THE WORLD may slowly be emerging from the worst health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the economic fallout from the crisis will likely devastate the global working class for years to come.
Inflation, job losses and corporate greed – combined with half-hearted government intervention – has led to a cost-of-living crisis in even the most wealthy of nations.
But workers have responded in turn.
Trade unions have enjoyed year-on-year increases for the first time in decades.
The famous ‘antiwork’ movement demanding rights in the workplace and better hours has gained momentum.
The UK is even trialling a four day work week across hundreds of firms.
The latest struggle has come from perhaps the most militant union remaining – the RMT.
Throughout massive amounts of pressure and crowing from government and media alike – and a severe lack of support from the so-called Labour Party – they have held their nerve with the upcoming strikes.
Where other unions may have buckled, they have stood firm. There’s a reason why ministers complain that railway workers have relatively high salaries in the public sector – it’s because they have a strong union!
Their holdout ahead of next week’s planned strikes highlights the logic behind them – if disruption will cost the country millions, surely the railways are a vital service? And shouldn’t vital key workers get the pay rise they deserve – or at least, one which matches inflation?
But another impact of the strike is showing the 75 per cent or so of Britons currently out of union about the importance of joining one.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch has appeared on just about every mainstream news outlet across the political spectrum. Conservative writer Peter Hitchens recently told his column readers to blame the government and train companies rather than unions.
Unions are back in a big way. Yesterday’s TUC demo highlighted that there is still life in the old ways yet.
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