Fight job losses and the Tory Pay freeze; build the People Before Profit online meeting
New analysis today reveals that a further 700,000 people have been plunged into poverty as a result of the Covid economic crisis. This has pushed the number of people living in poverty to more than 15 million – 23% of the population.
This comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcement last week for a three year pay freeze for public sector workers as part of his Autumn spending review. This is a slap in the face for public sector workers who've been on the frontline and made sacrifices as part of the crisis. It signals a clear decision to make workers’ pay for the economic crisis. See the SW article here.
Sunak is cynically trying to divide public sector workers with private sector workers, who have faced attacks on jobs and conditions because of the recession. He's also trying to divide health workers with other public sector workers by excluding them from the pay freeze. Solidarity and unity between workers is what is needed to resist these attacks.
This announcement came after Boris Johnson announced a massive increase in defense spending. This shows that the money is there along with the blank cheque that the Tories have written to outsourcing firms like Serco and Deloitte for a test and trace system that doesn't work.
See below for details of Fight job losses, fight the pay freeze online meeting Tuesday 1st Dec.
Labour, Corbyn and the SWP
If anything the witch-hunt against the left in Labour has accelerated over the weekend. Jeremy Corbyn is still barred from the Parliamentary Labour Party and members are being suspended from the Party for merely raising and debating motions that defend him. Louise Regan, an NEU officer, was suspended on Friday for allowing a motion to be debated at her local Labour meeting in Nottingham. Since then Angela Raynor has said that 1,000s of people may need to be suspended from Labour. See the SW article here.
SWP Open letter to socialists in the Labour Party
The treatment of Corbyn has created a debate among 1,000s of Labour Party members. The Bakers Union, BFAWU, has announced it will consult its members in the new year over whether to continue to affiliate to Labour.
More than 50,000 people have left the Labour Party between April and November. We want to discuss the limits of the Labour Party with these people and argue for the necessity of building action outside of Parliament, not just looking to elections, and for independent socialist organisation.
We think Labour Party members who support Corbyn should break with the Labour Party. As part of relating to the debates opening up the SWP has written an open letter to Labour Party members.
Next Oxford SWP branch meeting
7 PM Thursday 10th Dec. Zoom meeting ID: 848 5698 5438 Passcode: 967537
Covid-19 isn’t over, but news of a seemingly successful vaccine trial has prompted a flurry of hope that an end may be in sight. A vaccine is often touted as a silver bullet by those wanting to end lockdown. But right from the start attempts to develop a vaccine have been shaped by the needs of private business and competing nation states. After the vaccine was announced, Pfizer’s shares rose 7.6 percent. The Big Pharma drugs bosses are driven by the bottom line. Products are developed, manufactured, marketed and judged not for their lifesaving potential, but on their profit-making abilities.
The Tories have so far failed every key test of the pandemic. After outsourced testing, failed apps, and near collapse of the tracing system, it will be a disaster if they look to the market to organise getting the vaccine to those who need it most. And as the US and Britain hoover up supplies, the poorest in the world will not be able to access the vaccine for months, if at all.
Is the vaccine the silver bullet? Is this the end of the pandemic crisis? Come and join the discussion.
People Before Profit
7 PM Tuesday 1st December
- John McDonnell MP
- Steve Turner, Unite Assistant General Secretary
- Grace Blakeley, writer on economics and politics
- Mark Porter, Unite Convenor Rolls Royce Barnoldswick
- Jackie Applebee, chair of Doctors in Unite
- Kevin Brown, Branch Secretary Unite Optare
- Izzy Smitheman, Manchester University student rent striker and occupier
- Paul Almond, We Are With You Unison rep
- Sabby Dhalu, co-convenor Stand Up to Racism
- Karen Reissmann, NHS nurse and Unison NEC (pc)
As infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths continue to rise in Britain—the hope of a vaccine could still be many months away. The actions (and inaction) of this government have seen at least 50,000 deaths. The Tories have specialised in “too little, too late”.
While some countries have been able to drive infection rates right down, we are facing a very daunting second wave that once again threatens to overwhelm our NHS.
At the same time, some of the richest people in Britain have seen their wealth grow. We’re seeing bosses try to squeeze their workers rather than take a hit to their profits. But we’re also starting to see some important resistance.
Now Rishi Sunak has indicated that he’s planning a pay freeze for public sector workers. The Tories have just announced an additional £16 billion in defence spending. There has to be a fightback against a pay freeze. It is has to be united and take up the fight against any attempts to divide and rule—public sector worker from public sector worker and public sector from private sector.
Students at Manchester University have really been an inspiration in challenging the priorities of the university management. TheIr rent strike and occupation have been brilliant.
At the same time there are some important strikes by workers. The fight to stop 350 job cuts at Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, the fight for a pay rise at Optare bus manufacturers near Leeds and the fight for NHS pay rates at We Are With You drug and alcohol support charity in Wigan and Leigh.
It’s crucial that we support every group of workers fighting back.
Stand up To Racism
Next Oxford organising meeting
7PM Monday 7th December
Stand Up To Racism/Care4Calais Winter Appeal
Care4Calais is a volunteer based charity, delivering support for refugees in France and Belgium. They urgently need supplies and funds to stop a humanitarian disaster. Oxford Stand Up To Racism is asking local communities to donate goods stored in shoe boxes, allocated to one person as care packages to those who desperately need supplies this winter. We appreciate any donations we may receive! If you pack a shoe box please contact us to arrange local drop off or collection using the email below. Can you organise a collection in your workplace or community group?
Suggested items that can fit in a shoe box:
• Blankets • Warm men’s clothing (jackets/jumpers etc) • Unlocked mobile phones, capable of connecting to the internet • Men’s jogging bottoms/jeans (size 26-34 waist) • Men’s new boxer shorts (small fit) • Socks, hats and gloves • Phone chargers and power banks • Tarpaulins • Rain ponchos
Foods: • Dried fruits and nuts • Biscuits • Cakes • Sugar • Coffee • UHT milk • Tinned foods with pull top • Cooking oil • Black and green tea • Eggs • Long life fruit juice • Red lentils *Underlined foods are priority items*
Alternatively you can donate direct to Care4Calais or download a collection sheet and take round your workplace, college or campaign.
The coronavirus crisis has exposed and accelerated the deep seated inequalities of capitalism. From the destruction of ecosystems to institutional racism, now more than ever the failures of capital are visible.
As we head towards a deep recession, the Tories want the working class to pay for the failures of their system and the failed handling of the virus.
But the resistance is inspiring. Following the tragic murder of George Floyd millions of people took to the streets as part of the global Black Lives Matter movement demanding radical change against systematic racism. In Belarus, Lebanon, Bolivia and Palestine the struggle on the ground has continued the global fightback.
In Britain actions by NHS staff and protests over pay show the potential for resistance in the workplace. And protests by A-Level, GCSEand Btec students over the exam grading fiasco forced Boris Johnson into a U-turn.
Socialist Worker is the paper and the websiteat the heart of the resistance, seeking to connect the struggles of today to the fight for a different kind of world. We want a world which meets people’s needs, not one directed to satisfying the lust for profit of a minority.
Covid-19 has forced us to change the way we operate.
Socialist Worker has put out more online content than ever while continuing to produce a weekly print edition throughout the lockdown. Despite losing a substantial part of our income from street sales we have continued to keep all of our online content free.
It is increasingly vital to have a newspaper, a website, videos and social media that don’t just challenge the capitalist narrative but link up struggles internationally with reports and articles on the side of those fighting back against their oppressors.
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