JLR job cuts, the car industry, robots and future prospects for jobs

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Job cuts ruin lives

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 186,000 workers are directly engaged in manufacturing jobs in the British car industry, with 856,000 workers to be found in the wider industry, from sales executives to garage mechanics. It’s an industry worth a whopping £82bn (turnover), but the global crisis of overproduction means that there are many more cars sitting on forecourts than can be sold, and fewer workers with the cash to buy them.

Automation

In a research paper entitled the ‘Digitalisation of the automotive industry’ in 2016, KPMG and the SMMT outlined that “By fully embracing digitalisation, the automotive sector stands to gain £6.9bn every year by 2035. The cumulative total benefit to the economy could be £74bn by 2035. This is a significant prize…”

This future world has a sensor on every box to inform another sensor (hundreds of miles away) that it needs to start 3D printing a few more plastic plugs. Other sensors will note when the new plugs are ready and a photo electric sensor somewhere in Slovakia will then despatch a robot-controlled Google-driven lorry to bring those parts ‘just in time’. Sensors on robots, and no doubt sensors on people, will be able to ensure that profits are maximised and with all these sensors organising production and many robots actually undertaking the production process itself, there won’t be much room left for working men and women. With more workers forced out of work, there will be less money coming in to buy the things the sensors are churning out. The prisons will be bursting and, in the words of Lord Byron, workers will be

nefariously guilty of lawfully begetting children whom, thanks to the times, they are unable to maintain’.”

`Time to face it, capitalism must go

The drive for profit is leading to the wholesale impoverishment of the human race. In its drive for maximum profits, mankind is overproducing all the things it does not need. Rather than plan production in a rational way so as to ensure a constantly rising standard of material and cultural existence, the chaos of private production threatens the survival of our species and the planet. The struggle against capitalism is a struggle between the working classes and the capitalist class. This struggle has now raged for more than two hundred years.

In the 18th century British workers were faced with a similar threat from technology. Our recent ancestors were thrown out of work, out of factories and mills with the introduction of new technology and their response was to attack this technology, to smash it up and destroy it. These workers were known as Luddites and they led a fierce and heroic battle with the police, army, manufacturers and government. In Nottinghamshire weavers who made frames for the manufacture of trousers (stockings) faced death for struggling to protect their livelihoods. The struggle led the great poet Byron to write,

Men are more easily made than machinery –

Stockings fetch better prices than lives –

Gibbets on Sherwood will heighten the scenery,

Showing how Commerce, how Liberty thrives!

 

For all the heroism of our ancestors, they were ultimately unsuccessful in that struggle. History teaches us that to protect jobs and for dignity of labour we must direct our blows towards the capitalist class and not just its property. This class of parasites do not work but collect through dividends, shares and taxes the wealth produced by the working class.

Our working class should draw inspiration from the workers of France who have so militantly expressed their outrage these last few months with the protests of the yellow vests. Occupations, strikes, blockades, disruption of the capitalist system of profit making is the only way to extract concessions from the ruling class. In tandem with this rebellion must be the building up of the forces of the communists, the advanced section of the workers which understands that it is necessary to turn the economic crisis into an all-out political rebellion. The aim of the communists must be the armed insurrection of the working people, for the seizure of state power. Britain today is sleepy and the British working class is idle and silent in the face of the abuses it is suffering; but if Donald Trump can appreciate that the fierce competition between the capitalists themselves creates the conditions for the national security of the US imperialists to be threatened, then we can take some consolation from their discomfort.

Its time to fight for a different future, get in touch with us to lend your support:

Meeting this Friday: Socialism in China, report from CPGB-ML delegation

China report back_mar 2019In February a three person delegation from the CPGB-ML travelled to China to participate in the 27th Wanshou Forum. Whilst in China our delegates had lengthy discussions with the Communist Party of China and visited workplaces and historic sites associated with the communist revolution. We also took the opportunity to meet up with the Honorary President of the CPGB-ML, comrade Isabel Crook.

Isabel Crook

CPGB-ML delegates with Party President Isabel Crook

One speech by a CPGB-ML delegate is already online and can be read here: https://www.cpgb-ml.org/2019/03/05/news/theory/chinese-forum-discusses-humanitys-shared-future/ . This meeting is an opportunity to hear first hand from one of the delegates, Ed Renyard, National Organiser of the CPGB-ML.

