Don’t let P&O get away with murder – Make the TUC and labour leaders call a general strike now!

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YESTERDAY, Chancellor Sunak pledged to help the masses ‘where we can make a difference’, as households face soaring living costs, to the extent that many workers cannot feed their families.

Ahead of this Wednesday’s Spring Statement, Sunak told the BBC he would ‘stand by’ people, but, seeking to find a scapegoat, he blurted out that sanctions against Russia were not ‘cost-free’.

However, it is not Russia that has caused the greatest ever economic crisis of capitalism and the confrontation between the working class and the ruling class over which class will pay the price for the crisis.

On BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, Chancellor Sunak conceded he would not be able to ‘fully protect’ people from the consequences of rising prices.

He admitted: ‘I want to be honest with people that it’s not going to be easy.’ He bleated: ‘I wish government could solve absolutely every problem and that I could fully protect people against all the challenges that lie ahead.’

In fact, the truth is that the working class is going to have to defend itself and solve the crisis itself with occupations, mass strike actions and a socialist revolution to get rid of capitalism.

The changed times were spelt out last week by P&O Ferries with their gangster-style mass sackings of their workforce, with masked men seeking to clear the ships and with scabs waiting on the jetty ready to work for a pittance.

This ‘gangster capitalism’ is the real capitalism. It has just given the working class a glimpse of the real future that lies behind Sunak’s best wishes. The bosses intend to make the working class pay for the crisis using the most ruthless and brutal methods to do so.

The P&O workers received not a minute’s notice. All they got was a ‘three-minute pre-recorded message’ saying they were out of a job! This is after millions of pounds of British taxpayer support for P&O from the furlough scheme.

The RMT union labelled the lock-out as one of the ‘most shameful acts in the history of British industrial relations’. Its national secretary Darren Procter told a crowd of about 250 demonstrators in Dover: ‘We’re going to make sure our workers get back on board their vessels.’

Mark Dickinson, general secretary of the maritime trade union Nautilus, told the BBC: ‘However, both the RMT union and Nautilus International are seeking legal advice on the mass dismissals.’ That the judges won’t get the workers their jobs back is obvious!

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham has denounced this savage attack on workers. She said: ‘Despite record profits that fund billionaire lifestyles, Dubai-based DP World has launched a premeditated “economic attack” on British workers, showing once again that our system is broken.

‘The political elite have been in the pocket of billionaires for decades, supporting their demands to weaken the rights of their own citizens in favour of corporate profiteering. This is the result: 800 ordinary workers from Britain sacked whilst working at sea, by a firm owned by the Dubai Royal Family. It’s time to bring the oligarchs and monopolies that run so much of our global economy to heel.

‘Tinkering around the edges has failed. Our politicians have failed. It’s time for the people to stand up and do what our so-called leaders refuse to do. Take action. ‘That is why today I have instructed £10 million to be allocated to a new campaign fund.’

What is required is not a new campaign fund, but a general strike and a socialist revolution to bring down the Tories and nationalise the capitalist economy.

Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh described the firing as a ‘despicable assault on workers’ rights’. However, it will take more than a few left words to get P&O workers their jobs back.

The TUC leaders are obviously hoping that Chancellor Sunak will rescue them from having to carry out their duty to defend workers’ jobs. He has made clear he can’t and won’t!

DP World makes billions in revenue, records massive levels of profit and has mountains of cash in the bank. At the same time, they have paid out enormous dividends to their shareholder owners, the Dubai Royal Family, in recent years. They have paid out $376.1 million in dividends to shareholders in the last two years alone.

Reports from the Times and other sources have also shown how the company has fleeced the British taxpayer whilst they sit on billions in the bank.

DP World received over £30 million in emergency funding from the government during the pandemic, including using the taxpayer-funded furlough scheme.

Workers must join the WRP and the YS to rapidly build the revolutionary leadership to replace the TUC leaders and organise the general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government.