Have the priorities of the system we live under ever been more clearly exposed than by the events of the past week?
A few hundred bankers who helped bring the economy to the brink of collapse are being rewarded for their failures with fat bonuses—all to be paid for with billions of pounds of our money, of course.
They will spend the rest of the month celebrating in restaurants where a night out can cost more than a postal worker earns in a year.
And while they live it up, millions of us live in fear that we could lose our jobs in the coming months.
Millions of working class people are asking: why can’t we spend the money that is being lavished on the banks on public services, jobs and industry instead?
Postal workers were shocked to hear last week that that Royal Mail plans to sack 16,000 of us.
That will add to the growing spiral of unemployment and will help destroy the vital public service that we provide.
But it will mean that Royal Mail will be able to announce profit figures that are even bigger than those of last year, and it will prepare the ground for the New Labour’s privatisation plans.
It is about time that the trade union movement took up the challenge of the recession by putting up a real fight for jobs.
If job losses are announced, we should strike back. If closures are declared, we should organise sit-ins.
That’s what the workers at Waterford Crystal are doing in Ireland. We should be following their example.
It’s time that we used our industrial muscle to turn the priorities of this system on their head. We can be sure that if we did so, millions of people would stand alongside us.