‘The COVID crisis has exposed jobs, the right to work and society’s total dependence on labour as the fault-line of capitalism’, Andy Bain told the Communist Party’s executive committee at the weekend.
In an online meeting, he said it was essential that capitalism’s massive threat to jobs is challenged at national and local levels by the trade union movement. The CP trade union organiser urged trade unions, trades councils, Unite community branches, People’s Assembly and other anti-cuts bodies, Morning Star groups and political parties to come together in local campaigns to defend and demand jobs.
In particular, he called upon unions to make office space and facilities available to broad-based anti-unemployment initiatives.
‘The labour movement must adopt a positive stance on saving and creating jobs, calling for the “Green New Deal” to create jobs and apprenticeships’, Mr Bain suggested, insisting that trade and investment sanctions against China would make the gathering economic recession even worse.
Local struggles against proposed redundancies are likely to break out across England, Scotland and Wales, giving rise to a growing demand for coordination and leadership.
‘In this context, the idea of a People’s March for Jobs and Social Justice in spring 2021 is beginning to spread across the working-class movement and should be encouraged as informal discussions gather pace’, Mr Bain proposed.
Britain’s Communists also welcomed last Saturday’s marches by NHS staff in Scotland, Wales and England in support of an immediate wage increase.
‘Most NHS staff have received only a derisory pay rise this year despite their heroic sacrifices in the fight against COVID-19’, CP general secretary Robert Griffiths declared.
Around 300 NHS staff have died during the pandemic after testing positive for the coronavirus.
‘The central government can show its sincerity when praising NHS workers by funding a special pay supplement for all staff now, rather than waiting until next year’, Mr Griffiths said.
The CP executive also called for the full and permanent abolition of hospital car park fees for all NHS staff in England and Scotland, following the example set by the Welsh Labour government.