A NEW generation of workers is now organising themselves into unions and is combining their labour power by striking together. There is no doubt that this is a movement which will inspire older workers to take up the struggle to smash the Tories.
Young workers, whom the bosses seek to super-exploit, are now fighting for the same basic rights that the working class fought for hundreds of years to achieve. They have now entered the class struggle and will revolutionise it.
Uber Eats and Deliveroo drivers joined McDonald’s, TGI Fridays and Wetherspoons’ workers in a day of strike action on Thursday to fight the poverty wages and conditions, that the bosses and Tories want to impose on the whole working class.
TUC leader Francis O’Grady, joined the mass rally in Leicester Square. O’Grady told the rally: ‘Let this be the time and place when workers say “we are not going to take it any more. We are fighting back and organising”.’ Shame on O’Grady for not pledging a general strike to support the battle of the young workers!
McDonald’s workers and Wetherspoons’ pub workers are demanding an end to zero hours contracts and a minimum wage of £10 an hour. Uber Eats and Deliveroo couriers are fighting to secure £5 per delivery and £1 per mile as a minimum rate.
TGI Fridays workers are in a major battle against the management taking their tips. The so called ‘gig economy’ seeks to return workers to the days before there were trade unions, to the beginnings of the working class. However, these workers have joined the organised working class and are determined to win their rights back!
Deliveroo and Uber Eats delivery drivers are considered ‘self employed’ and so are denied all the basic rights which workers have won over hundreds of years of class struggle: sick pay, pensions, holiday pay, minimum wage and job security. Four-and-a-half-million people in England and Wales are already in ‘insecure work’.
In the first campaign of its kind, Thursday’s strike has been co-ordinated across the country to maximise impact. And these young low paid workers are part of a much bigger international movement of the working class, where in the US fast food workers are demanding $15 an hour and in France and across Europe McDonald’s workers are getting organised and joining unions.
Gabriel, a French McDonald’s striker told the rally: ‘I’m here to make more than a promise, we are determined. We’re facing union busting, social dumping and terrible working conditions.’ Betty a speaker from the US in the $15NOW movement, said: ‘We’re fighting for more than $7 an hour. I’m sure you can get £10 an hour. We’re fighting for $15 an hour. We’ll keep fighting and we will win.’
And the struggle was nationwide, McDonald’s workers came out from the branches in Brixton, Crayford, Cambridge and Watford. Uber Eats workers joined the action in Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton.
Wetherspoon workers from the two Brighton branches, the Bright Helm, and Post & Telegraph, also walked out on strike. Staff from TGI Fridays branches in Milton Keynes, Covent Garden and Stratford Westfield joined the action as well.
The fact remains that a bankrupt capitalist system can no longer afford decent pay or employment rights for the working class. For the working class the only way forward is to put an end to capitalism for good.
The GMB won a landmark judgement against Uber back in 2016 where the industrial tribunal rightly insisted that Uber workers were employees of Uber and not ‘self-employed’. However, after Uber lost its own appeal against the decision last year, it now looks certain it will take the case to the Supreme Court.
The unions cannot rely on the courts to defend the rights of workers.
This new generation of workers has shown the way forward. They must demand that the TUC Congress must call a general strike to put an end to zero hours contracts and poverty pay by bringing down the Tories and bringing in a workers government an socialism.
Organising the whole working class in a struggle for workers power and socialism is going to be the central demand of the 49th Anniversary of the News Line rally on November 4. Make sure that you are there and bring your friends!