Britain

Ruthless British Airways bosses are set to cut thousands of jobs at the airline, using the pretext of the pandemic to undermine workers’ wages and conditions. The labour movement must fight for nationalisation and workers’ control.

The bosses are pushing ever harder for workers to return to work. And the Tory government is giving them free rein to restart the economy without the necessary safety measures. The labour movement must organise a fightback.

Lauded by the establishment for his ‘credible opposition’, Keir Starmer is also under pressure from workers to oppose reckless Tory measures. Instead of compromising with the government, Labour should be taking them to task.

COVID-19 is bringing economic and social dislocation with no parallel since the Second World War. It is a huge burden on working-class people, and a real concern for the strategists of capital.

An open split has emerged within the Tories, between those who are desperate for business to return to normal; and those who are terrified of the backlash if private wealth is put above public health. We must fight to put lives before profits. Originally published 7 April.

The media, bourgeois and reformist leaders have all been whipping up a “wartime” spirit of national unity against the threat of COVID-19. Recently elected leader of the British Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, has even made overtures about joining a government of national unity with the Conservatives. But the coronavirus pandemic is exposing the class lines in society more than ever. National unity is a reactionary fiction. What is needed is workers’ unity in the face of this crisis, and against the rotten system responsible.

Keir Starmer has won the Labour leadership contest. His Blairite backers are already baying for blood, calling for the Corbyn movement to be purged from the party. The left must rally around socialist policies and prepare to fight back.

There has been a great deal of fanfare about the government’s pledges to protect workers and small businesses through this crisis. But, in reality, ordinary people have been left high-and-dry. We must make the bosses pay.

In an effort to save their system, the Tory government has pledged to throw hundreds of billions at the economy. But what they give with one hand today, they will attempt to take back through austerity tomorrow. We must make the bosses pay.

Following the government’s lockdown decree, all non-essential production is supposed to be stopped. But Tory ministers have been purposefully evasive and ambiguous about whether this applies to construction sites, which are a breeding ground for disease and contagion.

The Chancellor’s recent pledge for the state to cover workers’ wages shows the desperate situation facing the ruling class. The labour movement leaders must go further and demand nationalisation and democratic economic control.