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27 January 2021

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Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

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Chris Parry, Bristol South Socialist Party

The Tories are now floating the idea that maybe if they paid 500 to desperate workers in the gig economy, they might be inclined to self-isolate for two weeks if they contract Covid. It's taken them almost a year to realise that many workers who eke out a living, or struggle to survive these days, cannot afford the luxury of taking any time off.

But it seems unlikely that this scheme will happen anyway. "These people may deliberately get infected to claim the money", declared a Tory spokesperson on the radio!

I'm currently working in three jobs - taxi driving, parcel delivery, and Chinese takeaway deliveries three evenings a week. And I'm still hardly able to make ends meet. I cannot afford to be ill, as I have to be out there hustling seven days a week.

Shared occupancy

Here's something else I've been wondering about. If you have your own property and money in the bank, self-isolation may be possible. But I live in a shared occupancy, where I don't have my own kitchen, bathroom or toilet. Self-isolation isn't so easy for those like me.

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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.

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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 27 January 2021:


News

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


What we think

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Workplace news

Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Arab Spring

Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC

TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Campaigns

Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


International socialist news and analysis

Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


Review

TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain


 

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Related links:

Poverty:

triangle1981 Brixton riots: Racism and poverty - the anger explodes

triangleWould a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?

triangleThe 'old normal' meant poverty for young people

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLaunching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses

Workers:

triangleTensions escalate in Northern Ireland

triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

triangleCovid inquiry? Workers must decide

triangleWorkers strike and protest

Wages:

triangleSparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

triangleProtests against deskilling and lower wages

triangleWhere's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Jobs:

triangleNationalise Liberty Steel to save jobs

triangleThousands of BT workers to ballot for strike action

Benefits:

triangleA fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

Economy:

trianglePreparing for the revolts to come

Article dated 27 January 2021

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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