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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 April 2020

Unions must organise throughout crisis

A trade union meeting via Zoom

A trade union meeting via Zoom   (Click to enlarge)

The coronavirus pandemic throws up its own unique problems and challenges which cannot wait until after the lockdown has ended. Workers are being subjected to unfair and unsafe conditions now, and it is simply unacceptable for union leaders to put things off.

Plymouth and district general Usdaw branch has made use of Zoom and met on 22 April to ensure that members can still come together. It is clear the union is needed to defend against the lack of PPE as well as the disregard of social-distancing guidelines by management in many stores.

There is no reason why union members can't meet by making use of apps like Zoom.

If key workers are expected to work as normal, why can't we also organise in a trade union as normal? Where this isn't already taking place, workers should demand that branches find ways to overcome the lockdown so that union branches aren't effectively suspended at a time when they are vitally important to struggle.

It needs to be made clear to bosses that workers will not abide profits being put before workers' health and safety; dangerous conditions should be met with walkouts. Likewise, it needs to be made abundantly clear to union leaders that inaction will not be tolerated. This is especially so with thousands of new members looking to the unions to step up and fight to defend, and indeed advance workers' rights and conditions.

Ryan Aldred, Usdaw Plymouth and district general branch secretary (personal capacity)

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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 29 April 2020:


Coronavirus news

Workers' safety before bosses' profits

Dispatches from the front: PPE chaos goes on

Private firm causes weeks of delay to free school meal vouchers: bring it back in-house!


Lessons from history

No return to the 1930s: World War Two and 'a land fit for heroes'


May Day

May Day 2020: join the protests - wear red, bring flags and banners

130 Years of May Day in Britain: Fight for workers' rights more relevant than ever

May Day greetings pull out 2020


Workplace news

Workers fighting to defend safety and livelihoods - NSSN national meeting a huge success

Civil servants in Paisley protest after Covid outbreak

Irish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

B&M Bargains management puts profit before safety

Schools: No return without a national union agreement that guarantees safety!

Unions must organise throughout crisis

Waltham Forest trade unions discuss the fight for PPE and workplace safety

Woolwich ferry - workers secure 100% furlough agreement

ISS workers' pay victory


Organising during coronavirus

Should the Socialist still be produced during the Corona crisis? An exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist

Coronavirus crisis finance appeal

Adding demands to the weekly claps


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters


 

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