Tag Archives: west midlands

Work doesn’t pay & Birmingham families know it

 

humorous cartoon depicts Birmingham’s Labour council promise to keep burials free for the destitute in 2019

The proportion of people with a job who live in poverty went up for the third consecutive year to a record high.

Government data shows 1.4 million people across the West Midlands region were living in relative poverty between 2015/16 and 2017/18.

An article in the Birmingham Mail has reported that,

“Poverty has increased for children and pensioners over the last five years with some of the worst hardship in the West Midlands.

The study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said that, despite rising levels of employment, in-work poverty has also gone up because often people’s pay, hours, or both, are not enough.”

The report says that about 56% of those living in poverty were in working households, that seven in ten children who were in poverty had parents in work.

The Josef Roundtree Foundation (JRF) has said the poverty indicator it used is when a family has an income of less than 60 per cent of median UK income for their family type, after housing costs. Just over half of people in poverty are in a working family, compared to 39 per cent 20 years ago, according to the research.

JRF said 14 million people were living in poverty, including four million children and two million pensioners, up by 400,000 and 300,000 respectively over the past five years.

The report said people were more likely to be in poverty if they lived in certain parts of the UK, in a family where there is a disabled person or a carer, if they work in the hospitality or retail sector, or if they live in rented housing.

Distribution of private wealth

The richest 10 percent of households own 44.6 percent of private wealth in Britain, while the poorest 30 percent have less than 2 percent. The poorest ten percent have £18bn of non-property debt (credit cards, overdrafts, HP, etc) while the richest ten percent only have £11bn.

Socialists must never tire of telling people that the political system that we live under (capitalist imperialism) is the cause not only of the fabulous wealth of a tiny handful of leeches who live by exploiting the masses, but is the cause also of the misery, exploitation, ill health, etc that the mass of the workers experience to a greater degree year upon year.

Only a workers’ movement that replaces this parasitic set-up with a socialist planned economy can provide the solution – an economy that is geared towards providing a decent standard of living for all workers, and which will lay the foundations for a future world of peace and plenty.

Birmingham bin strike day 1

Perry Barr depot this morning

Montague pickets and Howard Beckett

Redfern road pickets

Lifford Lane all out

It was a solid start to picketing and strike action this morning as bin workers escalated their action against Birmingham city council. The Council, controlled by the local Labour party continues to set aside £350,000 a week for private contractors to enrich themselves rather than settle the dispute with Unite.

Cameras at Tyseley depot this morning are indicative of a rising sentiment of disbelief that the cash strapped council remains so insistent in pursuing it’s mad policy. The media reports will be watched attentively by all those in the labour movement.

Solidarity with the striking workers will be key to winning the dispute.

To get involved with our campaigning work in defence of the bin men, leave your details below:

Three cheers for Unison bin workers out on strike! What next for the bin men?

cash for scabs.jpg

Unite have accused Birmingham city council of rewarding those who worked through the 2017 Birmingham bin strike

The Birmingham Mail has reported that Unison have today announced that their members will join with Unite members currently in dispute with the city’s waste services.

Whats happening with the dispute?

Is there a difference between Ian Ward and John Clancy? Is there any difference between Lisa Trickett and Majid Mahmood? Is there a difference between coke and pepsi?

Some people believe there are two Labour party’s – a good one and a nasty one. Howard Beckett considers himself a member of the good one. Then there is Councillor Majid Mahmood who also considers himself a member of the good one, being a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. It’s not that long ago that Howard Beckett was able to tell picket lines that he had been assured by John Clancy that John was a ‘gud old fashioned Labour party man and the workers could trust him. Comrade Clancy stabbed everyone in the back, and he himself was stabbed in the back by his comrades in the Birmingham Labour party.

Workers have to ask themselves – is there any difference between Majid and Lisa, between Ian and John? Birmingham Worker says that there is no fundamental difference between any of these career politicians; they all serve themselves. The Labour Party is a party, it is not the will of one person. In Birmingham the Labour party is rotten to the core, it has stabbed the bin men in the back before and it will do so again. Being in a trusting relationship with the Labour party is like having a cheating spouse.

What’s going on at the top?

Cllr Majid is surely a candidate to get Ian Ward’s job, and no doubt Howard Beckett and the Unite Labour party members would be very supportive of any aspirations he might have. If Cllr Majid could just get a couple of thousand pounds each for every bin man then no doubt Unite will back him for the top job once Ian Ward is out of the way. To do this Majid may possibly have to expose Ian Ward and others for the deals they’ve done with council officers, unfair appointments to jobs and blacklisting are just a few of the accusations currently circulating throughout the council.

If a deal is done, Unite the Union’s Labour party leadership will say that Cllr Mahmood is a decent man who has done a splendid job for Unite’s members, and everyone will celebrate a huge victory, just like before. The bin men may receive a payment in the short term, but it will be extremely difficult to wage a later struggle against the unjust agreement that was implemented in the first place. The struggle for the return to the compressed working week, the collective task and finish will be lost and the public support for industrial action in the near future will be low. Workers shouldn’t sell themselves short, why not demand:

  • jobs for the agency workers
  • the payment of the money for all TU members
  • A return to the compressed working week
  • A return to the collective task & finish

To be kept informed with the activities of the Birmingham Worker Party please get in touch:

Defend Brexit and manufacturing jobs in Birmingham

jlr

JLR, Bentley, Aston Martin and many other big players in the car industry are fighting an anti-Brexit propaganda war, blaming everything on Brexit. If you listened to these powerful giants whose businesses are worth billions you would be led to believe that before the British people voted to Leave there had never been any problems in the car industry! The facts are different. The facts are that there is a huge crisis in the car industry, not because of Brexit, but because of two main factors. Firstly, the manufacturers have made more cars than they can shift.  Whilst the overproduction crisis preceded Brexit and will get worse with or without Brexit, Bentley are not lying when they warn about possible disruption of supply lines, e.g. engines imported from Germany. However, disruptions or no disruptions, there’s too many Bentleys and not enough millionaires to buy them.

Secondly, the large, powerful car producers are constantly looking for excuses and opportunities to outsource jobs and export their capital to foreign countries where labour and costs are cheaper. The manufacturers and their shareholders are motivated by making bigger profits. Just now, having made more cars than they can sell the manufacturers see their opportunity to jump ship and blame it all on Brexit!

In recent years JLR, Aston Martin, Bentley and other manufacturers have made billions of pounds in profit. These companies must not be allowed to throw hundreds of workers who’ve generated these huge profits straight onto the dole. Workers must be kept on full pay and manufacturing jobs protected. Companies who’ve made huge profits must not be allowed to undermine the democratic will of the British people to Leave the EU.

Defend manufacturing jobs

Defend Brexit!

More info on suspected job losses: https://www.cpgb-ml.org/2018/12/21/news/ft-leaks-plans-by-jaguar-land-rover-to-axe-5000-jobs/

Brexit Paralysis : https://www.cpgb-ml.org/2018/12/31/news/brexit-paralysis-government-and-opposition-in-a-shambles/