Wednesday 27 July 2016

The Tory war on British workers' wages and labour rights

The Tories have been carrying out one of the most radically right-wing economic experiments ever tested at the national level. The Tory policy of wage repression is designed to turn the UK into a low-skill, low-wage low-job security economy where bosses earn fortunes and employees are treated like disposable pawns.

While most of the rest of Europe have experienced some wage growth since 2007, including crisis devastated economies like Spain (+2.8%) Ireland (+1.6%) and Italy (+0.9%), UK workers have seen a catastrophic decline in earning power only matched by workers in the economic catastrophe zone that is Greece (-10.4%).

Ordinary British workers have seen the deliberate decimation of their wages since the Lib-Dems enabled the Tories back into power in 2010Meanwhile the super wealthy minority have literally doubled their wealth since the economic crisis

Aside from overseeing the longest sustained decline in wages in economic history, a reduction in earning power only matched by the crisis stricken Greek economy, a huge upwards redistribution of wealth, and the slowest economic recovery on record, the Tories have also been savagely attacking working rights too.

The Tories have attacked the right to compensation for unfair dismissal by introducing huge tribunal fees, they've tried to bribe workers into giving away their employment rights, they've been ruthlessly attacking the trade unions to make trade union democracy completely unworkable, they've slashed in-work benefits for the working poor, and they've overseen a massive increase in exploitative Zero Hours contracts as used by Sports Direct.

The fact that the British public have become a hopelessly docile bunch is evidenced by the almost complete lack of reaction to these attacks on workers' rights and wages designed to produce a deliberate upwards redistribution of wealth. In fact the party that set the destruction of workers' rights and wages as one of their deliberate policy priorities are soaring ahead in the polls!

Just look at the furious way the French have reacted to attacks on their employment rights, and consider that they've enjoyed a 10% increase in their earning power since the pre-crisis period. In Britain we've had a 10% decrease in our earning power and most people have sat back compliantly as the Tories have repeatedly snatched our employment rights away.

The situation is likely to get even worse now because the new Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a fanatical right-winger called George Freeman as her policy director. In the past Freeman has championed policies like slashing the minimum wage in poor areas, reducing corporation tax to 10% (half the basic rate of income tax paid by their workers!), and the scrapping of workers' rights to basic protections like holiday pay, maternity/paternity pay, sick pay and the right to claim unfair dismissal.

The sad thing is that the mainstream media have allowed this radical and unprecedented Tory assault on wages and labour rights to go almost completely unreported. Instead they try to refocus people's anger away from the political villains and the super-rich establishment they serve, and onto scapegoats like immigrants, the unemployed and disabled people.

Additionally the mainstream press are conducting an intensive propaganda war against Jeremy Corbyn because he dares to stand up for ordinary workers against this Tory anti-worker agenda, whilst simultaneously lauding Theresa May for her transparently misleading rhetoric about how the Tories are going to help ordinary working people instead of the privileged few.

A look at Theresa May's voting record reveals that she voted time and again in favour of attacks on wages, in-work benefits and workers rights, yet she thinks the British public are such a gullible bunch of halfwits that they'll believe the ridiculous story that the Tories are now interested in serving the interests of the workers rather than the interests of the millionaire bosses who actually fund the Tory party.

Unfortunately, according to the polls she is right. The British public really are that gullible. Millions of working people actually support the party that has been systematically destroying their earning power and employment rights for the last six years.

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