TUC SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS GROWING UK POVERTY

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A new survey by the TUC highlights the real problems many workers have in just making ends meet in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The survey found that:

● 1 in 5 workers (19%) have gone without heating when it was cold;
● 1 in 5 (20%) workers are skipping meals to make ends meet with the number missing out on meals increasing by more than half in two years;
● 1 in 10 (10%) could not pay their rent or mortgage on time;
● 1 in 5 (20%) had pawned or sold something because they were short of money;
● a quarter of respondents report running out of money at the end of most weeks or months, while a further 16% have to cut down or stop spending many times a year;
● two fifths of those polled (41%) say that pay not keeping up with living costs is among their biggest concerns at work.

Asked how they would deal with an unexpected £500 bill, nearly one in three (30%) workers say they would not be able to pay – up from 24% in 2017. And of those that could pay, one in four (24%) say they would have to go into debt or sell something.

In the face of these shocking figures, the TUC does not go much beyond the usual calling for the election of a Labour government. The reality is that the widespread poverty in Britain is caused by gross inequality which, in turn, results from the power of the bosses to continually drive down the pay and conditions of workers.

The only way to challenge the power of management is for people to organise and fight back. Only then will the balance of power between management and workers begin to shift and pay and conditions begin to improve.

However, it is pointless calling on the TUC and union leaders to organise a fightback which amounts to little more than hot air and empty sloganeering; in short, a complete waste of time and energy. Instead, we need practical solutions to the day to day problems faced by workers.

Workers need help and support to organise themselves in the face of management power. It is only by workers coming together to challenge management, often over seemingly small issues, can we begin to rebuild workers' collective strength in the workplace.

The Solidarity Federation organises a number of training courses focused on organising direct action in the workplace. They are free and open to everyone.

The training offered by SolFed includes:
General Workplace Organiser Training;
Women's Orientated  Workplace Organiser Training;
Care and Support Workers' Organiser Training

If you are interested in any of the above courses, or want to know more, just drop us a line at:
training@solfed.or.uk

 

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This article was published on 30 September 2019 by the SolFed group in Manchester. Other recent articles: