THE Christmas Day announcement that parcel delivery firm City Link had gone into administration was ‘disgraceful’, the RMT said yesterday. Its general secretary Mick Cash added it was ‘shocking’ to have ‘sprung this announcement once all the Christmas deliveries have been completed’.
The Coventry-based firm, which employs 2,727 staff, made its killer move on Christmas Eve after which Cash responded that ‘RMT will do everything within its power to mobilise a political and industrial fight to save the thousands of jobs that have been put at risk as a result of this shock announcement.’
In fact, the knifing of City Link by venture capitalists sets the standard for the New Year of 2015, when the Tories intend to go for broke to dump the whole of the capitalist crisis onto the working class.
Already, Chancellor George Osborne’s deputy, the LibDem Danny Alexander, has revealed that Osborne is set to impose £60bn more cuts by 2020 if the Tories win next May’s general election.
The NHS is already under massive attack, with 345 doctors and specialists condemning plans to reduce funding for specialised operations and treatments NHS trusts provide, including some cancer care, saying that such cuts will cause avoidable deaths.
Their protests are in vain. Already up and down the country A&Es are being closed down with patients suffering, waiting on trolleys to be treated.
Meanwhile, the ‘recovery’ is flagging, with revised figures showing gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of this year 2.6% higher, down from an earlier estimate of 3%.
Also, the UK’s current account deficit widened in the third quarter to £27bn, putting the difference between the country’s export and import of goods and services at a record 6% of GDP, the worst figures since 1955 when the records began.
The data released also revealed that income from the UK’s foreign investments dropped between July and September, exacerbated by an increase in cash flowing out of the UK to foreign investors.
All this adds up to the ending of ‘cheap borrowing’ by the British government and the need for even bigger and more savage cuts in the New Year.
Meanwhile, the army of the working poor grows, with statistics showing that over three million are struggling to pay their rents and that over 700,000 people are struggling to make ends meet every month.
Not even the great trade unions are able to stand above the Tory onslaught. New anti-union laws are due in 2015 to make strikes in the emergency services illegal and to require a 50% turn-out in strike ballots before a vote to strike can be considered to be legal.
The Civil Servants union (PCS) has been targeted by the government and is now sacking full-time workers and selling off its HQ.
The PCS leadership said just a few days ago: ‘The coalition government has been carrying out an ideologically-inspired onslaught on public spending and public services. The size of the civil service is being reduced by unprecedented numbers. At the same time, the Tories are attacking PCS as one of their most vocal critics in the trade union movement.
‘A number of related initiatives are taking place. In HMRC a secret union-busting plan to attack PCS has been exposed. Ministers are drastically cutting facility time for reps. But the most immediate danger comes from the moves in a number of government departments, including the largest, to end check-off. This is a politically motivated attempt to destabilise PCS finances.
‘In 2015, the combined effect of check-off removal and job cuts in the civil service will have a severe impact on the union’s finances, reducing our income by as much as £6.5 million.’
However, all of this is just an appetiser for the year 2015, when the Tories aim to go for broke to smash the Welfare State and break the unions.
Mick Cash has pledged that the RMT will take every action necessary to defend its members at City Link.
The only way that this can be done is through the RMT taking strike action and Cash demanding that the TUC call a general strike in full support of the struggle to defend jobs, by defeating the bosses and bringing down the Tory-led coalition and bringing in a workers government and socialism. This is what has to be done!