Socialist Worker

Unite to fight low pay

Issue No. 1827

TONY BLAIR and chancellor Gordon Brown are united in their determination to curb workers' pay. That's why they have attacked the firefighters' claim. But the real pay scandal is the record payouts to the fat cats. The boss of drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline got £7 million last year. He is after a further rise even though the company's share price has collapsed.

There was no speech from Brown complaining about that on Monday. Instead he turned on the Fire Brigades Union. And he spelled out why. Brown said the government had been taking a hard line with the union in order to hold down the pay of every other group of workers. He knows a breakthrough for the firefighters and control staff will be a step forward for everyone else.

Remember that when anti-union rags like the Sun and Daily Mail claim more money for the firefighters would mean less for the rest of us. Different sections of workers are battling over pay, including health workers, council workers, teachers, and workers in universities.

It's not about us scrapping between ourselves for a few crumbs. It's about getting back some of the huge slice of the cake that the rich take for themselves.

Solidarity can win

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Sat 23 Nov 2002, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1827
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