As the Gilets Jaunes movement continues, we republish this article by Paul Cudenec of the Shoal...
A co-ordinated series of public meeting by Plan C in the week beginning 29th September.
We Need To Talk About Work: a series of public discussions about the crisis of the work society and strategies for moving beyond it.
Plan C is calling for two things in October:
* Mass support, solidarity actions and participation in the national trade union strike on October 16th.
* A bloc at the TUC demo on October 18th in London.
We want to open up the ideas and plans for these interventions to everyone who shares our problem with work. We’ve already started these discussion and want to continue them through a series of public discussions entitled: “We Need to Talk about Work” across different cities in the UK.
Through these discussions we’re hoping to collectively develop shared perspectives, and to translate our ideas into strategies for the struggle for freedom from waged slavery. These discussions will take place and the end of September, and we encourage everyone who can’t come to one of Plan C’s discussions to organise similar events in other places.
On 18th October the Trades Union Congress (TUC) will be organising its first national demonstration since 2012. Against the Plan A of austerity, the TUC and the left wing of the Labour Party are proposing a Plan B. With the slogan “Britain needs a payrise” the TUC have fallen in line behind Labour Party policies: clinging to the minimum wage, gesturing towards the living wage and mumbling about a higher minimum wage if employers can afford it. The TUC’s addition to this paltry collection of promises is a demand for a ‘crackdown’ on executive pay.
These policy proposals, and others like them, fall far short of both what we need and what we want. The problem isn’t just that we’re not paid enough for the work we do; it’s that most of the work we do isn’t paid at all. The problem isn’t just that our wages are too low; it’s that wages are still the only option open to us in order to survive. It’s not just that work doesn’t pay enough, it’s that we have to work for wages in the first place.
The demand for less work and more money is more realistic than the hope amongst the TUC and the Labour Party that all this current unpleasantness could be got rid of if we just got back to how it was before. You know, back when Britain made things goddamit, employers paid good family wages, and everyone had a job. The peddlers of this fantasy seem to be innocent of the fact that capitalism, and history, has moved on. They also seem innocent of the fact that we wouldn’t want their rosy dream of the 50s even if we could have it. It would mean that half of us (women) would have to retreat back into the home so there could be ‘full employment’ for our husbands. It would mean rejigging the global economy in order to get back to some good old fashioned colonial exploitation which kept money flowing into British coffers.
We look forward to meeting you at one of the public meetings or on the streets on Oct 18.
Dates and Venues
Manchester: 1st October, Working Class Library – 6pm
Leeds meeting 30th september, venue either leeds met or vic pub
London Sept 30 Tuesday 7.30pm Common House Unit 5E Pundersons Garden E2 9QG
Thames Valley: October 1st 7.30pm RHUL Geography building.