'THAT IS the way the world is today. The best thing government can do is not offer a false prospectus to people that we can prevent those changes. We live in an economy which is global, in which there is going to be a lot of churning of jobs, in which the old concept of nine to five jobs is changing.'
That was Tony Blair's response to the announcement that Norwich Union was sacking people here and opening up new facilities in India.
In fact, the company was using the oldest trick in the book. It was boosting its profits by getting rid of people to replace them with other people who would work for lower wages. The only difference was that instead of moving production a few dozen miles, it was using modern communications systems to move a few thousand miles.
Such firms claim they are helping people in India. But they will be just as ready to sack them in future in the interests of still more profits.
Already some are laughably describing Indian cities like Bombay and Bangalore as 'high wage', 'over-regulated' areas, and threatening to move to even poorer regions.
There is only one way to stop such degradation of people's lives by multinational capital right across the world. It is not to fall for nationalist language which sets the workers of one country against another. It is to take direct strike action to prevent any such sackings-whether in Norwich or Newcastle, Bombay or Bangalore.