Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How to fight Redundancies, Socialist Style!

Redundancy is a shocking experience.
It disrupts your plans and hopes for your future.

Your company is also conveying a message: We do not care about you
– profit is all that counts. Of course, they don’t put it as bluntly as this.
Your CEO or manager will probably appear on the media and
talk about how sad they are but it had to be done for ‘competitiveness’.
But they mean: workers are worth nothing, profit is all that counts.

Global society is experiencing a 1930s style crash and we can no longer accept this.
This is the 21st century and all of us have a Right to Work.
It is time to assert that people and our lives are more important
than a company’s ‘bottom line’
If you are facing redundancy,
socialists advise you to take the following steps:

❶ Call a meeting of your workmates to discuss the situation.
Elect people to represent you, either by endorsing your existing
delegates or electing new representatives. Make sure that the
meeting is conducted properly by asking people to vote for what they
want.

❷ The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to
oppose the redundancies or accept voluntary redundancies.
Your union officials will almost invariably urge you to accept
voluntary redundancies. Socialists, however, urge you to
consider resistance: There is very little work out there and you need a
wage packet now.

❸ Do some research on your company. Find out the following items:

■ Are they making a profit? If they are suffering a temporary loss,
what sort of profits did they make in recent years? How much do they
pay their CEO?
■ How much did your company get in state grants? Have they been
paying proper taxes in this country?
■ Are they re-locating or closing down in order to benefit from
cheap labour? Or are they trying to intensify work for the remaining
staff.

❹ Organise an occupation of your workplace to resist
redundancy. It is the only message that profit
addicts understand. Remember: You
have two great levers that help you.
■ First, the company will want to get hold of the machines, office
space or factory space to sell off or use elsewhere. You should use
these as a bargaining lever to secure concessions.
■ Second, as governments have been bailing out banks, the obvious
question is: why can’t they bail out redundant workers?

❺ You should use the occupation as a base to
launch a major campaign to demand that the government protect
your right to work. Tell them to recover any grants
given to a company that has treated its workers like disposable products
and to use that money to fund alternative employment.
Demand that the government either get you all places on
community employment schemes on Pay Related Benefit or that they take
the company into public ownership to guarantee jobs.

❻ Resistance will bring you some results – acceptance
will give you nothing. Some might argue that this is very ‘radical’. But
we are living in changed times. When a US President like
Barack Obama promises that the US state will help fund the creation of
3 million jobs, you know ‘the times they are a changing’.
We need real, radical change here and that will come through
‘people power’ – not taskforces, committees and crocodile tears.

If you want any further advice on resisting redundancies or want
support for your actions, you can simply
text - REDUNDANCY to 021 186 1450
and we will ring you back.

1 comment:

Kenny Surtani said...

What a true post!!!!Keep up the good work:)