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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 November 2019

Wages flatline, while shareholders profit

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons)

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Alex Wedlake, Unite union young members national committee, personal capacity

A Trade Union Congress report into the top 100 firms in the UK has found that the returns for top company shareholders have increased by 56% in just five years. That's six times faster than workers' wages.

If wages had kept pace with shareholder increases, the average worker in the UK would be 9,500 a year better off.

This figure is an absolute disgrace when you consider the increasing number of families relying on foodbanks to provide the bare essentials for life.

The TUC calls for a ban on dividends for companies not paying the living wage. The TUC should be calling for a minimum wage of at least 10 an hour, a ban on zero-hour contracts, and reversing other attacks on terms and conditions.

The High Pay Centre quite rightly identified that "Britain's corporate culture prioritised shareholders over investments in the workforce, new equipment and protecting the environment." But it failed to address an alternative.

Under capitalism, companies are unable to prioritise the issues that affect our planet and the 99%.

A socialist system, where companies are owned and run by the workers would be able to prioritise these issues, allowing long-term economic growth. These top 100 companies should be nationalised, with compensation only given with proven need.

The FTSE 100 (top) companies generated net profits of 551 billion and returned 442 billion of this to shareholders over the period 2014 to 2018. This means that overall the FTSE 100 paid shareholders an average of 1.7 billion a week.

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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.

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In The Socialist 20 November 2019:


What we think

High Court injunction: solidarity to the CWU

CWU - ground laid for an almighty struggle


Climate change

Major funding for flood risk management needed


NHS

Save the NHS: kick out the Tories

Frimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation


Violence against women

What policies are needed to end domestic violence and abuse?


Socialist Party news and analysis

Broadband: privatisation has failed to deliver, time for a socialist plan

Bolton university fire: government inaction puts safety at risk

Wages flatline, while shareholders profit


Workplace news and analysis

UCU pay and pension strike: university staff have had enough

West Midlands Trains: guards strike to defend safety-critical role

PCS union: elect Marion Lloyd!

Cleaners strike over low pay at Haringey secondary school

Bradford library and museum strikers enter third round of strike action

Long hours in the world of security

NEU members' sixth-form walkouts


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Secret police infiltration of workers' movement exposed

150 protest against Leicester hospital downgrading attack

Carmarthenshire union demands no-cuts budget

Swansea: students protest against Hillary Clinton hypocrisy

Keep the National Poetry Library free

Selling the Socialist


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

Amazon bosses defeated in Seattle - Kshama Sawant reelected

Chile revolt continues: read eyewitness report


 

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Profit:

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triangleNSSN: Workers' safety before profit!

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