THE CRISIS engulfing British capitalism has drawn the organised working class, along with youth and entire sections of the middle class, into the struggle against mass unemployment and poverty.
In the slump following the financial crash in 2008 low-paid ‘blue-collar’ workers were hit the hardest through unemployment as factories and industries closed down.
They suffered 10% of job losses, while in contrast higher-paid managerial and other professionals were largely unaffected. Today, however, the jobs slaughter is increasingly hitting lower management and professional workers.
Tej Parikh, an economist at the Institute of Directors, has warned that office-based professions are facing a jobs crisis with employers either closing down or desperate to cut costs. ‘Restructuring’ (slashing jobs) is the name of the game.
He also boasted: ‘Our restructuring skills are being brought in by people who want to survive.’ The desperate struggle to survive has led to the mass exodus of companies from city office buildings as the furlough scheme ends in October despite the Tories’ continual drive to force a return to work.
In a survey conducted by the BBC this week, fifty of the biggest UK employers said that they have no plans to return all their workers full-time to their offices ‘in the near future’.
Out of these 50, 24 firms said that they had no plans to return workers at all. The big employers questioned by the BBC ranged from banks to retailers.
Most of these companies used the excuse that it was too difficult to maintain social distancing at work but many of the smaller ones admitted they were abandoning offices altogether, citing rental and utility costs as a determining factor.
Every section of society, with the exclusion of the biggest bosses and bankers, is going to bear the brunt of mass unemployment as capitalism fights for its survival.
Young people are being hit the hardest, with the Resolution Foundation think-tank warning this month that an additional 600,000 18 to 24 year olds will face unemployment in the coming year.
Millions of youth are already reaching the conclusion that their future has been ‘stolen’ from them, according to a survey by the charity Hope not Hate. It warns of a risk of ‘a storm of youth disaffection’, i.e. a revolution, unless the Tories do something to ‘safeguard the economic prospects of young people’.
Of course the Tories will not safeguard a single job, they are only interested in safeguarding the profits of the bosses and bankers and with the catastrophe of an economic recession this means imposing on workers, youth and the middle class mass unemployment and poverty.
In the face of this onslaught on jobs, all the Labour Party can offer is yet another report this week detailing the number of jobs lost by workers throughout the country’s regions, highlighting the regional differences with the north-west suffering the biggest hit in the retail sector and the East Midlands with its large manufacturing industries closing down.
Referring to the Tories ending furlough and precipitating the massacre of over 4 million jobs, all Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, could say was that the government ‘must adopt a more tailored approach now if we are to avoid further job losses.’
The leadership of the trade unions and the Labour Party have the same policy. This is to beg the Tories to help workers and youth and now increasingly the middle class. Bankrupt British capitalism can offer no help or future to anyone today.
The only solution is for the working class to take action by organising a general strike to bring down the Tories, and for the mass of youth and the middle class to ally themselves with the working class to go forward to a workers government that will expropriate the capitalist class and build socialism.
This struggle will attract millions of youth and establish the working class as the revolutionary leader of a desperate middle class.
The crucial issue is building the WRP and the Young Socialists into the revolutionary leadership of the working class, that will lead the middle class to overthrow British capitalism and bring in a workers government and a socialist planned economy.