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Monday, 27 February 2012

Keep up the pressure against workfare, for real jobs with decent pay

With the pressure growing day by day on the governments flagship Workfare scheme by ordinary people pressuring these companies and shaming them to cave in to public pressure.

It is quite clear that these companies value their reputation over a government work scheme. We have seen Tesco partially pull out, Burger King, Maplin, Sainsbury, among others. It is clear this scheme is rocking and the government are facing an embarrassing climb down on this project.

The idea of making young people volunteer to do unpaid labour in return for their benefits and if they refuse or pull out their benefits are cut is a disgrace.

SO i’m glad groups like youth fight for jobs and others have been highlighting these companies who are exploiting people for cheap labour.
I’d say this scheme isn’t finished yet and we must remain defiant in the face of a media barrage of abuse and distortions. Rewatching Newsnight from Friday night where youth fight for jobs national organiser Paul Callanan received all sorts of smears and distortions and Paul battered off their attempts to line him up as some crazy militant he was open and honest about being a member of the socialist party and too right where is the shame in that.

It is also clear that the media are trying to lump the SWP and the socialist party as one big mess on the left and a fragmented left this is designed to give the impression the left is divided and meaningless. This evidence of companies pulling out due to pressure from such groups giving backbone to a campaign against workfare has had some significant affect not that these organisations are crucial to the downfall of them but certainly help.

I think we need to keep the pressure up on the remaining companies and organisations as some are local councils and charities which is even more shocking that they’d be drawn into such ideas. It is clear that during times when many big businesses are not investing as see no place to make profit that using cheap labour is a convenient ploy for them to what they hoped would get them positive headlines in giving young people a chance to gain experience and work.

As socialists we are not against this but if work is there to be done which it clearly is pay the workers properly with decent terms and conditions with trade union rights too. The disgraceful situation of retail sector union USDAW in agreeing to the workfare scheme over the top of its members is another reason to make unions accountable to their rank-and-file and that the bureaucracy is out of control and out of touch of its members.

It is no skin of the likes of Tesco’s nose to pay a decent wage to its workers when it is making billions of pounds of profit but the fact it does not want to highlights the huge failure of capitalism to service its workers leading to the fact that Tesco’s workers cannot even buy the products they sell in store. What a ridiculous situation that is when Tesco workers have to buy their shopping in ALDi and LIDDEl for example. Another contradiction of capitalism perhaps?

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