Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1052/29440
From The Socialist newspaper, 14 August 2019
Dundee: young workers fight for unions and discuss Marx
photo Young Socialists - Young Workers' Rights campaign (Click to enlarge)
Oisin Duncan and William Campbell, Socialist Party Scotland
Members of the 'Young Socialists - Young Workers' Rights' campaign met for a national day of action in Dundee city centre on 6 August. We demanded a minimum wage of £10 an hour and the scrapping of zero-hour contracts. Our call on young workers to join trade unions was met with a warm response.
We teamed up to talk to workers inside JD sports, Subway, Burger King, McDonald's and Home Bargains. One young worker in Subway asked for a further handful of leaflets to hand out to other members of staff and hang up in the break room. We then marched through the city centre calling on young workers to join the Young Socialists and the fight for a proper living wage.
After our activity we held a discussion on the fundamentals of Marxist economics, introduced by Dundee Socialist Party Scotland members Maddie, a fast food worker, and Wayne, a factory worker.
We can see parallels with "primitive accumulation" - Marx's description of how capitalists came to own the means of production in the first place - in Brazil's far-right president Jair Bolsonaro opening up increased logging in the Amazon rainforest. And we can see a new global capitalist crisis on the way in both the trade war between China and the US and the related stock market fluctuations over the past days and weeks.
But of course the most central finding of Marx was that of "surplus value." While at their job, workers create more value through their labour than they receive back in their wages.
Where does this "surplus" go? To the boss - who in Marx's time might have reinvested some in expanding production. Nowadays the capitalists are reluctant even to invest.
This relationship between boss and worker creates a tension in the workplace which expresses itself through class struggle. The Socialist Party views Marx's economic theories not as academic pieces but as a call to action, for the working class to take hold of the economic levers in society and turn them to a democratic plan of production...
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 14 August 2019:
What we think
General election looms... Capitalists in chaos: fight for socialism
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Far right seen off at Oxford Circus
After the fire: fight for facilities for all
Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!
Dundee: young workers meet
Leeds estate residents push back private development
Boot out Boris and all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%
Tory bribes don't hide destruction of NHS
TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"
Northern Ireland, August '69: 'Battle of the Bogside' and British troops on the streets
The Peterloo Massacre 1819: When a fearful ruling class tried to crush working-class political aspirations
Fight back against the retail bosses!
Lincolnshire health workers strike against £2,000 loss of pay
Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation
Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay
Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal
Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions
Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard
International socialist news and analysis
Kashmir crisis: Stop the attack on democratic rights
Pro-democracy protests continue to rage in Hong Kong
The Socialist 14 August 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook