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Form a Network of Rank-and-File Action Committees for Safe Workplaces!
April 10 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
This takes place as the COVID-19 pandemic is escalating into a new spring surge in Europe and internationally. Around 9,000 people are dying every day and the seven-day average for new cases approaches half a million—fuelled by the emergence of more contagious variants.
In the United States, more than 555,000 people have already died, in Brazil 300,000, in Europe almost 900,000, including 150,000 in the UK.
Boris Johnson has admitted that his open return to a “herd immunity” strategy will cost tens of thousands more lives, as the UK too sees another sharp rise in infections. Cases in schools have already doubled since the return to in-person teaching. Every workplace will see a similar exponential growth.
Reopening the economy means stepped-up class warfare. Governments, banks and corporations are conspiring to make workers’ pay for the trillions handed over in bailouts for the super-rich and the billions being pumped into the armed forces as the drive of the rival capitalist powers to war escalates.
This onslaught will be imposed through brute force, with the powers of the state strengthened and democratic rights destroyed by measures such as the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
The working class is looking for a way to fight back, with strikes erupting involving educators in schools, colleges and universities, workers at British Gas and British Telecoms, civil servants, and water, bus, rail, logistics, and airport workers. There are demands for strike action being made by nurses and other National Health Service workers. Many of these strikes are against “fire and rehire” operations, involving massive cuts in pay and pensions, and brutal job losses and speed-ups that increase the dangers of the pandemic.
In every struggle, workers immediately come face-to-face with the role of the trade unions as professional saboteurs and police for corporate management in imposing “restructurings”, cutbacks, and dismissals to maintain “competitiveness”. In the Labour Party they confront a mortal enemy and de facto coalition partner of the Tory government.
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is urging workers to organise independently of the trade unions and all the official parties by establishing rank-and-file safety and action committees in all workplaces.
These committees, organised in a network encompassing ever broader sections of workers, will provide the new and democratic organisations of class struggle workers need.
Rejecting all forms of nationalism, they must fight for international solidarity with fellow workers the world over, and a socialist and internationalist strategy. Neither the coronavirus nor the attacks of the corporations recognise national borders. Workers everywhere face the same problems, which can only be solved through a unified struggle.
The constant escalation of the pandemic is the result of a policy that places private enrichment and profit above the protection of the life and health of the population, implemented by organisations and parties that defend capitalism and act in defence of a super-rich financial oligarchy. This can only be stopped by the European-wide and international mobilisation of the working class, to prepare a general strike and take forward the struggle for a socialist world.
The SEP calls for:
- The immediate closure of all non-essential production until the pandemic is under control! Full pay for all affected workers!
- The closure of educational institutions and a move to properly funded and equipped online learning.
- Effective safety measures in essential workplaces, such as food and medical supply manufacturers.
- An end to all job and wage cuts, a statutory living wage for all, including the furloughed, artists, and the self-employed.
- A massive public investment and employment programme in socially key areas such as education, health, and environmental protection.
We call on all workers, students and young people who agree with these demands to attend the online forum on Saturday, April 10, 2-4pm (London).
Join us in building independent rank-and-file committees to wage the class struggle and take part in the fight to build a new socialist leadership.
Register for this event here.