THE LABOUR Party is facing strike action by staff who work at the party offices who are members of the GMB and Unite trade unions. The staff are being threatened with the sack and a strike is looming.
Unite and GMB are holding ‘indicative ballots’, opening Monday on whether workers are prepared to strike when the sackings are announced.
There are reports that the party is looking to cut around 90 positions as a result of ‘financial pressures’. LabourList has reported the party is currently seeking to make the cuts through ‘voluntary redundancy alone,’ but ‘more volunteers are needed’.
According to the Labour Party’s annual report, it employed 421 staff in December 2019, of whom 367 were in full-time roles, so 90 workers would be a quarter of all staff.
Asked about the safety of the jobs, Labour leader Keir Starmer said: ‘There is a reorganisation going on.
‘I’m very anxious and concerned that we should ensure the Labour Party is election-ready for May 2023, and so we’re going through a reorganisation to make sure that everything we do is focused on that election.’
However Starmer’s own job is by no means secured for that task. He and his Labour Party leadership are distrusted by the working class for their betrayal over Brexit, their right wing attack on ex-Labour leader Corbyn and their completely slavish relationship with Johnson’s Tory Party and British capitalism.
On Brexit, rather than let Labour organise a second referendum, millions of workers who had voted Labour all their lives, and for generations before them, voted to ‘lend Johnson their vote’ to get Brexit through and the UK out of the EU.
After the election defeat, Starmer won the leadership contest and began purging Corbyn supporters and then Corbyn himself, using the pretext that supporting the Palestinians was displaying ‘anti-Semitism’. Corbyn was suspended as a Labour MP, and then Labour’s ruling body voted to ban left factions that were supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
The National Executive Committee moved to proscribe Resist, Labour Against the Witchhunt and the Labour in Exile Network, which correctly claimed anti-Semitism allegations were politically motivated.
Labour’s lurch to the right continued throughout the pandemic. Rather than calling for Johnson and the Tory Party to be kicked out of power, Starmer continuously offered Johnson ‘critical support’, acting as his advisor.
Outgoing Unite leader Len McCluskey, in his new autobiography, warns that the Labour Party could ‘go under’ with Starmer as its leader.
If the Unite leadership wishes to ‘save the Labour Party’ now it has its opportunity. There must be GMB and Unite strike action to stop Labour’s staff sackings. Further – the trade unions, including Unite, at the moment support Labour with massive financial donations.
As part of the action to stop the LP sackings, Unite must organise the TUC trade unions to go on a donation strike as far as Starmer’s Labour Party is concerned, to force Starmer’s right wing leadership out of its leading Labour Party positions. There is no doubt that such decisive action will be backed by millions of workers and the vast majority of Labour Party members.
Earlier in the month, on the burning issue of the end of furloughing, the Unite union leadership said that it is ‘calling on the government to think again to avert immediate job losses and growing poverty for hundreds of thousands of working people.’
This line must be dumped at once.
The trade unions must be mobilised to dump Starmer and his right wing gang of leaders, to create the conditions where the trade unions will call a general strike to bring down the discredited Tories, and replace them with a workers government that will resolve the crisis of British capitalism by expropriating the bosses and the bankers and by bringing in a planned socialist economy.
The UK working class needs a workers government that will use the wealth of this country, that the working class creates on a daily basis, to launch a mass building campaign of hospitals, schools, council homes and a socialist society.
This is why the trade unions must take a stand and say that Labour Party workers must not lose their jobs, and in fact it is Starmer and his right wing cabal that must go at once, and that Unite and the GMB will take the lead in carrying out this socialist cleansing operation.
Only the Workers Revolutionary Party fights for this persective and for a socialist government. Join the WRP today!