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Arguments for socialism :: Northern Rock
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Northern Rock workers are stunned to hear that the bank is now planning another round of job cuts. Last week workers were hit by a redundancy bombshell of 650 job losses out of 4,500 staff. This works out to be one in seven of the workforce!
Workers leaving Northern Rock HQ after the news were saying how they felt it had been coming for a long time. And the remaining workers will still suffer - the managers are going after their own workers' pension pots by getting rid of the final salary pension scheme.
Northern Rock has been going through a restructuring process since its nationalisation in 2008. Since then we have already seen 2,000 job losses which were mainly based in Newcastle and Sunderland.
This is really only a sneak peek of what is to come. These job losses have come at a particularly bad time for the North East which is expecting massive spending cuts from the coalition government.
Unite has been quick to condemn these job losses and is quite rightly concerned that it could even be 1,000 job losses. Whether these hard words will be translated into tough action by the union we will have to see.
But Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) has already been on the streets campaigning to stop this job cutting madness! Now with its important support from the Unite union, YFJ is looking at ways it can coordinate with Unite to defend the jobs and working conditions of the Northern Rock workers.
All of this is being justified to make Northern Rock 'sellable' to the private sector. It is also obvious that the government is trying to make nationalisation a bad word to make it easier to hand it back to the private sector and to poison the words of the socialist and trade union movement.
The Socialist Party and Youth Fight for Jobs are demanding the permanent nationalisation of the banking sector under democratic workers' control and management - not run in the interests of profit but for working class people.
Such a banking system could offer cheap loans and mortgages for housing and small businesses.
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Northern Rock (34)
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Article dated 16 June 2010
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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