Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2352

Britain’s poor didn’t cause Bangladesh factory deaths 

I work in Primark. It’s not the nicest place to work.

But it has been even more demoralising since the factory collapse in Bangladesh, where some Primark clothes are made.

It’s horrible to think that I have to work for this firm and help make money for it.

Some of us staff were discussing the collapse just after it happened, before the shop opened.

Management then told us we weren’t allowed to talk about it. We were given a statement to read, which was Primark’s press release.

And we were told that if anyone asked us about it we had to say that we couldn’t comment.

It feels like we’re being hushed up.

But I don’t think the answer is to boycott Primark or that the problem is cheap clothes.

Expensive brands, such as Gap, sell clothes that are made in the same conditions.

It doesn’t matter about the price of the product. It’s the fact that firms want to make everything as cheaply as possible.

It’s wrong to blame people who buy cheap clothes. 

In order to spend an extra £10 on a pair of jeans you need to have that £10 in your pocket.

I don’t think most people do have that. 

The financial crash has made things worse, but even in the best of times people don’t have much cash to spend.

It’s easy to say boycott Primark. But it’s very hard to buy anything and be 100 percent sure that it wasn’t made in sweatshops.

Even though we’ve been told not to discuss the collapse, it’s difficult to ignore.

It’s constantly in the news and the death toll is rising.

We have had customers coming in talking about it and asking us about it.

That’s good—you want people to say something because it’s depressing when they don’t and just act normal.

One woman was saying how terrible it was. Despite the ban on discussing it, I agreed with her.

Primark workerAddress withheld

This is why we didn’t trust MMR

Jackie Turner is right to blame bad science and media hype for their contribution to the low take up rate for the MMR vaccination (Letters, 27 April).

This has led to the current measles outbreak in Swansea.

However, at the time the MMR jab was also seen as a cost cutting exercise by the government.

And their reassurances were undermined by previous unfounded reassurances over things such as the BSE in beef disaster.

Alan ThomsonSwansea

Don’t fall for Tory tactics 

Recent research by Shelter found that over 8 million people are just one payday away from not being able to pay their rent or mortgage.

They could therefore become homeless.

The government cuts have only just begun. 

We’re potentially going to be faced with a massive increase in people losing their homes. 

And in my town we’re faced with cuts to jobs and services.

This week’s target by the Sun and Express might be the nebulous shirkers they love to hate—but next week it could be me or you. 

Don’t let this government divide ordinary working people.

Jo RustNorfolk

20 years on, the legacy of Stephen Lawrence 

Around 70 people attended a conference last month that explored the legacy of Stephen Lawrence 20 years after his murder. 

The conference was organised by the Centre for Media and Culture research at London South Bank University. 

People highlighted the success of the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard, which has challenged racism in schools.

Doreen Lawrence took part in a panel discussion. 

She described the lasting effect her son’s murder has had on her family.

Socialist barrister Brian Richardson, also on the panel, argued that black and white working class people played an important role in supporting the Lawrence family.

This has shaped many battles for justice today.

Zakariya CochraneHarlow

Stand up for workers, Ed

I urge Unite union leader Len McCluskey to remind Labour leader Ed Miliband that his party should fight the Tories’ vicious cuts (Socialist Worker, 4 May). 

The Tories’ only connection with many people in Britain is that they share a passport.

The very people who elect Labour MPs are those who are suffering most.

Forget the 1980s Ed, and forget Neil Kinnock—who never won an election. 

Forget Tony Blair—who won elections because the Tories were in a mess. 

You don’t need to be brave, just stand up for the vast majority of people—and give them a vision of a different country.

Graham ManleyUnite union member

Etonians are wrecking lives

Scarcely a month after they came into effect, benefit caps are already leading to an increase in eviction notices. 

Haringey landlord Genesis is threatening to end the tenancies of those who “may not be able to afford the rent”.

This is not the fault of Bulgarians or Romanians. This is being done by the Etonians.

Sasha SimicEast London

Help to close Guantanamo

Help put pressure on US president Barack Obama to close the Guantanamo Bay camp.

Sign a petition at

Caroline WeaverNorth London

A new battle against Gove?

Socialist Worker readers probably don’t need more reasons to hate Tory education secretary Michael Gove.

But just in case—he plans to take climate change off the geography curriculum.

Maybe we need a Defend School Geography campaign!

Anita WhiteheadSouthampton

A conference about carbon

By the time you read this the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will probably have reached 400 parts per million. 

That’s the highest level for three and a half million years.

The Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group will hold a major conference in London on 8 June. 

Find out more at

Ken MontagueSecretary, Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group 

Let’s stop the bedroom tax

It was good to read about the All Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation (Socialist Worker, 4 May).

We should set up a similar organisation in England and Wales.

Lisa WestColchester



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Article information

Tue 7 May 2013, 18:58 BST
Issue No. 2352
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