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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 October 2017

The Socialist Inbox

The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors

The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors   (Click to enlarge)

Cult conference

Local leaders summoned at short notice to a national meeting to discuss "poor performance"... two of them sacked the week before ("obviously in the minds of people but not discussed")... those present encouraged to chant loudly "we can do this!"

Donald Trump's support team? Kim Jong-Un's military commanders? No - NHS trust and commissioning leaders at a meeting about the need to improve emergency performance.

One source told Health Service Journal the event offered the gathered leaders "nothing new" to learn from - but cost some people more than 500 in last-minute train fares.

Jon Dale, secretary, Unite EM/NG32 Nottinghamshire Health Branch

Procter problems

Procter and Gamble (P&G) is an American company with long-established connections in British manufacturing. Its Newcastle Innovation Centre was opened in the 1950s, following its acquisition of a local detergent brand.

Employment at the site hasn't always been precarious. P&G staff who supported scientists, and even those working in facilities maintenance and security, used to enjoy the benefits of P&G's generous remuneration package designed to prevent trade union organisation.

Those historic perks have fallen by the wayside, with remaining directly employed non-scientific staff 'Tuped' to other corporate partners, and a new wave of agency subcontracting.

One such agency is an in-house arrangement, known as PG Assist. This lucrative firm operates at the Newcastle Innovation Centre, at a facility in Egham in Surrey, as well as at P&G's continental operation in Belgium.

The firm's owners are well-to-do, with one living in an affluent dormitory suburb. One of its worst practices is withdrawing workers' 500, twice-annual 'bonus' for incidents of exaggerated 'disciplinary offences', or even lateness and sickness, while no sick pay is offered.

Staff complain that insecure employment arrangements through such agencies prevent trade union organisation, create uncertainty and an inability to plan due to the nature of the contracts, and offer limited scope for advancement. Two such young and frustrated PG Assist staff members furtively explored trade union organisation - until their contracts were abruptly terminated following aggressive supervision.

They have since joined the Socialist Party, and lent solidarity to local industrial campaigns.

P&G is lauded by fellow business community elites, and recently garnered praise from campaign group Girl Effect and even Sesame Street for its supposed championship of gender equality.

The Socialist Party knows the real effect of P&G's practices and their impact on low-paid women workers who languish in insecure employment while receiving poverty pay for their work as caterers, cleaners, receptionists, and security guards at P&G's UK operations.

Newcastle Socialist Party

Ryanair nosedive

Ryanair, photo Adrian Pingstone/CC

Ryanair, photo Adrian Pingstone/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Why do people such as the chairman of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, believe they can act like some kind of 19th century mill owners towards their employees and customers? Anwser: capitalism!

Mr O'Leary would be wise to ask some of those customers who had their flights cancelled at last-minute notice - due to his company's mismanagement, and what is clearly from Mr O'Leary's reaction contempt for his employees - how these customers feel about him and his company.

Just imagine Mr O'Leary waiting in an airport to fly back home after a holiday, only to be told "your flight's been cancelled due to your company's mismanagement, but the good news you can be put on the next flight to Manchester, although your car happens to be in a car park at East Midlands airport where you originally had flown from at the start of your holiday, take it or leave it!"

To the boss of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, and those bosses who think of nothing and no one except themselves: it's time for people like you to stop thinking that because of your wealth you can crap on anyone you like and get away with it.

The only way to hurt people like the O'Learys of this world is in their pockets and those of their shareholders.

'Rebel with a Cause', Rotherham

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.

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In The Socialist 11 October 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

Them & Us


Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't


Black History Month 2017

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to the fight to defeat capitalist austerity


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail workers fight court attempt to stop national strike

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

Workplace news in brief


Housing crisis

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

Too much to cross the Mersey


Comment and reviews

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

Shocking insight into Isis

The Socialist Inbox


 

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