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20 October 2021

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For higher wages, permanent jobs, fully funded services

Fight for a socialist recovery

Health workers protest for a 15% pay rise. Photo: Steve Eason/CC

Health workers protest for a 15% pay rise. Photo: Steve Eason/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Socialist Party southern regional secretary

The new normal under Boris Johnson and the Tories promises to be anything but 'new'. Johnson's talk of a 'high-wage economy' will stick in the throats of workers at Weetabix, Clarks and elsewhere.

They are striking back against the bosses' 'fire-and-rehire' offensive - boosting profits by cutting wages. Public sector workers, hit by a decade-long pay freeze, are rejecting the Tories' insulting pay offers and preparing to fight back.

With increased national insurance payments and benefit cuts already underway, it looks likely that Chancellor Sunak's Autumn Statement will amount to nothing more than further cutbacks.

Austerity of the last decade came at a brutal cost for many, with a recent survey showing 57,000 excess deaths over the five-year period to 2015.

There must be no repeat of that nightmare. It is urgent for the trade unions to plan a coordinated response in defence of jobs, pay, pensions, benefits and public services. No one must be left to fight alone. 'An injury to one is an injury to all' must be the rallying call for action to push back the bosses' offensive.

Recent victories have been won by determined strike action and show the power of the working class to defend itself. The Trades Union Congress has agreed to organise a national demonstration in the spring, now we must apply the pressure to make sure this happens, and is used to strengthen coordinated strike action on pay, and to include the demand for a minimum wage of 15 an hour.

Fears of inflation should be answered with a clear response to make the richest 1% pay out of the vast profits they have amassed.

We say fight: for a socialist recovery to reverse the decade of cuts; raise wages and control rents to eliminate poverty; reduce the working week to 32 hours without loss of pay to share out the work and guarantee jobs for all. Urgent investment in the NHS and education, alongside a mass council house building programme, could easily be paid for by a wealth tax on the top corporations.

But for permanent gains, we have to stop the endless cycle of boom and bust of capitalist crisis and the anarchy of profit-driven production. We need democratic socialist planning to meet the needs of all and the environment. This can be delivered by nationalising the banks and top 150 monopolies under working-class control and management. To achieve that victory, workers need a new mass party of our own with the trade unions playing a central role, as part of the fightback we urgently need.

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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.

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In The Socialist 20 October 2021:


Fight for a socialist recovery

Tories to blame for GP crisis

Container delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning

Socialist nationalisation not bailouts for the bosses

Workplace news

Unite union policy conference

University workers ballot for strike action

Unite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs

Gwent valleys Stagecoach bus drivers strike for fair pay

Reinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike

Napo AGM 2021: Union placed on war footing

Scunthorpe scaffs strike for pay

People's budgets

People's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts

Brighton bin workers' victory in sight

Fight to defend homelessness services

Ealing People's Budget - cuts can be resisted

Northampton People's Budget - cuts and privatisation is a failed strategy

Fighting the cuts at the ballot box in Liverpool

Fall of apartheid

The fall of Apartheid in South Africa

Climate change

COP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables

Save the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe


Austria: Chancellor Kurz resigns amid allegations of corruption


Obituary - Tony Davison: "I work for Militant, but Laing's pay my wages"


"Are you the socialist cabby?"

Housing crisis: Tories and Labour are not on our side

Liverpool arms fair: Hundreds of protesters defy police 'dispersal zone'

Hackney children's centres - more education cuts are devastating

Biggest protest yet to save Stratford Circus

Doncaster: Vigil condemns violence against women

Readers' opinion

I'm unemployed: For me vacancy crisis is a lie

TV review: Squid Game


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Trade unions:

triangleCOP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables


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Article dated 20 October 2021

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