Friday, 24 May 2024

When Owners Will Work and Workers Will Own!

A COUPLE of days ago, we carried an article about how Tesco’s were very happy to use the Con-Dem government’s work experience scheme (1). Amazingly, Tesco’s have now changed their minds – no doubt due to the bad publicity the ‘Workfare’ scheme has recently attracted.

Tesco’s problems arose when a group of Right To Work (2) activists ‘invaded’ and occupied the Tesco Express store at Portcullis House, Westminster. The location of this branch of Tesco’s ensured mass media publicity.

Although the Right To Work group is a Socialist Party front organisation (3) we applaud them for dramatically exposing the ‘Workfare’ system as nothing short of slave labour.
According to the Right To Work group’s web-site, they are
“a national campaign and for the last couple of years we’ve been the people in the room arguing for a combination of strikes, direct action and occupations as a means of defending public services, the welfare state, stopping the cuts and fighting job losses. We’ve said time and time again it’s not our crisis and we won’t pay for it.”
The National Liberal Party agrees with this view. We willingly fight for the idea of ‘a fair days wage for a fair days work’.
However, we’d go way beyond this by demanding that the present capitalist system be progressively dismantled and replaced by a society which is Distributist i.e. wider ownership in tone. As part of this, we’d like to see the breakup of massive multinationals – like Tesco’s – and replace them with do this co-operatives. Here, owners will work and workers will own.
With this in mind, we were interested to see the latest issue of British Worker, the ‘paper of Solidarity Trade Union’, which we have just received.
Issue 6 looks at the high number of high street names that have recently gone into administration. This has particularly hit retail workers hard – many of whom are young, female and poorly paid.
Of particular interest to us, in order to halt this downward spiral, British Worker argues that:
Instead of throwing workers onto the dole – perhaps never to find a meaningful job again – wouldn’t it be better to temporarily nationalise large companies that go into administration? Jobs will be saved – and a wage will still be coming in. Terms and conditions of employment would be guaranteed. These companies can then later be run as one – or several – cooperatives once trading conditions improve.”
We’d encourage members and supporters of the National Liberal Party to examine and discuss these proposals (albeit printed in agitprop form!). To get hold of issue 6 of British Worker, simply e-mail and ask them for your FREE pdf copy!




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