Mon May 20, 2024
May 20, 2024

Super rich win staggering tax cuts as crisis deepens – Make the rich pay!

Unions coordinate strikes! – TUC call a general strike!

Higher wages, higher benefits and higher pensions!

As the cost of living crisis grows, class inequalities rise and the wealthiest 1% are rewarded with staggering tax cuts, the class war being unleashed becomes more vicious. United strikes, demonstrations and mass street movements are the only way to answer their war on us.

By ISL – Britain

The new Prime Minister Liz Truss and her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, have launched this government by giving a large share of the country’s wealth to the super-rich that includes scrapping the cap on bankers’ bonuses; scrapping the 45% tax rate on earnings over £150,000; scrapping the planned 25% corporation tax. An immediate consequence of the tax cuts has led to the crashing of the sterling, which will further increase the cost of imported foods and fuels and increase bank and mortgage interest rates, thus adding to the ever-increasing cost of living.

The immorality of this mini-budget and its instigators is as staggering as the wealth they hand to the richest as they toughen the rules of eligibility for welfare support to the poorest, give nothing to the low-paid and precarious workers and announce plans to restrict workers’ rights to strike for pay, conditions, pensions and sick pay. That is why the working class and oppressed are fighting back.

October’s strike wave is increasing – Unite strikes and demonstrations

It is essential to build on the national and local coordinated strike on 1 October with rail unions, RMT, Aslef and NSSA, CWU Postal workers and telecommunication workers, dock workers in Felixstowe and Liverpool and other local strikes.

The Liverpool dock workers showed their anger through their brilliant two-week strike from 19 September. While the public sector unions PCS, NEU and UCU have started their ballot for strike action. All the issues are linked between work sectors. Strikes are winning where workers have shown determination through indefinite strikes and regular strike action with public solidarity.

The pickets that ISL visited agree that there is a need for more. Every union branch should discuss the need for a coordinated strike. The rail, post workers and dockers do it – every union can do it. In October, the rank and file can build a campaign of mass joint union strikes and actions for all trade unionists with neighbourhoods and demand that the TUC Congress call a general strike starting the 18 October. Trade unions: protest at the TUC Congress and demand a general strike.

If the TUC does not call it, all the fighting unions need to organise inter-union meetings at the branch level, through local TUCs, strike committees and nationally to demand that the TUC make the call for full united action.

With winter and further hardship imminently approaching, mass struggle and a general strike are essential to prevent people from dying from cold and hunger. Truss et al. do not care; we have to stand up for ourselves.

Labour Party

Waving the Union Jack and singing “God save the King” at the Labour Party conference shows the LP is trying to convince capitalism that it can handle the capitalist crisis against workers. In his LP conference speech, quoting Tony Blair, Keir Starmer is re-establishing the Blairite era, in a new period of class struggle and crisis.

Union leaders who try to make peace with Starmer and maintain LP affiliation do not advance the workers’ cause. Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, said “We’re affiliated to Labour because the deal is we speak up for workers in the workplace and they speak up for workers in Parliament,”i but Starmer does not seem to know that deal. Starmer sacked Sam Tarry, a shadow transport minister after he joined rail workers on the picket line in July but Unite pays over £1m a year to the LP, she said.

There have been many Unite strikes that the rising determination of workers has won. Those wins are made by the workers on strike, not by the LP, but Unite pays over £1m a year to the LP.

A new workers’ party is needed based on the union struggles and the Black workers and immigrants fighting for their rights. The LP is not and will not become a workers’ party.

Defeat the new Tory attack on unions

Recently, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced plans to attack workers’ ability to strike. He wants to change the law so that a minimum service level is maintained on the rails, unions would be required to put pay offers to a member vote before a strike can go ahead. He also intends to tax strike pay.

But we will not be defeated if fully united in struggle on the streets. We can win.

Build international solidarity

Workers across Europe also face a winter of despair. In France, the union Centrals CGT and Solidaire held a general strike at the end of September. Other unions are also striking. If that can happen in France, it can happen here.

In France, as in the UK, we are seeing the beginning of a long fight of strike action and street mobilisations. Building worker-to-worker solidarity between Britain, France and beyond in the fight against austerity, poverty, privatisation, poor wages, discrimination and conditions is vital for the future of the working class.

We salute the international dock workers’ unions and many others who have sent inspiring messages of solidarity and those who travelled to the UK to stand on the picket lines. We salute the sections of the International Workers League – Fourth International, and their working-class union fighters across the world – bus drivers, train drivers, airport workers, tyre and engineering workers, teachers, precarious and pineapple plantation workers and many others from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Spain and Colombia. They recognise that we face the same attacks and send inspiring messages to the strikers here.

A programme for action and victory

The historic decline of British capitalism means for Truss and capitalism the necessity to attack workers’ rights, maintain low wages and pensions and minimise welfare support. All workers are facing a significant decline in their standard of living, and many now exist in food and heat poverty. This is while the greedy and super-rich wallow in wealth, “… trailing out of Selfridges … yellow bags dangling from her arms … welcomed Kwasi Kwteng’s mini-budget … will give her more money to spend.” (Guardian 24/09/22).

We have to remove the foundations of their wealth in the UK. State-owned industries have been handed to the private market to be controlled by multinationals in Britain and elsewhere. We can build a bold class programme of action uniting unions, diversity and neighbourhoods, a class movement that can defeat the government. We need to nationalise the main industries without compensation, alongside a fully publicly funded NHS free at the point of need and education system – not to hand control to a capitalist state but under workers’ control which will deliver an economy for the benefit of the majority of the population and not for the benefit of the super-rich. We need to stand up and fight for a workers’ government that can eliminate poverty and hunger.

Join the International Socialist League to help us build the internationalist revolutionary socialist workers’ party we need.

Unions coordinate joint strikes!

Call on the TUC Congress to organise a general strike!


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