates of pay, holiday pay, sick pay, etc.

Zero-hour contracts are increasing year on year and over half of these jobs are done by women who struggle to juggle caring responsibilities with bosses controlling their working hours.

45 years have passed since the Equal Pay Act - showing that legislation is not enough to bring about equal pay.

The potential exists to build a strong trade union campaign to fight for equal pay but also for decent pay for all. We will work hard to build this potential into coordinated action across the public and private sectors to demand pay increases and an increase in the minimum wage to the TUC demand of 10 an hour.

Coordinated action can also help to use the strength of unions in the public sector to pile the pressure on to demand privatised areas of public services get decent pay and working conditions.

Trade union action is needed to increase rights for workers including access to flexible working, living pension, free childcare and a shorter working week to 35-hours, with no loss of pay.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 11 March 2015:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Save our schools!

Take the wealth off the 1%

How can Russell Brand's call for revolution be achieved?

Economy: Reality doesn't match Tory rhetoric

Women in the frontline of fighting austerity cuts

Spied on by the state and bosses

Them & Us

Socialist Party workplace news

Camden caterers demand Living Wage

Northern Ireland public sector general strike

NHS workers reluctantly accept 1% pay rise

Dundee hospital strike after 96% 'yes' vote

Oppose tax office's 'company union'

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Why we're standing for TUSC

Get ready for a revamp of the Socialist!

Socialist Students leads in Leeds

International Women's Day

Socialist Party general election appeal 2015

Socialist Party comments and reviews

"It wasn't easy, but I wanted to beat Thatcher"

TV review: Valleys Rebellion

Defend the right to protest

"I want my voice to be heard"

Leicester: 3 an hour wage slavery scandal


Home   |   The Socialist 11 March 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleFootball in the time of coronavirus - reclaim our game!

triangleShocking increase in domestic violence killings

triangleLockdown increases domestic violence calls - Tory money a drop in the ocean

triangleCoronavirus and domestic violence: a double threat to women's lives

triangleChildcare - costly, inadequate and hard work


triangleCouncil finance disaster: set emergency no-cuts budgets and fight for funds!

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown


triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

triangleCouncils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity


trianglePCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

triangleFurlough: We are not 'all in the same boat'


triangleCoordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

Equal pay:

triangleGender pay gap widening


triangleThe 'Lucas Plan'

Trade union:

triangleWest Midlands trade union activists discuss the battle for safety on the front line


triangle"Test, trace, isolate, support" - the Tories' scheme fails on all counts


triangleTory think tank proposes attack on pensions

Public services:

triangleMore than ever, we need accountable union leaders

Low pay:

triangle6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Tories knocked back on schools opening



Battered Tories face divisions and growing anger



Council finance disaster: set emergency no-cuts budgets and fight for funds!



Furlough: We are not 'all in the same boat'



Protect every job, nationalise don't subsidise



"Test, trace, isolate, support" - the Tories' scheme fails on all counts



Lessons from the Corbyn experience



Reckless, lying cheats



United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan



Coronavirus pandemic news in brief



More blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme



Care home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears



Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality



Covid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!



Johnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020