In response to the recent TUC conference, Communist Party chair Liz Payne has urged Britain’s trades union movement to unite to defend every job, demand a safe return to work and to reject EU attempts to limit control state aid to industry in England, Scotland and Wales.
Warning that millions more jobs will be axed when the Tory government’s furlough scheme ends in late October, she supported union demands that they participate in planning what comes afterwards. But Ms Payne told the Communist Party’s online political meeting on September 16 that economic planning must include medium- and long-term strategy for investment in industry and public services, not just emergency stop-gap measures.
‘Investment in the jobs, health and incomes of workers must be the main consideration’, she insisted, ‘not the short-term profits of big business’. Britain’s Communists urged unions to help rebuild the network of Unemployed Workers Centres in order to launch mass campaigning against mass unemployment.
Ms Payne also attacked the Tory government and many employers for failing to enforce anti-Covid safety measures. ‘People don’t go to work to die – yet we see numerous cases of Covid outbreaks in schools, the food industry and elsewhere because workers are not being properly protected.’
On the dispute between the EU and the British government over the latter’s Internal Market Bill, Ms Payne condemned what she called ‘a lot of hypocritical hot-air’ about Britain’s alleged reputation for always abiding by international law and treaties.
Citing the history of unlawful British interventions in Iran, Egypt and Iraq, complicity in the ‘extraordinary rendition’ of suspects for illegal detention and torture and now Britain’s rejection of UN resolutions to allow the Chagos Islanders to return to their homeland, she said British imperialism’s record was one of ‘duplicitous diplomacy, broken commitments and downright lies’.