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From: The Socialist issue 535, 28 May 2008: Build a new workers' party

Search site for keywords: Public-sector - Fat cats - Credit crunch

Them & Us

Fat cats...

CREDIT CRUNCH hitting wages and prices? Not true for City of London fat cats who have been awarded bonuses totalling 13.2 billion so far this year. These were the record bonuses paid for high finance sector profits earlier in 2007.

The figures so far this year are only 1% down on those of a year ago. But the joy in the City may be short-lived. Some experts think that as many as 50,000 jobs could be lost in the City this year with a knock-on effect on job losses amongst the many lower-paid workers who service the City.

...and beasts of burden?

WORKERS IN Britain do a huge amount of unpaid overtime. A new report by Bristol University researchers suggests that this is particularly true in public-sector employment.

Almost half, 46%, of education, health and social care workers in public-sector and non-profit making bodies do regular unpaid overtime as compared to 29% of those employed by private companies in the same sectors. The unpaid labour of the public sector and 'non-profit' workers is equivalent to the work of 60,000 staff on normal hours.

This 'public-sector ethos' is being eroded by privatisation. Cost-cutting governments also risk the trust of these workers with pay freezes and below-inflation pay deals. More and more trade unionists will consider refusing to do either paid or unpaid overtime and will insist on taking proper rest and lunch breaks.

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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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