Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/996/27385
From The Socialist newspaper, 23 May 2018
Leicester socialists fight poverty-paying sweatshops
Sweatshop conditions still occur in some British factories (Click to enlarge)
Charles Wheeler, Leicester Socialist Party
The full effects of Tory policies, both economic and social, are being felt in Leicester, as sweatshop conditions and shocking illegal levels of pay persist in 2018. And the "hostile environment" migration policy means it's harder than ever for workers to fight back.
A recent Financial Times article shed new light on an issue Leicester Socialist Party has been campaigning on for years, with workers in some of the city's clothing and textile factories revealing they are paid as little as £3.50 an hour.
£5 is considered a 'top wage', despite being well below the minimum wage of £7.83, and even further below the living wage of £8.75. With wages across the country lagging behind inflation, illegal poverty wages are doing further damage to already-precarious living standards.
Bosses are getting away with these illegal levels of pay by dangling the fear of deportation over workers' heads thanks to the Tories' "hostile environment" policy. The Tories' policy traps them in a poverty cycle where wages can continue to be driven down.
There has been no appetite among the political establishement to tackle the issue, either. The Tories' contemptuous labelling of their minimum wage as a 'living wage' shows their attitude towards fair pay, and neither their rhetoric nor policy has shown any intent to enforce it.
Notably, HMRC's 'minimum wage enforcement team' has been devastated by cuts in recent years - leaving bosses able to operate illegally without fear of reprimand. And what little additional funding the Tories have been shamed into giving is still woefully inadequate.
This is what we mean when we call the Tories 'the bosses' party' - their policies always conspire in the favour of the powerful at the expense of the vulnerable.
Leicester Socialist Party continues to campaign on the issue, but more is needed to overcome this localised cycle of poverty.
We say unions must intervene and offer workers the structure and support to fight for fair wages and conditions. No more racist and divisive Tory rhetoric stifling workers' rights!
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.
In The Socialist 23 May 2018:
What we think
Tories prepare for possible snap election
Socialist Party news and analysis
Capitalism's Grenfell shame - Tories must go
Homeless charity colluding to deport homeless!
Youthful enthusiasm to break with repression of past
New Ebola threat
Government continues to back failed private rail
Support refugees rights
May 1968: 'Communist' leaders hand power back to defeated bosses
Socialist Party workplace news
Victory: how school strike beat 'academy' privatisers
Threat to unity of PCS left
PCS conference votes for strike action
Solid strike at Tesco Dagenham distribution centre forces pay talks
Services disappearing from Harrogate
College staff caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
First ever strike at TGI Fridays
International socialist news and analysis
Yes to the struggle to lift the siege
Tax Amazon movement wins in Seattle
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Stop Trump! Build for 13 July student walkouts
Student leaders claim one million on the streets against Brexit - fight for a workers' exit
Let's sell 1,000 extra copies of issue 1000!
Leicester socialists fight poverty-paying sweatshops
Sheffield Pride organisers defeated in attempt to ban politics
40 attend Socialist Party housing campaign launch in Windsor
30 years on from Section 28: the legacy of fighting LGBT+ attacks must continue
How 'Prevent' training fosters racist paranoia
Ads won't fix it: fight mental health cuts as well as stigma
We can learn about struggle from the mass trespass of Kinder Scout
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 23 May 2018 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook