Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/914/23470

From The Socialist newspaper, 31 August 2016

Can Britain have a pay rise?

Steve North, secretary, Salford City Unison (personal capacity)
End low pay! UberEats workers protest over their abysmal wage rates photo Scott Jones

End low pay! UberEats workers protest over their abysmal wage rates photo Scott Jones   (Click to enlarge)

I was recently part of the audience on the BBC programme 'Can Britain have a pay rise'. There were 100 of us seated in ascending order of pay. Earnings ranged from jobseeker's allowance to the 1 million salary of Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins.

What followed was a discussion about meritocracy: the myth that working hard can get you out of poverty. As somebody who represents care workers, I felt the need to state that anybody who believes this should talk to them. Even the wealthy found that hard to argue with.

We moved on to whether low pay was down to "the bosses". It was great to see a majority agree. Most of the business owners scoffed that it was them who helped people out of poverty by employing them. The answer from workers was: you need us more than we need you!

The third question was whether the Tories' National 'Living' Wage was a good thing. A business owner claimed he had to cut staff numbers because of the increase. He was rightly challenged over his own living standards. But the key point - that small businesses suffer more from the market dominance of big businesses than the rights of workers - was sadly missing.

We finally got to talk about trade unions. I was pleased to pay tribute to two young workers who had unionised their workplaces to protect their rights. Charlie Mullins - who had tried to present himself as a 'compassionate' employer - showed his true colours by attacking unions. He was met with a chorus of responses, declaring that if it weren't for unions workers wouldn't have even the paltry rights we have now.

The last section was on Brexit. Unfortunately I had to leave before this: I was already late for my second job!

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 31 August 2016:


#KeepCorbyn

#KeepCorbyn: For a party that fights for workers

Right's purges and exclusions show we must fight for a party for the 99%

Packed meeting discusses Trotskyism, Corbyn and socialist change

Trade unionists for Corbyn rally in Cardiff


Education fightback

Education: fightback needed

Pressure, lies and head games: being a school student in Tory Britain

Join the student fightback to end education cuts and austerity


No NHS cuts or closures

No NHS cuts or closures

Grantham protest against night-time closure of A&E


Socialist Party news and analysis

Invest in grassroots sports needs

Women still take home 36% less than men

Over a million families in 'extreme problem debt'

Scot schools scandal

Smith v refugees

What We Saw

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

France: Burkini ban fuels division

Chile: general strike threat as pensions protests grow


Socialist Party workplace news

UberEats: Angry delivery drivers protest over pay

Solid bus strike for better terms and pay

Southern strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Why you should join the Socialist Party today

Socialist Party 'collectathon' to raise crucial cash

Ken Loach and a Socialist seller join Sisters Uncut protest


Socialist Party Summer Camp

Sunshine and socialism at Socialist Party summer camp


Comment

Can Britain have a pay rise?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 31 August 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Pay:

triangleCampaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

triangleWhat would socialist universities look like?

triangleWorkplace news in brief

trianglePCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

triangleSocialist Party placards at a protest of healthcare workers in London demanding a pay rise, photo by Isai

Britain:

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

triangleThem & Us

triangleA new movement for system change

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

Workers:

triangleCuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangle80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

Poverty:

triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

BBC:

triangleDefend free TV licences for pensioners!

Young workers:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Why young workers need trade unions

Low pay:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

22/7/20

Cuba

Exciting Cuban spy thriller exposes US-sponsored terrorism

22/7/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

22/7/20

Socialist Party

I joined the Socialist Party to fight back

15/7/20

Housing

TV: Ross Kemp - Living with Forced Out Families

15/7/20

Bolsheviks

Books that inspired me: The Mother

15/7/20

Black Lives Matter

How the FBI and Chicago police murdered a Black Panther

8/7/20

School

TV: The school that tried to end racism

8/7/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

8/7/20

Racism

Books that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

1/7/20

TV

From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

1/7/20

US

Readers' opinion

1/7/20

Socialist Party

I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

24/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

24/6/20

Covid

A timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

17/6/20

Windrush

Tears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

triangleMore Reviews and comments 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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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: 075 4018 9052

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

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999