 

Council Tax to go up nearly 5% this April

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Council Tax to go up nearly 5% this April

This April Birmingham resident’s will see Council Tax up by 4.99%. That will mean at least £70 for many households.

The Labour council takes no responsibility for its mismanagement of the city finances. Below is an idea of how much Birmingham’s workers are going to be expected to pay, and a few examples of how the Council has spent our money so far in 2019.

Council Tax 2019-20

  • Band A is £1,062.67
  • Band B is £1,239.77
  • Band C is £1,416.88
  • Band D is £1,594.00
  • Band E is £1,948.23
  • Band F is £2,302.44
  • Band G is £2,656.67
  • Band H is £3,188.00

Money wasted

In the recent dispute with bin men Birmingham city council spent money rewarding those who worked during the 2017 strike, these payments were ‘secret’. When the news broke the Council spent £1.45million on legal advice to defend their position rather than apologising and settling quickly. They even attempted to prevent workers going on strike by taking them to the courts in London, and losing!

Determined to have a war with workers at any cost the Council paid £2.6 million to private contractors to clean up the city whilst they dragged the bin men through legal proceedings. In the end the Council have had to come to the negotiating table at a total cost of £5.85 million!

Birmingham has a council who say they need to make another £46m in savings this year, who have announced another 1,000 job losses by 2023 and have the temerity to take another 5% off hard-pressed residents.

Unless workers get organised they can expect to be well and truly rinsed by Labour party careerists and money grabbing privateers.

 Get in touch with Birmingham Worker and fight for socialism:

 

 

Birmingham in Top 50 cities to live in

The Birmingham Mail proudly declares Birmingham in the Top 50 cities to live in, worldwide. In a piece sandwiched between a story about hour-long traffic delays and another concerning a woman being shot, the Mail notes with a straight face that Birmingham is rated higher than Damascus in Syria and Bhagdad in Iraq.

Reading the Mail any day of the week you could be forgiven for thinking we lived in an actual war zone like Damascus, where terrorists sent by Britain and aided by our secret services (many of them from Birmingham) have been terrorising the population. But despite daily stories in the Mail of stabbings, muggings, robberies, burglaries, beatings and muggings, Birmingham remains a decent place to live, and if we ever manage to replace the arrogant anti working class Labour politicians running the Council we’ll take a huge step towards making our city genuinely one of the best places to live in the world.

Read the Mail piece here: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-one-best-places-live-15962778 https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-one-best-places-live-15962778

Birmingham solidarity with Venezuela

We held a successful meeting in solidarity with revolutionary Venezuela on 19 February in Birmingham. The meeting was well attended and heard from leading Venezuelan trade union leader Marcos Garcia, and Helena Menendez of the embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Introducing the meeting for Birmingham Worker our comrade said,

“The recent escalation of US aggression against Venezuela has been dressed up in the language of ‘human rights’, ignoring, as ever, the fact that human rights abuses by or on behalf of the government are as imaginary as were the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq.

The real nature of US imperialism’s concept of human rights was demonstrated by the country’s psychopathic national security adviser, John Bolton who, “Perhaps most brazenly … appeared in an interview on Fox Business and disclosed that the US government was in talks with American corporations on how to capitalise on Venezuela’s oil reserves, which are proven to be the world’s largest.

“We’re in conversation with major American companies now,” he said. “I think we’re trying to get to the same end result here … It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” (see Inside John Bolton’s month-long PR campaign against Venezuela’s government)

Venezuela has foolproof election arrangements that cannot be manipulated in any way (in contrast to what those of the United States!) Yet all elections in Venezuela since the government of Hugo Chávez and his successors (aka the ‘Chavistas’) took over the government and started to use the profits of Venezuela’s oil to improve the lives of ordinary people (rather than to enrich US multinational oil companies), have been pronounced ‘fraudulent’ by the US – except the one parliamentary election that opponents of the government happened to win!

In attempting to remove Nicolás Maduro and his government, US imperialism wants new elections to be called – but only ones that it is able to manipulate to produce the results it wants.

For the last two decades, the US government and its various agencies have spent huge amounts of money trying to bolster the election prospects of Venezuela’s anti-government minority, all to no avail (which, incidentally, does not prevent it moaning on about totally fictitious Russian meddling in US elections).”

For more information read: It is imperative to halt the imperialist military adventure against Venezuela

To get in touch and participate in Venezuela solidarity work in Birmingham, fill in the form below: