Inflation Is Cutting Pay At A Massive Rate – The Trade Unions Must Fight For Pay To Be Linked To Inflation Rate!

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THE purchasing power of workers’ pay packets is falling at the fastest rate since 2001.

Between March and May, pay, excluding bonuses, was down 2.8% from a year earlier when adjusted for inflation – the fastest drop in wages since records began. Millions of working class family budgets are being slashed by soaring food, fuel and energy costs, with inflation now at a 40-year high, and going up all the time.

Vacancies were up by 6,900 between April and June compared to the previous quarter, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), but inflation – fuelled by the US-UK drive to fight Russia right down to the last Ukrainian – is driving up wheat and food prices in every part of the globe, creating tens of millions of starving men, women and children.

The ONS head of labour market and household statistics, David Freeman, said the figures showed a ‘mixed picture’ for the labour market.

‘Following recent increases in inflation, pay is now clearly falling in real terms both including and excluding bonuses,’ he said. ‘Excluding bonuses, real pay is now dropping faster than at any time since records began in 2001.’

Pay including bonuses was down 0.9% when adjusted for inflation.

Average total pay growth for the private sector was much higher than for the public sector – at 7.2% for March to May compared to 1.5%, before taking account of the galloping inflation rate.

The government is due to unveil this year’s pay deal for 2.5 million public sector workers, including teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers and members of the armed forces.

Unions are calling for wages to reflect the cost of living – but ministers have signalled the pay deal will not match price rises, warning this would push inflation even higher.

Inflation – the rate at which prices rise – hit 9.1% in May, the highest level in 40 years and is expected to climb further by the autumn.

The nursing unions are demanding a pay rise made up of the current inflation rate plus 5%, while nurses have marched with banners demanding a 15% pay rise now.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said the figures ‘underline how strong our jobs market continues to be’.

But he added: ‘I am acutely aware that rising prices are affecting how far people’s hard-earned income goes, so we are providing help for households through cash grants and tax cuts.’

However, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Pat McFadden, said the Conservatives had ‘failed to grow the economy, which has left people more exposed to inflation and the cost-of-living crisis’.

The trade unions have now got to organise the battle for pay rises that match inflation.

The TUC must demand a 10% pay rise for every worker and that the value of that rise is protected by a sliding scale of wages, meaning that wages will automatically rise by the rate of inflation!

The TUC must also demand – and win – a sliding scale of hours so that, as the economic catastrophe develops, mass sackings are met with a sliding scale of hours, meaning ‘no sackings’ and that economic collapses are met with reduced working hours with no cut in wages.

This is not a utopian programme.

This is the only way that the working class will preserve its living standards while it mobilises for a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government that will expropriate the bosses and bring in a nationalised and planned economy.

This is the only way to mobilise the working class and the youth to carry out a socialist revolution that will smash and replace capitalism with a socialist nationalised and planned economy on a national and then a world scale.

The Workers Revolutionary Party and the Young Socialists are the only organisations that fight for this policy and perspective,

We urge workers and youth in the UK to join and build the WRP and the YS. We urge workers and youth internationally to build sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country, to organise the victory of the world socialist revolution. This is the way forward!