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LETTERS: Bosses need to pay care workers our due

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Issue 2567
Doncaster Care UK workers on strike in 2014
Doncaster Care UK workers on strike in 2014 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Care workers should be paid the minimum wage for sleep-in shifts (Socialist Worker, 2 August) but we’re still waiting for our back pay.

Some of us are owed thousands. At my place I do eight sleep-ins a month at just under £2.80 an hour—instead of £7.50 an hour.

Low paid university workers provide a lesson for the whole labour movement
Soas cleaners provide a lesson for the labour movement
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Multiply that by ten and a half months and you can see how the bill adds up.

Companies seem to be calling on local councils to foot the bill. But the companies chose to pay us the lowest amount they could get away with while they made money off the backs of low paid workers.

The government has already waived any penalties they could have levied—so the firms got off lightly.

It’s time for them to pay up and for our unions to put the pressure on.

Theresa Rollinson, Doncaster

Stand up to the smears

I agree with Alan Watts’ letter criticising Haringey council for endorsing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism (Letters, 1 August).

A recent legal opinion by Hugh Tomlinson QC blasted holes in this pro-Israel definition.

Tomlinson said that a “public authority which sought to apply it to prohibit or sanction such activities would be acting unlawfully”.

His opinion should be widely circulated so that Palestine solidarity activists are aware of this interpretation of the definition.

Frank Stone, Norwich

Voices for Labour

Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is a new network for progressive Jews in the Labour Party united in opposing all forms of racism.

It will provide a much-needed forum for Jews who want to celebrate the proud history of Jewish involvement in socialist and trade union activism.

JVL does not make promoting the centrality of Israel to Jewish life a condition of membership.

We reject attempts to extend the scope of the term “antisemitism” beyond its meaning of bigotry towards Jews. We invite everyone of Jewish heritage in the Labour Party to join.

Jenny Manson, Chair, Jewish Voices for Labour

Valerian wasn‘t a mess—but your review was

Ken Olende’s review of Valerian was over complicated (Socialist Worker, 9 August).

His premise that it’s a “mess” is unjustified.

Despite comparisons to Dr Who or Star Trek, the humans in Valerian are the imperialist warmongers.

They are politically bankrupt and desperate to hold on to power.

This trope of humans as the scum is more than welcome in science fiction.This is what makes the film powerful.

At the beginning it’s also hard to work out who the lead character is, major Valerian or sergeant Laureline.

Laureline leads the first part of the film while Valerian makes the decisive decisions towards the end.

I found the “mess” to be a brilliant backdrop to the worlds of Valerian.

Richard Stephens, Bristol

Union leaders will not fight

The union leaders are not going to change because they have their own positions to preserve (Socialist Worker, 9 August).

So stop waiting for the TUC to leap into action—it’s never going to happen.

And the same can be said about Socialist Worker’s support for Jeremy Corbyn.

He’s a Labour politician, not a revolutionary.

Alan Wilson, On Facebook

Tories fiddle public money

All Tories have the same attitude to public money.

With their sense of entitlement they think they deserve it most.

It’s for them and their friends to take as they wish from fiddling their expenses to political bungs and contracts for their supporters.

Michael Dolby, On Facebook

Keep fighting for justice

Justice for Darren Cumberbatch—that’s all we want (Socialist Worker, 1 August).

Don’t let this fade from our mind, that’s what the police want.

Darren Dalton, On Facebook

Trot on, comrade warmonger

Tony Blair “disclosed” that he was inspired by Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Turns out he read one biography at Oxford University in the 1970s after a night out playing a gig with his band Ugly Rumours.

It’s not the first time Blair has trotted out this revelation.

But his alleged Trotskyist past is more than just an ugly rumour for the right.

He said it during the rows with his equally neoliberal chancellor Gordon Brown and then when Ed Miliband became Labour leader.

He’s always done it to belittle the left. Time for the warmonger to enter the dustbin of history.

Penny Thomas, West London

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