British Chambers of Commerce looks to class war in New Year

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FOR some days now, Minister Jowell has been campaigning in the cabinet to stop Gordon Brown being verbally beastly to the Tories, by bringing up the fact that they are an integral part of the capitalist ruling class, from the playing fields of Eton onwards.

At the same time, the professionals of class warfare, the organisations of the bosses, have stepped onto the scene to reveal that next year not only will there be a wage freeze and sackings in the public sector, but that 63 per cent of the private sector employers have already decided that 2010 will be the year when they either freeze or openly cut wages.

The British Chambers of Commerce’s latest Monthly Business Survey reveals that 63% of businesses are planning wage freezes or pay cuts next year, while 18% are considering the removal of benefits, such as bonuses and gym membership.

It adds: ‘The persistent squeeze on the employee pay packet is an indication that companies do not see economic conditions dramatically improving in 2010, despite hopes that the end of the recession may have arrived in the final quarter of 2009.’

These warriors of the class struggle have decided that now is the time to turn the screw further on the working class. They will tell workers that with unemployment rapidly rising there is only one way that they stand a chance of keeping their jobs, and that is by accepting further wage cuts and even pension cuts!

This is hideous ruling class warfare in practice, where bosses take advantage of their slump to starve the working class and working class families.

No doubt Jowell and Mandelson will insist that this is not a hideous class war, but just the operation of the market in relation to the cost of labour power, about which nothing can be or should be done.

In other words, they object to class war only when the working class carries it out, or looks as if it is going to carry it out.

And this is precisely the situation that we are in today – on the brink of an eruption of working class anger.

The CBI agrees with the BCC. The bosses are all together. It states: ‘The UK economy faces a number of structural hurdles over the coming two years, and this recovery – like that of the 1980s – will be relatively drawn out. Credit conditions will remain difficult as the banks slowly nurse themselves back to health, consumer spending will be shaped by the need to rebuild savings, and the public sector will soon have to tighten its belt.’

It adds that the planned VAT rise in January will push CPI inflation up sharply. . . . ‘Oil prices are expected to rise continually over the coming two years, as the global economy recovers with a relatively limited oil supply, hitting almost $100 per barrel at the end of 2011.’

It is in this inflationary situation, with the cost of living rising rapidly, that they have decided to have a wage freeze in both the public and the private sectors!

Union leaders have been saying, full of righteousness, that the recession should not be used as an ‘excuse’ to impose pay freezes by companies continuing to make profits.

But Unite’s Derek Simpson has just said: ‘Our members have been prepared to share the pain and take pay freezes this year. But we will challenge any attempt to freeze pay in companies that are making profits next year.’

The train drivers’ union Aslef national organiser Simon Weller warned: ‘We expect the possible closure of the rail pension scheme to be one of the major battlegrounds of 2010. Any firm that looks to do so or freeze pay would be very foolish — they cannot be interested in running many trains.’

These union leaders are being forced to palely reflect the growing anger of their members.

2010 will be the year of the British general strike, in which to the terror of the Jowells and the Mandelsons, taking power will be posed before the working class.

Now is the time to join the WRP to make sure that this historic opportunity to put an end to capitalism is not missed.