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From: The Socialist issue 1116, 13 January 2021: Our health and livelihoods before their profits

Search site for keywords: Pay - Workers - Working class - Tax - Minimum wage

Bosses earn workers' annual wage in three days

Low pay is endemic,especially among young workers, photo Petteri Sulonen/CC

Low pay is endemic,especially among young workers, photo Petteri Sulonen/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Ferdy Lyons, East London Socialist Party

Within the first three days of 2021, the already super-rich bosses of the 'FTSE 100' companies earned more than an average worker's annual salary.

For many working-class people, the annual average of £31,461 is still a long way away. For someone on the minimum wage of £8.72, that would mean working 75 hours every week!

While the working class is dealing with insecure work, low wages, irregular shifts and soaring living costs, which have only worsened during this pandemic, the rich are just getting richer. I've experienced all this myself.

I work for one of the biggest pub companies in the UK and get told over and over it can't afford to pay me more than my £8.82-an-hour wage; my irregular and insecure hours are there to benefit me; and topping up my 80% furlough pay is also unaffordable.

To make things worse, the company is actually registered in the Cayman Islands and paid no UK corporation tax last year. Its parent company is in the process of taking over one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK.

This year, my colleagues and I have effectively taken a 20% pay cut, while my bosses have only reaped the benefits with bailouts from tax they've avoided paying.

Capitalism will always work in the interest of the bosses. The Socialist Party makes real demands that will truly benefit the working class.

We need an immediate £12-an-hour minimum wage as a step towards £15, an end to zero-hour contracts, truly affordable controlled rents, subsidised transport and free childcare. All of these things would help lift the working class out of the poverty.

We can't just tax this wealth and think all will be solved. Look at my bosses, they'll just put their money somewhere else.

We need to nationalise this wealth. Bring it into workers' democratic control, so we can implement our demands unimpeded.

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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.

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.

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 click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 13 January 2021

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